Ryan: Hamilton kicked habit at wrong time

Josh Hamilton said in June that he was attempting to stop his use of chewing tobacco. The process wasn’t an easy one for the 2010 AL MVP and it Rangers president Nolan Ryan believes it affected his play.

According to a recent radio interview, Nolan said Hamilton picked the wrong time to stop his habit.

“His timing on quitting smokeless tobacco couldn’t have been worse,” Ryan said Tuesday on 103.3 KESN-FM in Dallas. “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 when he did quit, you’d have liked him to have taken a different approach to that.”

“So those issues caused unrest, and it’s unfortunate that that happened and the timing was such as it was,” Ryan said.

After hitting 21 homers and driving in 57 runs through the first two months of the season, Hamilton only hit eight homers and drove in 27 runs during June and July. His numbers picked up in August before plummeting again. He then ended the year with only two hits in his final four games.