C.J. Wilson has gone and pissed off his teammates. It turns out they don’t like being depicted as ignorant and selfish. Now how was he supposed to know that?
Wilson started by giving a quote to ESPN’s Jeff Pearlman, who was writing a story about why baseball players don’t care about the 2008 presidential election.
Pearlman’s thesis: “…while ballplayers are bound both by their disparate backgrounds and an uncompromised love of the game, they are also united by one not-so-great characteristic: political indiference.”
Wilson is the exception to this rule. He does care about politics. And he’s bummed that none of his teammates do.
“It’s frustrating,” says C.J. Wilson, the 27-year-old Texas relief pitcher. “I’d say there are two reasons. One, there’s a general lack of education among us. But two — and most important — you’re talking about a population that makes a ton of money, so the ups and downs of the economy don’t impact whether we’re getting paid. Therefore, we often don’t care.”
In saying “we,” Wilson is speaking about nearly every Ranger — except himself. A free-thinking Californian with an appreciation for Obama, a dislike of Bush, a hatred of the Clintons, a detestation of SUVs, and a longing for a grass-roots political movement that would truly represent the needs of the people, Wilson stares blankly when asked who among his teammates he can talk with about Decision ’08.
“No one,” he says. “I keep it to myself.”
Predictably, Pearlman’s story and in particular Wilson’s comments rubbed some people the wrong way. Rangers pitcher Brandon McCarthy responded by posting a long comment on the Rangers blog Lone Star Ball, saying, “I’d be willing to bet that come late summer and early fall when the race really heats up, that there will be political conversation to be found in MLB clubhouses.”
This is about the time where Wilson decided he couldn’t leave well enough alone. Instead of just letting the story fade away, he praised McCarthy’s comment and added:
Come on man you have to admit the median or average guy in a baseball clubhouse does drive an SUV, drinks beer, golfs, likes college sports, chews or dips tobacco and is relatively a douchebag.
I’m guessing it was the douchebag label that was the final straw for his teammates. And so today we have a story in the Dallas Morning News where Michael Young tells us he “had a very direct talk with (Wilson).”
All of this hubbub got me thinking, who is this C.J. Wilson? Who is this misunderstood character who only wants a sounding board for his personal political opinions?
Let’s go to the series of tubes to find out.
From C.J.’s blog:
Texas Rangers relief pitcher, uses blue glove against advice of most peers and fearlessly wilts lefties and righties with fastballs/sliders/curveballs/gyros/ cutters/changeups/forkballs.
Guitar, Writing, Film, Traveling, Surfing, Auto Racing, Cycling, Martial Arts, Cooking.
That’s all cool stuff. Gotta respect a guy who’s into both auto racing and martial arts.
From C.J.’s Wikipedia page:
C.J. is a devoted Taoist and also adheres to a “Straight Edge” way of life (in which one abstains from alcohol, illegal drugs, and promiscuous sex in order to maintain a healthy and poison-free body). As a sign of his choice and pride of being Straight Edge, C.J. has the words “Straight Edge” tattooed along the length of his torso, Japanese characters on his shoulder that read “Poison Free” and “XXX” stitched on his glove as a straight edge symbol.
Dude. I mean, like … dude!
Here are some photos of Wilson, because while Wikipedia pages and blogs are awesome, you know how many words they say a picture is worth (answer: EXTREME number of words!).
This picture is two years old. CJ, it appears, is a big fan of driving fast. And making silly faces.
This is a CJ self portrait, which I imagine was taken with the aid of a web cam. Here he’s showing off his “new mohawk mullet haircut thing.” The verdict? Tubular.
CJ playing cricket in England. They teach him a new game, he teaches them about the soul patch. Seems like a fair trade to me.
CJ takes the soul patch to Italy. The soul patch, in turn, begins to take control of his brain. Which maybe explains the whole calling the average ballplayer a “douchebag” thing.