Nolan Ryan Wishes Josh Hamilton Waited Until Offseason to Attempt to Quit Smokeless Tobacco

Nolan Ryan Wishes Josh Hamilton Waited Until Offseason to Attempt to Quit Smokeless TobaccoNolan Ryan doesn't think that Josh Hamilton quit on his team, but the Texas Rangers president wishes Hamilton had waited until the offseason to quit something else.

The Texas Rangers were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs after two straight World Series appearances, and Hamilton's time in Texas may be over.

He's set to enter free agency, and he will be one of the most intriguing offseason stories.

The Rangers have indicated that they're going to let Hamilton test the market, and it will be interesting to see what Hamilton is able to get, given his checkered past. He may have also hurt his value after faltering down the stretch.

That late-season dip may be attributed to Hamilton's attempt to quit, well, dipping. Hamilton's attempt to quit smokeless tobacco was widely publicized as is everything Hamilton does away from the field. He addressed the attempt to quit in early August, as his game was suffering. Hamilton hit just .252 with 18 home runs and 55 RBIs from July 1 until the end of the season. That was after he hit .319 with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs in 72 games through June. 

With the season now over, Ryan is wishing Hamilton waited until the end of the season to try and do away with dip. 

"His timing on quitting smokeless tobacco couldn't have been worse," Ryan said, according to ESPN.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 when he did quit, you'd have liked that he would've taken a different approach to that. So those issues that are created that caused unrest, and it's unfortunate that it happened and the timing was such as it was."

However, Ryan wasn't willing to say that Hamilton quit on the season or anything like that.

"If he would have gotten a couple of hits in those key situations or if he hadn't dropped that ball in Oakland, would people be saying that?" Ryan said. "No, they wouldn't be saying that. It didn't look good. But do I think he quit? I have no reason to think he quit. It didn't go well. It didn't look good and only Josh knows what was in his heart and what was in his mind." 

Hamilton had a real forgettable final week of the season, too. He made a crucial error on the final day of the season that helped Oakland defeat Texas and win the AL West. That loss forced the Rangers to the one-game wild card playoff, which they lost to the Baltimore Orioles. That was another rough game for Hamilton, who went 0-for-4 and heard boos from Rangers fans in what could have been his last game with the club.

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