May 11, 2012, 2:08 AM EDT
C.J. Wilson didn’t leave the Texas Rangers on the best of terms last winter.
The then-free agent left-hander was perturbed about the lack of interest from the Rangers, left to sign with their AL West rival Los Angeles Angels, then watched his former team dump $107 million on highly-touted Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish.
Then Wilson stoked the fire by getting into a Twitter tiff with former teammate Mike Napoli during spring training. In response to Napoli saying he wanted to hit a home run off Wilson, the pitcher tweeted Napoli’s phone number to his 100,000-plus followers.
So naturally, it will be Wilson and Darvish on the mound tonight when the Rangers and Angels face each other in Arlington for the first time this season. Talk about a juicy matchup. It would be tough to plan it any better.
Of course Wilson is doing his best to downplay the matchup, stressing to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he’s not facing Darvish, he’s facing the Rangers lineup, and “it’s not emotional for me – it’s baseball, it’s a sport, it’s my job.”
He’s also smart enough to realize he’s probably not going to receive a pleasant welcome from the Rangers faithful.
“We’ll be playing in front of a huge crowd in a stadium that’s relatively hostile to our team, and I’m sure it will be fairly hostile to me,” Wilson said. “I think a lot of people will boo me. Hey, some of them booed me while I was there when I was a reliever.”
As for Napoli, he’s also taking a low-key, off-field-stuff-doesn’t-matter approach, with one small exception: “But I will try to hit a home run off him.”
Should be fun.
- Brad Ausmus receives a vote of confidence from new Tigers general manager Al Avila 6
- Title or no title, Dave Dombrowski’s tenure in Detroit was a success 20
- Dave Dombrowski out as Tigers General Manager, team president; Al Avila takes over 56
- Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez, John Gibbons disciplined in the wake of Sunday’s plunkings 69
- Believe the hype: Carlos Correa is already a superstar 34
- Gregg Zaun to Yordano Ventura: “stop writing checks with your mouth that your skinny ass can’t cash” 93
- And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights 55
- Adrian Beltre needs just five innings for the third cycle of his career 16
- The benches cleared in Friday’s Giants-Rangers game (208)
- Blue Jays acquire David Price from the Tigers (113)
- Rangers land ace left-hander Cole Hamels from Phillies (106)
- Gregg Zaun to Yordano Ventura: “stop writing checks with your mouth that your skinny ass can’t cash” (95)
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights (88)