Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/10/12

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

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