Fans of the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers are all too familiar with the double-edged sword that is C.J. Wilson. His sharp slider, tough fastball and uncanny ability to get out of jams are just a few of the reasons that he signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Halos in 2012.
The flip side with Wilson is what gets him into those jams in the first place. On his off days, his location is unpredictable, leading to the occasional, interminably long inning that cuts some of his starts short. In 2012, this sloppiness gave him 91 walks and an average of less than six innings pitched per start, not what you want to see out of your no. 2 pitcher.
So when Wilson blamed “slick” baseballs for his location problems in his last start, his complaints had a bit of a boy-crying-wolf feel to them. Sure, some of those balls may have been slick and not “pre-rubbed” (as all game balls typically are so to satisfy pitchers) but isn’t it more likely that the lefty just had another bad day on the mound?
Manager Mike Scioscia also cried foul despite umpire crew chief Ted Barrett insisting that there was nothing wrong with the balls, but every Angel fan knows that Mike never hesitates to involve his portly presence whenever a dispute arises.
Silly complaints like Wilson’s are not what the Angels need. They need to close the book on a disappointing 2013 and look ahead to the future, not get caught up in mud-rubbing and petty complaints.