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C.J. Wilson complains that the Athletics play “lawyer ball”

May 10, 2011, 3:03 PM EDT

C.J. Wilson

C.J. Wilson did not have a good game last night. He only allowed two hits — one was a three-run homer, sadly — but he walked five Athletics while giving up five runs in seven innings.  Based on his postgame comments, it would seem that the walks got to him a bit:

“It’s like obviously no one sets out there to go walk guys, and I haven’t been doing that lately. It’s just only against their team that I do that. They take everything close. If it’s not called a strike, then they walk. It’s lawyer ball. That’s how they roll.  That’s how they’re going to beat me. That’s how they have to beat me. I have to make a bunch of mistakes and walk a bunch of guys because they’re not that good of a hitting team. The whole game was frustrating.’’

Lawyer ball? Bah!  Lawyer ball would be way less fun that that. It would involve tasseled loafers and 18 sociopaths throwing out awful expressions like “he has proved too much,” “accordingly,” and “is on all-fours with …”  Ghastly business, that lawyer ball.  This was just a case of Wilson having terrible control.

(thanks to reader handsfour for the heads up)

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    This should have had the headline “The dumbest thing you will read today”.

    • Joe - May 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      You are referring to your own comment, right?

  2. aleskel - May 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    my impression is that lawyer ball involves challenging every ball-strike call on procedural grounds

  3. Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Would an actual game be played if there was such a thing? I imagine the rules would be litigated for a century before the first game was ever played.

    • rebarratige - May 10, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      The teams would spend several months and a few million dollars negotiating an out-of-ballpark settlement, making the game itself unnecessary.

  4. andrewf16 - May 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    “If it’s not called a strike, then they walk.”

    Well… yes, C.J., that’s how it works.

  5. spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Lawyer Ball wouldn’t work. A manager couldn’t make the lineup right; “Your Out of Order”, “No Your Out of Order” etc.

  6. jwbiii - May 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    I enjoyed Shyster Ball.

    • aceshigh11 - May 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM


  7. aceshigh11 - May 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    What an inane complaint.

    Now the A’s know they’re in your head, dude. Bad move. They’re going to torment you from here on out now.

  8. baseballisboring - May 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Well. They do have a good enough offense to score 5 runs off of you…means something doesn’t it? Walking is a part of offense…

    I don’t think I like this guy.

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - May 10, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    If only the rules of baseball had some provision that allowed a pitcher to influence whether or not a pitch would be a called strike. But alas, he must stand helpless on his hill, and await his fortune, incapable of influencing the seas of fate.

  10. ezwriter69 - May 10, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Even the best lawyers only get 1000 an hour or so, ARod is making roughly 150K a game, or about 30K an hour counting pregame and travel to and from the park…

    • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Five hours for travel to and from, pregame and the game itself for the Yankers? Closer to five hours for the game itself.

  11. bklynbaseball - May 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Hey CJ – here’ s novel idea – THROW STRIKES.

  12. oikosjeremy - May 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Yeah, the rule that four balls is a walk is an obscure, rarely-enforced, picky technicality. Only a lawyer would know it, or be unscrupulous enough to take advantage of it. C. J. Wilson is the new George Brett, and walks are the new pine tar bat.

  13. RichinNJ - May 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Everyone complains about lawyers…until they need one…then they complain about them even more.

    • jwbiii - May 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      Try going without a lawyer when you should have one. It’s much cheaper to pay the guy (or gal) with the absurdly expensive shoes.

  14. besnoah - May 10, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    I know he only completed 7, but he came out and started the 8th, so that’s 8 billable innings, right?

  15. tomemos - May 10, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    No one here seems to have noticed that “lawyer ball” is from Episode 1 of King of the Hill. See the first few minutes of this video:

  16. brianc6234 - May 11, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    I used to work with someone who had a son who went to school with this clown. She really hated him. He’s still a big mouthed loser. I dont think I’ve read one classy comment from him. Whenever he opens his mouth something stupid comes out.

    • handsfour - May 11, 2011 at 4:02 AM

      A recent SI article said “Players who knew Wilson in the minors describe him in terms usually reserved for serial killers: aloof, solitary, standoffish” and “seemingly went out of his way to depict his fellow players as selfish, ignorant and politically indifferent.” This article was fawning over Wilson and still made him look, yeah, big-mouthed, classless, and full of himself.

      Dude’s so impressed with his “straight edge” morals; here I thought morals included accountability and admitting shortcomings…

  17. handsfour - May 11, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    Cool, a mention on HBT! 😀
    After posting the link to Wilson’s comments on the ATH thread, I kicked myself for not specifically pointing out the priceless “lawyer ball” bit, on this site of all places. Glad Craig found it and ran with it!

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