Hamilton: I’m struggling to quit tobacco

Texas Rangers All-Star Josh Hamilton, who has talked about being disobedient to the Lord but failing to explain the details, on Friday explained what he had done.

Hamilton has had a problem kicking his smokeless tobacco habit.

In a statement released Friday, Hamilton said he has an “issue” was with discipline — professionally at the plate and personally with 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,” Hamilton said. “I wanted to have some time of success ‘under my belt’ before addressing it 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.”

In talking with the media last weekend, Hamilton hinted at a mysterious issue when he said, “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.”

Hamilton refused to elaborate at the time but said everything would be fine and he would talk about it later.

Hamilton tried to quit using smokeless tobacco at the end of June, opting to use toothpicks coated in tea-tree oil.

Hamilton, who was the American League player of the month in April and May, slumped in June and July. He hit .223 in June and only .177 in July as he was briefly dropped from the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Hamilton had four RBI on Thursday in the Rangers’ 15-9 win over the Angels, giving him 10 RBI during the homestand.

After the game, he shot down rumors about what might be going on in his life.

“People are not going to understand; I’ll share more later,” he said. “It’s out there that my marriage is falling apart and people are trying to figure out what’s going on, but it’s nobody’s business. When I want you to know, I’ll let you know.”

Friday was that day.