Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan has come out and stated that the decision to quit smokeless tobacco this summer made by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton “couldn’t have been worse” recently on an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company. Ryan then went on to say:
“You would’ve liked to have thought that if he was going to do that, that he would’ve done it in the off-season or waited until this off-season to do it.”
Both the Rangers and Hamilton have concurred that his struggles with quitting tobacco may have had something to do with his struggles at the plate, however to criticize a man for attempting to rid himself of a health hazardous habit is truly reprehensible and out of bounds or in this case foul.
I for one am not bashing Ryan’s knowledge of anything relating to baseball, after all the man is a Hall-of-Famer, threw an MLB record seven no-hitters and is arguably one of the five greatest hurlers to ever play the game but what I am questioning here are not only his people skills but also his level of compassion for a fellow human being.
To have the audacity to criticize or even question someone for attempting to better their self in any shape, form or fashion especially when it regards a health conscientious decision to me is inexcusable and deplorable. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when I listened to the words come right out of Ryan’s mouth; a man who I once looked at with admiration for being so great on the diamond for years.
The Rangers have also come out and said as an organization that they would offer the soon-to-be free agent Hamilton a contract prior to the free agency period which is set to begin following the final game of the World Series and will wait and see what happens during that time.
If I were Hamilton I wouldn’t even want to go back to Texas following these developments because Ryan knows better than anyone about Hamilton’s past with drugs and alcohol and for him to make senseless comments regarding him quitting tobacco is just out right insensitive.
Josh Hamilton go out and test the free agency market willing and sans regret there will be plenty of teams out there who will pay you handsomely for your services. By the way when you do get a chance to play Texas in the future for another ball club, show them exactly how insensitive they were and how much of a mistake they made by letting you walk.