Don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming in here to take up for C.J. Wilson. The dude has long been a clown who this year in spring training pissed off his teammates with his hot political views. And last night, flipping the ball to your manager and walking off the mound in a dismissive manner was, exactly as Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels phrased it, “disrespectful and unacceptable”.
But there’s a deeper, more troubling problem in Arlington than a cocky, insubordinate closer shelved with bone spurs. Fact is, this is just the latest example of the Rangers continually misjudging, misusing and simply missing on pitching talent.
This, like Monday, should be a time for rare Rangers’ revelry. They are six games over .500 for the first time since June 2006, they make their season national TV debut on ESPN tonight against the Yankees and they are actually beginning sniff a wild-card race.
But the bungling of Wilson is just the latest example that the organization is clueless when it comes to pitching – in all phases. Firing pitching coach Mark Connor last week just has to be a step in the right direction. So does the addition of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as team president.
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But monkeying with Wilson’s mechanics, sending him out in the 8th inning of a blowout, watching him give up a grand slam and then – presto! – immediately revealing he has bone spurs that will require a trip to the disabled list and possibly season-ending surgery shows the franchise’s fundamental flaw. Wilson has sucked since June 1, when his ERA has been hovering around 6.00.
Either he has been hiding his injury from an inept medical staff, or the Rangers have been over-extending Wilson in hopes of catapulting into the playoff hunt.
Just add it to the list. Whether it’s trading Chris Young, signing Chan Ho Park, pissing off Kenny Rogers, giving up on Edinson Volquez or mismanaging Wilson, the Rangers continue their miserable mastery of ditching pitchers.
Kudos to Ron Washington for yanking Wilson back on the mound and making the pitcher leave in a professional manner. It’s the best handling of a Rangers’ pitcher I’ve seen in a long time. -- Richie Whitt