During an interview with MLB.com about the passing of his former college coach Tony Gwynn, Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was chewing tobacco.
But Gwynn's death has made Strasburg determined to quit. Gwynn died last week from salivary-gland cancer, and he believed his use of chewing tobacco was the reason.
"I think it's a disgusting habit, looking back on it," Strasburg told MLB.com. "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."
Strasburg said he had started the habit before going to San Diego State to play for Gwynn, a 15-time All-Star with 3,141 hits and a .338 average.
Another of Gwynn's former players, Arizona Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed, also plans to quit chewing.
"It started to get bad my first year in pro ball and it's one of those things where I've always done it," Reed told MLB.com. "I'd come to the field and throw one in and have multiple ones. I'd have one on the ride home, one on the way to the field and it was one of those things where I always had one with me.
"These five days have been kind of rough, but I think it's something that's doable."