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Nolan Ryan Bashes Hamilton after Quitting Tobacco


In one of the more bizarre stories of the day, Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan publicly criticized Josh Hamilton’s decision to quit smokeless tobacco in the heat of a playoff bid.  That’s right, the boss is upset over the timing of his employee’s choice to quit a harmful habit.

“His timing on quitting smokeless tobacco couldn’t have been worse,” Ryan said during an interview with ESPN Dallas.  “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 when he did quit, you’d have liked that he would’ve taken a different approach to that.”

Though Hamiton did express that he was having some trouble with “discipline” at the plate due to “being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco,” anyone with half a brain would know not to comment on the issue, nor think it’s that big of a factor anyway.  I mean, c’mon.  But Ryan obviously thought otherwise.

Hamilton played well during the first half of the season before injuring his back just before the All-Star break.  He even earned AL player of the month in April, but fell into a slump in June and July (hitting .223 and .177, respectively), one that he was unfortunately unable to climb out of.  Still, Hamilton finished the year with impressively high numbers, belting 43 home runs (2nd in NL) and 128 RBIs (2nd in NL).  Yea, we can see how deserves a verbal lashing for quitting smokeless tobacco.

Ryan was also asked if he thought Hamilton quit on his team down the season-ending stretch.

“I think Josh was put in a tough situation that he probably hadn’t ever been in before and he was somewhat perplexed by it,” Ryan said.  “When we’re put in situations that we haven’t dealt with before, we don’t know how we’re going to react to them.  I think what we saw was Josh reacting to an awfully tough situation.”

Chewing tobacco wasn’t the only substance Hamilton had trouble with in his career.  The recovering addict also dealt with heroine abuse during his upbringing and cause to miss a full season in the minor league system.

Now, Hamilton is a free agent and is likely out the door in Texas.  Teams that have shown interest in the veteran slugger are the Angels, Dodgers and Giants.  However, free agency begins at the end of the postseason.

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