Hamilton clarifies comments, says personal issue is chewing tobacco
Josh Hamilton clarified his recent cryptic comments about being disobedient
In late June, Hamilton said he was trying to again to stop using tobacco
Hamilton, who has been in a prolonged slump, talked about disobedience in a pregame interview with reporters last weekend. But Hamilton, whose past struggles with drugs and alcohol are well known, didn't get into specifics. He said then it was frustrating not to be able to share everything.
On Friday, he released a statement in response "to the speculation" since his earlier comments.
"I felt it was important to clarify what the issue was to which I was referring, both personally and professionally. The issue is discipline," his statement read. "Professionally, it's been plate discipline. Personally, it's been being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco."
Hamilton is hitting .201 since June 1, dropping his average 84 points to .284 overall going into Friday night's game at Kansas City. He had 29 home runs and led the majors with 88 RBIs in 96 games.
In late June, Hamilton said he was trying again to stop using tobacco. He said that habit began when he was about 20, about the same time he tried drugs and alcohol for the first time after being the first overall draft pick.
"I was hesitant to address the tobacco once again, because it's an area that I've struggled with trying to quit in the past," Hamilton said in his statement. "I wanted to have some time of success under my belt before addressing again publicly, but feel I haven't been given that option with all of the speculating out there as to what the mystery issue was. But there you have it - discipline."
His statement ended with references to two bible passages, Hebrews 12:4-5 and John 3:30.
"It's unbelievable the speculation that got out there," Hamilton told reporters before Friday's game.
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP who can become a free agent after this season, had an admitted one-night relapse with alcohol during the offseason. It was his second known alcohol-related relapse in three years.
In late June, Hamilton was already starting to slump at the plate and said he was trying to quit tobacco. He said he has been successful so far, even after he quit using toothpicks treated with tea tree oil to help.
"That was just replacing one crutch with another crutch," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he quit in spring training, then started chewing again right before the season began.
The slugger said after having a good two months while dipping, he quit and went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts at home the next day.
"I wanted to get some time under my belt before I actually came out and said it again. I've talked about it forever as far as quitting," he said. "I know a lot of good Christian men who smoke, chew tobacco, whatever, and they lead good lives. I have a great life, but God wants the best absolute life as possible for me. If I have something that's preventing that from happening, he wants it out of the way. So it's a personal opinion issue."
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Avs rally in 3rd period, beat Wild in overtime
Alexander Steen, Blues beat Blackhawks in triple overtime