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Nolan Ryan: Josh Hamilton could not have picked a worse time to quit tobacco

Josh Hamilton has dedicated much of the last several years of his life to overcoming addiction. Most of us know the story of his troubled past, as it is one that seems to come up in a number of different ways throughout the course of a season. Earlier this year, Hamilton admitted that he was struggling to quit using tobacco and admitted that the struggle was affecting his play. For that reason, Nolan Ryan thinks he should have waited until after the season to kick the habit.

“His timing on quitting smokeless tobacco couldn’t have been worse,” Ryan said Tuesday according to ESPNDallas.com. “You would’ve liked to have thought that if he was going to do that that he would’ve done it in the offseason or waited until this offseason to do it. So the drastic effect that it had on him and the year that he was having up to that point in time that he did quit, you’d have liked that he would’ve taken a different approach to that. So those issues caused unrest, and it’s unfortunate that it happened and the timing was such as it was.”

While you can understand where Ryan is coming from in terms of wanting the team to be successful and avoid costly plays like this one, that is a terrible message to send. Allowing his addiction to get the best of him could have in theory helped Hamilton continue his success at the plate, but shouldn’t his health be the priority?

Hamilton has had issues with drugs in the past and went through an alcohol relapse earlier this year, so kicking a bad habit should be more important than plate production for him — or anyone else for that matter. Even if Ryan was upset that quitting contributed to Hamilton’s struggles, he probably should have kept it to himself.

H/T Hardball Talk


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  • insidehalf

    Throwing a baseball 100 mph and showing dignity and compassion seem to be unrelated in this case.

  • emacman

    No I disagree. Nolan Ryan is right. The timing for such an addition was simply horrible. Josh has had many addictions: Drugs, Booze, Women, Tobacco,and Narcicissim. If you want to change something in your life do it when it does not affect your ability to perform your $12 Million a year job. If is an extreme salary for an extreme job that affects Millions of people as well as Millions of dollars into the North Texas community. Butonce again Josh Hamilton’s self centeredness made it all about him, so a tremendous season and potential World Championship that at least 24 other guys had worked their butt off to achieve goes down the drain. Tobacco habit Josh is hitting .400 plus, afterwards he did n’t hit his weight.

  • John M Conley

    Nolan Ryan is a typically greedy, uncaring Republican. There’s nothing that comes before cold hard cash.

  • thunder60

    when is it ever a bad time to quit a bad habit?

  • 4ScottyJ

     Josh is not the sole reason the Rangers did not advance and giving up tobacco is not being self-centered.

  • 4ScottyJ

     Nice political dig.  It has nothing to do with his political affiliation. 

  • Not_a_Yank

    when is it ever a bad time to quit a bad habit?  couldn’t have said it better myself. Ryan is a has been. and i don’t care that he has a comment on anything.

  • sivicsivinski

    Hamilton,s attitude toward baseball sucks.  He should be traded along with Cruz. They are both self centered. I stopped watching the Rangers play because of Hamilton and Cruz

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottariens Scott Ariens

     hopefully you’re kidding, or you may be the biggest idiot around.

    the Rangers don’t need to blow this up, and Nolan needs to get a grip… they still have he most talented and deep team in the majors, and will contend next year unless they implode.  Sign Josh to something reasonable (5-7 years at 20-22 mm per); sign Napoli for two years. Upgrade the other catcher ’cause Soto can’t throw anyone out. Keep Michael albeit reduce his and Kinsler’s ABs (Kinsler to part time OF duty). Give Profar 400Abs and watch him shine. Send Feliz back to the Pen. Move Ogando to rotation. Sign another starter and it’s NOT Dempster or Oswalt. Good riddance to Roy. If you really want to improve the team, trade a bunch of prospects to Minnesota for Joe Mauer, and go for broke. The Twins are dying to unload that contract – evidence putting him on waivers at the 7/31 deadline – and we’ve got the goods. Stronger up the middle,improved bullpen depth, one more starter … I like their chances.   If they blow this thing up, it could be another 40 years and we won’t be any closer to the title than we are now.  And quit blaming Hamilton this was a confluence of events and Washington being too passive

  • candyb211

    His timing made it a self-centered issue. Not the fact that he wanted to quit.

  • candyb211

    You are such an idiot. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.perry.9 Ed Perry

     you are as full of crap as nolan ryan .

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.perry.9 Ed Perry

    there is no way JOSH HAMILTON CAUSED THE RANGERS TO IMPLODE HE IS ONLY ONE PLAYER . HE IS NOT A QUARTERBACK . GIVE ME A BREAK , & ALSO JOSH ……

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.perry.9 Ed Perry

     I BELIEVE JOSH DID MORE FOR THE RANGERS IN 2012 THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER IF ANYTHING HE SHOULD BE MADE MANAGER , MAKE THAT GENERAL MANAGER OF THE TEAM . I,LL VOTE FOR THAT GO JOSH GO , KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. PLEASE STAY WITH US HERE IN TEXAS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.perry.9 Ed Perry

    MR RYAN , YOU ARE WAY OFF BASE  ON THIS I HAVE ALWAYS HAD RESPECT FOR YOU BUT THIS IS WRONG.

  • http://twitter.com/brburks Brannon Burks

    Josh Hamilton’s health, in this instance, isn’t the Texas Rangers top priority.  If you want to make his addiction problems an issue, those are all Josh Hamilton’s issues and if he want’s to make those issues a priority, he needs to be out of baseball and out of the public arena where his problems don’t affect his job performance.