The Oakland Athletics haven’t played great baseball this season, but the A’s are not exactly rolling over just yet. The team has performed better since the All-Star break, going 14-11 since the break.
Coming off a 10-3 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, the Athletics will travel back to the bay area to host their division rivals Texas Rangers. While the A’s are sitting in third-place and well behind the Rangers for first-place in the AL West standings, it’s safe to say that the recent comments made by Rangers starter C.J. Wilson has breathed new life into the two team’s rivalry.
In a recent article posted by Jeff Caplan on ESPN Dallas, Wilson had a few choice words regarding Oakland’s pitching mound and fan base. In the post, Wilson rips Oakland’s mound and low attendance during home games. He apparently does not like pitching in the confines of O.co Coliseum, and apparently hates pitching in front of small crowds of 6,000 people.
The A’s current stadium situation is a pressing issue for Major League Baseball, and while MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has appointed a special committee to evaluate Oakland’s stadium options, the team is without a clear direction and future. They know they cannot survive in their current situation, one that includes sharing the same home as the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
So, in a sense, Wilson’s comments were low-blows to a franchise he’s learned to despise. He’s quoted in the ESPN Dallas article as saying, “I hate pitching there. The mound sucks, the fans suck. There’s no fans there.” Talk about heated feelings.
Wilson will be pitching in game one of the three game series in Oakland, and I’m sure A’s fans will give him a nice welcoming. The A’s didn’t play well the last time they squared off against the Rangers, but I’m hoping they’ll come out swingin’ on Friday night against Wilson and the Rangers.