Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/14

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

15 Comments:
  • Nolan Ryan is like Jerry Jones a win at all costs. Asshole
  • Nolan Ryan has more class in his little finger than hillbilly jones has or ever will have. don't even go there.
  • Anybody that is a Texas Rangers fan knows that Nolan Ryan wants to win. Josh Hamilton in fact did pick a terrible time to quit his tobacco habit. Yes health is the most important thing, but you must ask yourself "why did Josh decide to quit NOW" instead of at the beginning of the last off season? Then Josh goes out with a mysterious eye problem, that turned out to be bogus. I hope the best for Josh Hamilton in his BIG DOLLAR future, just not with the Rangers.
  • You must stop watching sports if you think they are anything alike.
  • As the season progressed I realized that Josh Hamilton is all about Josh Hamilton. Maybe Nolan Ryan shouldn't have said something out loud even though everyone was thinking the same thing, but the fact of the matter is that baseball is Josh Hamilton's job and he is paid extremely well for doing that job. You would expect Josh to behave like an adult and not do anything that would cause a negative impact on his performance. For example, overdosing on energy drinks. Really? How many do you have to drink before you realize enough is enough. Josh says that he will go wherever God tells him to go...obviously it will be whoever gives him the most money...
  • Well said Nolan. I may sympathise with Josh more if he was working a regular job making $50k a year, but when someone is paying you millions to play a sport, you best get your act together and play your heart out and handle any issues in the offseason - if they are going to create problems during the season.
    And to you Buffalobutt - you obviously know nothing about Nolan Ryan, because comparing the two is totally rediculous. Nice name though...
  • texasranger4 - Great comment. I couldn't have expressed my own feelings any better

    Buffalobutt - very appropriate screen name. Nolan Ryan is the single biggest reason for the Rangers' success in recent years. I have a strong hunch you're an Obama supporter.
  • WOO Hoo now that was funny.......
  • well said Texas Rangers 4. Man is Jerry Jones hated as much as Tom Hicks is? Sure seems like it lately.
  • Ryan should have "mysteriously" put a seasons worth amount of tobacco in Hamiltons locker!!!
  • As a recovering alcoholic with some time of sobriety, I definitely understand Josh's struggles with addiction to anything. That being said, what I don't understand are his methods of trying to control that addictions. He can't live forever with someone to guard him from drinking or drugging. What he really needs to truly recover is 12-step program, either AA or NA. These programs are the only ones that have been proven successful for over 75 years. Josh is what we in AA call a "dry drunk" because he doens't have the tools the program offers to handle the pressures of being a super star player. Dry drunks always end up re-lapsing at some time.

    The Rangers have cottled him and enabled his addictive behavior for the past few years. All the drama he has had - not being obedient to God because he continues to dip, not being able to see the ball because he drinks to many energy drinks, seriously? All that drams is just a symptom of his disease. He is supposedly a leader in the clubhouse and dugout and his actions and attitudes do affect the team. I say the Rangers either get tough with him and get him into some sort of rehab or let him go.
  • Plain and simple....Hamilton is a classic head case and that will continue. The last months he has been a distraction to the team in the clubhouse and on the field...He has been coddled by management and the press....Let him go and same with Ian Kinsler, they drastically pull the club down with their half ass performance.
  • Hamilton is a jerk. He couldn't just quit drinking, drugging and smoking because it would help him, he had to have body guards to stop him. Grow the F up.
    He should have done this during last year's off season; But Noooooo, it was too hard, he had to wait till he was in the season finals.
    Get a grip and get on another team, like some AA club somewhere.
  • The problem was not so much the quitting, but the guilt of not quitting or continuing to do what he thought and termed "a sin"...my advice for him is the read Romans 8:1 over and over and over as he's walking to the plate..." There is now therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus." Does that take away the potential consequences of dipping, healthwise? Absolutely not...but as for the more burdensome sin aspect that dominates his thinking, you are now free to swing away...just not at every first pitch regardless of location...Amen to that.
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