KANSAS CITY -- Josh Hamilton is trying to quit dipping and chewing smokeless tobacco again. He started when he was 20 and has been trying to quit for the past few years. He goes back and forth with the habit.
But, as of now, he is quitting again and that was the "obedience" issue that he alluded to earlier this week while talking about his struggles at the plate.
"I understand that tobacco is just another addiction and another way to mask feelings," Hamilton said. "I don't want to do anything that can mask feelings. It's only going to make me a better teammate, family man, father ... growing in that area is something I want to do."
Hamilton suggested earlier this week that part of his struggles stem from being "disobedient" in the eyes of the Lord. He did not specify how he had been disobedient and that led to rampant suggestions and speculation on the internet.
So on Friday, Hamilton felt compelled to issue a statement to clarify what he meant.
"The issue is 'discipline'." Hamilton said. "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."
Hamilton entered Friday's game with six hits in his last 19 at-bats. He had a four-RBI night in a 15-9 victory over the Angels on Thursday.