Major League Baseball umpires have bore the brunt of criticism all year, missing plays at first base, tag plays, home run calls, to name a few. Los Angeles Angels Lefty C.J. Wilson found a new front to open on the umpire assault…rubbing up baseballs. According to Todd Wills of ESPNDallas.com, Wilson felt like the umpires didn’t do their pregame duty of properly rubbing up the baseballs before they take the field:
“One out of every four was rubbed up, and then three out of every four were basically brand new. The balls were kind of squirting around; a couple of balls got away. If you’re a lefty and you hit a lefty with a slider, that’s obviously not what you’re trying to do right there. We were just changing the balls out because it’s like, there’s really, it’s what do you say about it. You going to call it a coincidence? It’s not a coincidence. Let’s be honest.”
It’s unclear whether Wilson is implying that MLB WANTS the Rangers to win or whether the Rangers found a way to feed him slippery balls to make sure he failed in front of his former home crowd (Wilson left the Rangers for free agency before the 2012 season).
During the erratic 3rd, Wilson threw 3 wild pitches, hit 2 batters and give up a walk. The inning ended up with Wilson allowing 2 runs and giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the game that they desperately needed to win to stay in the American League Wild Card race. Wilson has quietly had a Cy Young discussion-worthy season, at 17-7 (3rd in AL in wins) and a 3.39 ERA with his 2013 work now complete. The Angels play two more against the Rangers in their attempt to derail their division rival in their Wild Card chase.
– David Whitlock