Skip to content

Josh Hamilton reveals “mystery issue” is chewing tobacco

Aug 3, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Josh Hamilton AP AP

Josh Hamilton has yet to reveal the nature of the mystery issue he’s repeatedly made cryptic comments about for the past week, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the former MVP’s inability to quit chewing tobacco is the source.

Hamilton unsuccessfully tried to quit last year and then went public with a follow-up effort last month, but apparently it didn’t take.

Considering how open he’s been about the chewing tobacco habit in the past it seems a little odd that he’d be so cryptic about the situation this time around, particularly since his comments led to speculation about a variety of potential off-field issues and caused both manager Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels to address the situation.

Here’s the initial Hamilton comments that started all the rumors and speculation last week:

I’ve been shown a lot of things over the past week. There’s disobedience and there’s obedience to God. I’ve been being disobedient. It may be a small thing to you, but it’s a big thing to him. There’s consequences. It’s like a father and a kid. There are disciplines. You guys can chew on that and think about it.

I suppose “you guys can chew on that” was a hint. Or maybe not. And then last night Hamilton declined to reveal any details, saying “people are not going to understand” and “it’s nobody’s business.”

Hamilton has been in an extended slump at the plate, going from the best player in baseball early this season to hitting just .201 with 59 strikeouts and a .674 OPS in 49 games since June 1 and .178 since July 1. He’s shown some signs of life recently, going 2-for-5 with four RBIs last night and 6-for-19 (.316) with three extra-base hits in his last four games.

UPDATE: Hamilton issued the following statement:

Due to the speculation that occurred from my recent 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.” Professionally, it’s been plate discipline. Personally, it’s been being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco. 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. 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. Hebrews 12:4-5 and John 3:30.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM

    Jul 1, 2015, 8:07 AM EDT

    Jerry Dipoto Jerry Dipoto

    It seems that if you battle with Mike Scioscia, you’re going to lose.

  2. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 1, 2015, 7:31 AM EDT

    Mike Montgomery Getty Images

    Shutouts are rare in baseball these days. M’s rookie Mike Montgomery has two in a row.

  3. Manny Banuelos expected to make MLB debut Thursday

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    banuelos getty Getty Images

    Banuelos has rebuilt some of his early-career hype this summer with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, Georgia, posting 2.29 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 82 2/3 innings (15 starts).

  4. Video: Dee Gordon hit a three-run inside-the-parker

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:26 PM EDT

    dee gordon getty Getty Images

    Watch as Dee Gordon belts a ball into the right-center field gap and turns on the jets …

  5. Padres recall Jedd Gyorko from AAA El Paso

    Jun 30, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    Jedd Gyorko AP

    Gyorko was optioned to the minors on June 10 after batting .210/.282/.311 over his first 131 plate appearances …

  6. Matt Cain to make 2015 debut on Thursday

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    Matt Cain AP

    Tim Lincecum will be placed on the disabled list with a forearm bruise to open a rotation spot.

  7. The Chicago Sun-Times wants Ozzie Guillen to manage the White Sox again

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT

    ozzie_guillen_090817

    Let us use this column to talk a bit about how rumors got started back in the day and how they get started now.

  8. Sonny Gray scratched due to illness

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Sonny Gray Sonny Gray

    Chris Bassitt will start in his place.

  9. Daniel Murphy returns from disabled list, Mets send Dilson Herrera back to minors

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:31 PM EDT

    Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda AP

    No one is quite sure when All-Star third baseman David Wright will be back.

  10. The lineup card for A-Rod’s 3,000th hit game is up to $810 at MLB Auctions

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:48 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

    Not that anyone really wants you to know it’s up for bid.

  11. Eugene, Oregon’s Historic Civic Stadium burns to the ground

    Jun 30, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Eugene Emeralds

    The old park housed the Eugene Emeralds until 2009

  12. Huston Street says he’d retire if he was used like a 1970s-style fireman

    Jun 30, 2015, 11:26 AM EDT

    huston street

    I’d like to tell you a story about bullpen history and a young man named Tony La Russa.

  13. Brian Dozier is the best second baseman in baseball

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Brian Dozier Twins Getty Images

    The majority of the baseball-watching world hasn’t seemed to notice yet.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Matz (3995)
  2. B. Harper (3843)
  3. H. Ramirez (3724)
  4. J. Hamilton (3637)
  5. G. Stanton (3306)
  1. M. Moore (2944)
  2. Y. Puig (2858)
  3. J. Ellsbury (2555)
  4. F. Freeman (2554)
  5. M. Cain (2492)