C.J. Wilson

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 18:  Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks tags out C.J. Wilson #33 of the Los Angeles Angels as he attempts to slide into second base during the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on June 18, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Video: C.J. Wilson tried to stretch a single into a double today. It didn’t go well.

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Getting a rare opportunity to bat under National League rules, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson tried to use the element of surprise to stretch a single into a double this afternoon against the Diamondbacks. It didn’t go well.

Not so smart. That could have been a disaster for Wilson and the Angels. Fortunately, he’s fine. Wilson actually tossed eight innings of one-run ball and struck out a season-high nine batters as part of a 7-1 victory.

Here’s some reaction from after the game:

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

baseball grass
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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
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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.