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. Mets reliever Jerry Blevins has a fractured left forearm

    Apr 19, 2015, 4:01 PM EDT

    blevins getty Getty Images

    Brutal news here for the NL East-leading Mets.

  2. Video: Jon Lester throws entire glove to first base for out

    Apr 19, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

    jon lester getty Getty Images

    Jon Lester appears to have found a solution for his problems making throws to first base …

  3. Video: Down on the Farm with Kris Bryant

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    kris bryant

    There’s so much gold in this new Red Bull spot for Cubs rookie third baseman Kris Bryant …

  4. Yasiel Puig out Sunday with lingering hamstring injury

    Apr 19, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    yasiel puig getty Getty Images

    Puig, who boasts an .886 through 34 plate appearances, is considered day-to-day.

  5. Carlos Carrasco to return to Indians’ rotation Tuesday

    Apr 19, 2015, 12:41 PM EDT

    carlos carrasco getty Getty Images

    Carrasco was lucky to avoid a serious injury. These reschedulings seem to be completely precautionary.

  6. Nationals activate Denard Span, option Michael Taylor

    Apr 19, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT

    span getty Getty Images

    Span underwent surgery for a sports hernia in December and then needed a followup procedure for a core muscle injury in early March.

  7. Giants receive their 2014 World Series championship rings

    Apr 19, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    giants ring

    It’s been a rough first couple of weeks for the 2015 Giants, who sit in last place in the National League West with a record of 4-9 and a -21 run differential. But they got to do some celebrating Saturday night …

  8. Angels activate Garrett Richards for Sunday debut

    Apr 19, 2015, 10:18 AM EDT

    garrett richards getty Getty Images

    This will be the first start for Richards since he tore the patellar tendon in his left knee last August in Boston.

  9. Video: Jason Heyward’s first Cardinals homer

    Apr 19, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT

    heyward getty Getty Images

    Jason Heyward hit his first home run as a member of the Cardinals on Saturday in St. Louis …

  10. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Apr 19, 2015, 8:33 AM EDT

    degrom getty Getty Images

    Mark down seven straight wins for the Mets, who will try for a four-game Citi Field sweep of the Marlins on Sunday afternoon behind staff ace Matt Harvey.

  11. Rays designate Grant Balfour for assignment

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:26 PM EDT

    Grant Balfour Grant Balfour

    Grant Balfour was designated for assignment following a disastrous Saturday night against the Yankees.

  12. Joe Nathan throws off a mound for the first time since suffering an elbow injury

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joe Nathan Joe Nathan

    Joe Nathan could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday.

  13. A fun story involving Terry Francona and his dad Tito

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Terry Francona Terry Francona

    If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you’ll want to read this story involving Indians manager Terry Francona and his dad Tito.

  14. Video: Watch Kris Bryant get his first major league hit and RBI

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    Kris Bryant Kris Bryant

    Kris Bryant, one of baseball’s top prospects, earned his first major league hit and RBI on Saturday afternoon against the Padres.

  15. Yordano Ventura ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:16 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura

    More drama involving the Athletics and Royals.

  16. There’s some drama about Brett Lawrie apologizing to Alcides Escobar

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Brett Lawrie Brett Lawrie

    Did Brett Lawrie apologize to Alcides Escobar for his hard slide in Friday’s game between the Athletics and Royals? We’re not sure.

  17. Ryan Braun is batting leadoff for the first time in his career

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Ryan Braun Getty Images

    Ryan Braun will lead off for the first time in his career in Saturday’s game against the Pirates.

  18. Giants place Jake Peavy on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Jake Peavy Jake Peavy

    Jake Peavy is dealing with lower back issues.

  19. UPDATE: Billy Hamilton is day-to-day with right groin soreness

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTc5MTIzY2UzNzg2NGNhZTI2ODExODRkZDlmOWViMmVm Getty Images

    Hamilton suffered the injury beating out an infield single in the eighth inning.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4573)
  2. D. Span (4059)
  3. D. Salazar (3871)
  4. A. Rodriguez (3598)
  5. Y. Puig (3505)