C.J. Wilson shows up Ron Washington, second classless move of the season



I haven’t watched as much baseball as in years past, but I happened to be watching when Texas Rangers “closer” C.J. Wilson made two Busch League moves.  The latest came Tuesday night when Wilson showed blatant disrespect for Rangers manager Ron Washington in the team’s 8-6 win over the New York Yankees.

But let’s go back to Sunday July 13, in a game between the Rangers and the Chicago White Sox.  Wilson entered that game in a non-save situation with the Rangers leading 12-8.  Jim Thome smacked one of Wilson’s so called meatball pitch over the fence making the score 12-11 and causing White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to start taunting Wilson from the dugout.  Wilson then “closed” the game and threw his arms up in a “how you like me now?” fashion.

As a fan I was upset that a guy who almost blew a 4 run lead would show that type of emotion after a performance like that.  Wipe your brow, point to God, anything, but don’t act like you retired the side in order.

Now fast forward to Tuesday night, when Wilson started warming in the 7th inning with the score 5-2.  A three-run triple by Chris Davis gave the Rangers a 6 run lead before Wilson entered in the top of the 8th.  Wilson proceeded to walk two batters, hit A-Rod, and eventually gave up a grand slam to .226 hitting Richie Sexon.  C.J. glared at manager Ron Washington as he made his way out to remove him from the game.  Then something weird happened.

Washington grabbed Wilson’s arm and made him come back to the mound.  I saw Wilson come back and hand the ball to his manager and assumed he was so mad that he forgot to give Washington the ball.  It was still odd for Washington to put his hands on a player in that fashion, but I would later find out what stirred the baseball man to that course of action.

wilson-wash.jpgWilson actually threw/tossed the ball at Washington as evidenced in the picture to the left.  The television cameras didn’t really pick up the incident and the Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve didn’t really say much about it on the broadcast.   It makes sense: if Wilson was going to pout like a child, Washington was right in treating him like one and making him hand the ball over like a big boy.

Wilson has gotten a pass all year for his lackluster performance as a closer.  His save numbers are decent, but his ERA is a sky high 6.02.  And even when looking at his save ratio it doesn’t account for the non-save games he entered that became save situations because of his poor pitching.

Because he’s a cool dude, plays guitar, and talks to the media he hasn’t caught a lot of heat for his play.  But to date, Wilson has accomplished nothing in the majors and didn’t even win the closing job it was given to him.  You might have to look the other way if Mariano Rivera tossed the ball at his 2nd year manager, but not C.J. Wilson.

Marlon Byrd noticed Wilson’s actions.  “I didn’t like it one bit,” Byrd told the Dallas Morning News.  “…when the manger comes out to get you, you hand him the ball and show him the respect he deserves.”  After pulling this team out of the toilet -and getting no credit for it- I think Washington has earned more that a stunt like Wilson’s.

We all get upset and we all take it a bit too far sometimes.  But in the game of baseball, it’s always the little things that matter most.  An overblown celebration or tossing the ball at a manager may seem like a little, but they are often signs of a player that’s not right.  C.J. Wilson is not right, and he needs to think about his actions as of late.

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