Tag: C.J. Wilson

baseball grass

In the wake of Deflategate, Major League Baseball announces new ball security measures


It strikes me that, on occasion, MLB will tweak the NFL if the opportunity arises.

Nothing major. Nothing that could be perceived as harmful or piling on. But if the NFL has a P.R. issue that doesn’t involve life, death or serious matters, one gets the impression that MLB will at least smirk about for a bit. Not so much out of insecurity as out of institutional memory of the NFL making a big, big point of pointing at baseball’s problems back in the PED days and before. They won’t make a big thing out of it because, hey, tomorrow they may be the ones with the P.R. issue, but they pay attention to these things.

According to this story, Major League Baseball has been considering changing its ball-handling procedures for a while. But in the wake of yesterday’s Deflategate discipline and the subsequent criticism the NFL and the Patriots have taken as a result, stories like these may get that smirk machine going again:

Major League Baseball pumped up security for its game balls this season in the wake of the Tom Brady flap.

Starting this year, an MLB representative watches the baseballs while a clubhouse assistant carries them from the umpires’ room to the field.

And if the supply runs low during the game, an MLB security person is now sent to retrieve more from the umps’ room.

As C.J. Wilson notes in the article, there is only so much you can do to a baseball. Doctoring it is usually pretty obvious and such balls are thrown out immediately already. The non-cosmetic changes to baseballs that really affect their properties occur during fabrication, and that’s something the league itself would be behind, not any one club or player.

So, methinks this is probably not terribly necessary, even if changing the procedures are ultimately harmless. And me also thinks that some people in Major League Baseball might be chuckling a little bit about the NFL’s problems at the moment as they remind the world that, hey, at least we have our balls in order.

Josh Hamilton’s teammates say he’s in great shape and ready to play

Josh Hamilton

The Angels are in Houston to play the Astros this weekend. Technically, Josh Hamilton is still a member of the Angels, even if the club is acting like he isn’t. Hamilton has met with manager Mike Scioscia and some of his Angels teammates. They are telling remarkably different stories about the condition Josh Hamilton’s condition is in.

Last night Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reported that Mike Scioscia voiced concern over Hamilton, saying that there was “no clarity that [Hamilton is] getting the help he needs,” and that “[t]hat’s a major concern.”

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, that his teammates think Hamilton is in great shape. They say he’s recovered from both his shoulder surgery and whatever substance abuse issues he had. David Freese said that  “from what I hear and what I see, he’s kind of ready to go . . . He’s running, he’s hitting, he’s ready to go physically. He’s doing the things he needs to do to play baseball and taking the necessary steps off the field.” C.J. Wilson goes much further than that. Heck, he sounds like Hamilton’s lawyer or agent or something.

This is significant because, as been reported, owner Arte Moreno thinks he can either claw back money from Hamilton or void his deal altogether due to clauses in Hamilton’s contract. DiGiovanna reports that one possible clause relates to Hamilton not being in “first-class condition” because of substance abuse. Wilson and Freese’s comments make that sound like a hard, hard sell.

There are two sides to every story. Every contract has stuff even the people who have looked it over didn’t notice. All manner of things could be going on in the background which you, I, or anyone else not there, on the ground can know. But I’ll say this much: there has been nothing about this story whatsoever to date which makes Arte Moreno and the Angels’ stance regarding Hamilton seem reasonable. Not a single damn thing.

C.J. Wilson says the Angels hired a private investigator to follow him after signing him in December 2011

C.J. Wilson

The Angels have taken a fair amount of criticism after GM Jerry DiPoto made a public statement critical of outfielder Josh Hamilton for his drug relapse and owner Arte Moreno threatened contractual action. DiPoto’s statement in particular didn’t sit well with Hamilton’s teammates, specifically pitcher C.J. Wilson, who is also the Angels’ union representative. Wilson was the only player willing to go on the record with criticism, saying DiPoto’s criticsm was “kind of disheartening”.

Wilson spoke more about the situation before Saturday night’s game against the Royals. Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wilson said, “It doesn’t seem like any bridges are being built — it seems like a fairly contentious situation.”

Discussing how teams have used language in contracts to govern players’ off-the-field activities, Wilson said that the Angels hired a private investigator to follow him after signing him to a five-year, $77.5 million contract in December 2011. Wilson said the Angels didn’t like that he rode motorcycles, and noted that his contract includes restrictions on “a bevy of things” including motorcycle riding, auto racing, spelunking, and cave exploration.

When told of Wilson’s assertion about the private investigator, DiPoto responded by saying, “That is 100% not true.”

C.J. Wilson critical of Angels over Josh Hamilton situation

josh hamilton angels getty

It was ruled last week that Josh Hamilton will receive no discipline after his recent drug relapse. The Angels released a statement in the wake of the decision to express their disappointment, which sure sounded like a team who was upset that they still had to pay him. Angels owner Arte Moreno stepped up the rhetoric last night by refusing to say whether Hamilton would play for the team again and even indicated that the team could look at language in his contract to get some salary relief.

Craig Calcaterra reported last night that Hamilton’s contract doesn’t include the language that Moreno specified, so the Angels might not have much in the way of recourse, but this situation is getting uglier by the second. C.J. Wilson, the Angels player representative with the MLBPA and a teammate of Hamilton dating back to their time in Texas, isn’t pleased with how it’s being handled by his team:

Wilson is speaking some serious truths here. Hamilton has underperformed in his contract with the Angels until this point, but chances are they would be much more supportive of his situation if he was still producing at an MVP level. It’s shameful, but predictable. The 33-year-old Hamilton is still owed $83 million through 2017.

Check out Wilson’s full comments here.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Mat Latos

Braves 12, Marlins 2: I got home from dinner with the kids at about 7:30 last night and turned on the game figuring, heck, it’s probably just the second inning at best. I probably didn’t miss anything. As I turned the game on the top of the first was just ending and the Braves were up 7-0. This is why I always try to be on time for things. Mat Latos’ ERA is 94.50 on the year. But his FIP is much better, so let’s not go crazy, OK? The Braves got 14 hits and drew seven walks. Come June or so, I figure this will be a week’s worth of production. It’s fun now, however.

Orioles 6, Rays 5: Baltimore jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and 6-0 after two and held on as the Rays tried to rally back. Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, which is not all that good for people who bet the mortgage on “Steve Pearce will fall back to earth after a surprisingly great 2014 season.” Really, though, bookies shouldn’t take that action. It seems shockingly specific and somewhat mean spirited.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 6: Jake Lamb and David Peralta each hit three-run homers for the snakes, and Lamb drove in another one on a groundout. He had three in the season’s first game. I don’t think that pace is sustainable, but it’s cool. The Giants have played two games and have had three key injuries. That’s not a ratio that’s all that sustainable itself. Here it was Brandon Belt, who strained his groin going after a foul ball.

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: Prince Fielder is back, hitting two RBI singles. Colby Lewis was effective, allowing one run over six. Jeff Banister picks up his first ever win as a manager and afterward was doused in a beer shower. Mmmm . . . beer shoooowwweer.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: A key for the Angels this year is to get one of their erstwhile aces to pitch something like they used to once again. C.J. Wilson is one of those two and in his 2015 debut he did, allowing two hits in eight shutout innings. David Freese being a threat once again is also pretty key for the Angels. He was that last night too, hitting a two-run homer for the game’s only runs. This one lasted a mere two hours and thirteen minutes, by the way. Staying in the box and between innings clocks may help some, but shutdown pitching is pretty key to improving the pace of play as well.

Padres 7, Dodgers 3: On Opening Day the Dodgers scored three late to break a tie and win the game. Last night, tied 3-3 heading into the ninth, the Padres were the ones who broke out, scoring four. One of the runs scored as a result of a bunt that catcher Yasmani Grandal overran while fielding and then threw directly into the back of the batter as he ran to first. That put runners on the corners and an RBI single by Wil Myers broke the tie, with the floodgates opening thereafter. Speaking of floods — or, at the very least, rain — this one was delayed 30 minutes by rain at the outset. Which doesn’t happen in Los Angeles all that much. But at this point I imagine California will endure hundreds of rain delays if they can get some drought relief from it. Speaking of that, go read this. It’s extremely enlightening about why California’s drought is not just California’s problem or fault and why us back east looking down our nose at Californians as somehow the architects of their own disaster is fundamentally wrong.

Rockies 5, Brewers 2: Rockies hitters have 12 doubles in the first two games of the season, tying a major league record that was set in 1912. Six on Opening Day, six last night. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Cardinals vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: Frank Lloyd Wright once had a client who phoned him to complain of rain leaking through the roof of the house onto the dining table. Wright’s response: “Move the table.”