{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Strasburg plans to quit chewing tobacco

|
Strasburg plans to quit chewing tobacco play video for Strasburg plans to quit chewing tobacco

MILWAUKEE -- This past Friday, a day before Tony Gwynn's funeral, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg pitched six innings and allowed four runs on nine hits during the team's 6-4 loss to the Braves.

Asked on Monday if he was pitching with a heavy heart, Strasburg said, "I'm not going to sit there and make excuses. He wasn't that type of guy either."

Strasburg was disappointed that he wasn't able to attend Gwynn's funeral on Saturday.

"I thought there was an outside chance I would be able to fly home and attend the private service that they had on Saturday," Strasburg said. "There was no possible way. It kind of sucked not being able to be there for it."

Gwynn's funeral was held at San Diego State University, and Strasburg was happy to hear that so many people attended the service at his alma mater.

"He was such an unbelievable person, human being. I mean he touched so many lives. Not only in the San Diego area, but all of baseball," Strasburg said. "One of the things that I really enjoyed watching him as a kid was, he was intense out there on the field, but he always cracked a smile. You could see that everyone was drawn to him. Given a chance to know him on a personal level, you could see how could brighten everyone's day. When we weren't playing well, he always had a smile on his face."

During Monday's interview, Strasburg was chewing tobacco. Gwynn believed chewing tobacco was the reason he developed salivary gland cancer. Strasburg said he plans to quit chewing tobacco for the sake of his daughter.

Strasburg said he started chewing tobacco long before he started playing for Gwynn at San Diego State. Strasburg said he didn't know that Gwynn dipped.

"I think it's a disgusting habit, looking back on it," Strasburg said. "I was pretty naive when I started. Just doing it here and there, I didn't think it was going to be such an addiction. … Bottom line is, I want to be around for my family. This is something that can affect people the rest of your life. [Chewing tobacco is] so prevalent in this game. It's something we all kind of grew up doing."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español