Josh Hamilton is an MLB superstar who made his way to the top after battling drug abuse earlier in his career. He rose to fame with the Texas Rangers after winning the battle and he’s now tracking down fly balls for the Los Angeles Angels.
This past Tuesday, Hamilton was reportedly spotted removing a wad of chewing tobacco from his mouth by the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
It appears that Hamilton is picking back up one of his bad habits, but he wasn’t too thrilled about the situation when speaking to reporters.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hamilton said, according to Fox Sports. “It could be anything. It could be one of those protein bars. Is this really a story?”
The incident comes at the wrong time for the Angels as they’re trying to climb back into the playoff race in the American League. The “halos” are currently 8 1/2 games back in the AL West with a 41-44 record.
Josh Hamilton’s power numbers haven’t fallen off too much since his move to Los Angeles, but his average has dropped to .226. It’s the lowest of his career, but the team has been playing better as of late and he’s picked up the pace as well.
Hamilton is currently on a nine-game hitting streak which includes one home run and six RBIs. During that time, his average has grown from .214 to .226 and if he keeps swinging the bat well his numbers will surely keep rising.
Nevertheless, he’s not even close to his production with the Rangers in the past. In 2012, Hamilton hit .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs in his last season in Texas.
The pressure behind his huge move to Los Angeles has disappeared as of late, but his reported chewing tobacco incident could bring it all back into play.
He’s been a role model for fans across the nation since his return to baseball, but second guessing comes naturally to those involved in the game. Whether he was actually chewing tobacco or not is one thing, but the thought of it will surely leave a sour taste in the mouth’s of his supporters.
Do you think Josh Hamilton is being wrongly scrutinized for his reported actions before Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals?
[Image via Keith Allison]