Josh Hamilton on His End of Season Struggle: “I quit chewing tobacco, plain and simple”.

December 21, 2012 – 10:45 am by Chris Fedor

For the second straight year, the Los Angeles Angels acquired Major League Basbeall’s biggest offseason prize. Last year it was Albert Pujols and this year it’s Josh Hamilton. With their two moves in the last two years, Los Angeles now has two of the game’s best hitters to try to make their return to postseason baseball. Even though Hamilton’s talent is undeniable, the Angles are taking a risk signing him to such a pricey contract, especially given his history of problems away from the diamond. As long as Hamilton doesn’t have another relapse, the Angels will have the most potent offense in baseball with the trio of Hamilton, Pujols and MVP runner-up Mike Trout leading the charge.

Josh Hamilton joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about whether the way he was treated by fans this past season played into him leaving Texas, what happened with him at the end of the season, why he chose the Angels, if he thinks going to a new environment like Los Angeles could create problems for him, whether he gave the Rangers a chance to counter the Angels offer and if the Mariners were as interested as they appeared.

Whether the way he was treated by Texas fans had anything to do with his decision to sign with the Angels:

“No. It’s one of those things I think it’s fans. They get used to a player playing one way and I started off the season really hot and maybe their expectations got a little unrealistic. They have a right to boo, cuss me or do whatever they want to do because they pay to come see me play the game. You hope that your home fans don’t do that but they do. If I go to the Angels here and I don’t start well then I’m sure I will get booed and it doesn’t bother me, but when you think about baseball cities or baseball towns you don’t think of Ranger fans booing their players. If it’s the Yankees, Boston, the Cubs or the towns that eat, sleep or breathe baseball it’s a little different story and you can understand it but it was a little bit of a shock. It really didn’t bug me.”

What happened to him at the end of the season that caused some struggles:

“I quit chewing tobacco, plain and simple. To think it doesn’t have an effect on your physical, mental, I’ve been chewing for almost 11 or 12 years but I knew I needed to do it during the season because if I could do it during the season around guys doing it all the time I knew I would be okay. (Host: You have withdrawls?) Physically just for about a week until it is out of your system but you know if I was playing baseball I had a chew in my mouth so mental things that you have to get through and get over. I went out, played hard every night and did the best I could.”

Why he picked the Angels:

“I didn’t do it to upset anybody or get back at anybody with it being the Angels. I just prayed about it with my wife and just felt like God was leading us to go there. We had peace about the whole situation. To think any different about, since I became a follower of Christ and had that relationship there since I was out of baseball and suspended and when I came back to baseball, he guides every step that I take and to think that I wouldn’t do that now with one of the biggest decisions of my life or my families’ life would be kind of, I don’t know, he’s my guide, period.”

If he is concerned about putting himself in an environment like Los Angeles given his past issues:

“No there is no concern there Dan. If I’m going to get in trouble I’m going to get in trouble, period. In 2009 when I had the relapse we just said ‘okay it was a slip-up’ and we moved on. Then this last one, this past January, we said ‘okay what happens to allow me to get back to this point?’ I spent a lot of time in prayer and God showed me. He said ‘you take one day without spending time with me and it turns into a week and then it turns into two or three and then it turns into a month and then you start shutting down with the people around you, your support system who love you and you start having thoughts of doing what you want to do as opposed to doing what I want you to do.”

Whether he gave the Rangers a chance to counter the Angels offer:

“I never promised them a chance to counter. I gave them the first shot when the season was over. They didn’t take the first shot. (Host: Are you offended by that?) No, I’m not. If I let little things offend me like media stuff and me being comfortable with who I am and in Christ now, it makes dealing with people very easy. I understand they thought I was comfortable there and I wouldn’t go anywhere, like they’d be alright and they’d have plenty of time to sign me and it was a mistake on their part. They let us get to the winter meetings, meet with other teams and we did that and as far as my wife and I, we wanted to go out there and give it an honest shot of ‘okay let’s see where the Lord is going to lead us’ and we found out.”

If the Mariners showed a strong interest:

“No, not really. They were just like some other teams. (Host: Did the Yankees go after you?) Possibly. I have to answer questions sometimes like you guys ask questions.”

Listen to Josh Hamilton on The Dan Patrick Show here

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