Josh Hamilton's 'Personal Problem': Chewing Tobacco

Josh Hamilton has been in a two-month slump, and two days ago it was revealed that Hamilton had some sort of “personal problem” that he couldn’t talk about.

This led to all sorts of speculation, but Jon Heyman has the scoop:

Hamilton spoke recently about his disappointment in himself about an undisclosed personal matter, and sources say the tobacco is what he was talking about — and possibly a little bit about his disappointment in not being as disciplined at the plate in recent weeks, too.

Hamilton, in conjunction with the team, is expected to clear this up Friday afternoon, as speculation about much more serious matters had grown rampant since Hamilton lamented a personal issue a few days ago in a local newspaper interview.

Hamilton, who is batting .283 with 29 home runs and 84 RBIs, has slumped since trying to quit chewing tobacco. He has tried several times, according to people close to him.

Heyman reports that the Rangers “aren’t concerned” about this issue, although presumably they’re concerned about Hamilton hitting .201/.282/.391 in 49 games since June 1, after his torrid start.

For his part, Hamilton issued a statement Friday afternoon:

"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."

For more on the Rangers, please visit Lone Star Ball and SB Nation Dallas.

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