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C.J. Wilson ready for boos in showdown with Yu Darvish

May 11, 2012, 2:08 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

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.

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  1. storebrandcookies - May 11, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    A big Ranger’s fan here and this is going to be the biggest pitching matchup of the year thus far. The Ranger’s former ace vs. the soon-to-be ace in Darvish. Going to be a good series overall.

  2. slumdog66 - May 11, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    As a Angels fan agree. Let the games begin!

  3. angrycorgi - May 11, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    “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.”

    Ummm…some people booed him in the postseason when he was a starter. He was awful as a RP and for some reason lost his stuff in the playoffs as a SP.

  4. randygnyc - May 11, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I’ll watch the Yankees on the big screen, but will most certainly have this on MLB.tv. This is a must see match up.

  5. dirkified - May 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I remember EVERY playoff game he played in last season, he got booed. He lost every game as well. I happy to see this choke artist go!. CJ is a good pitcher, but WAY overrated. I hope it rains out tonight so I can watch a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon in person!!

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