There aren't many overlaps between starting pitchers and female poets, but it seems C.J. Wilson and Gertrude Stein would get along just fine.
The Rangers start a series in Oakland on Friday night, a city that Stein once called home. It did not make much in the way of a positive impression on her, leading her to write a description of the city that has become an indelible part of the city's image to the outside world.
"The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there, there isn't any there there."
Wilson has never given any hints about bein a Stein fan in the past, but there's a pretty good chance he would enjoy that passage. Wilson will start against the A's on Friday and he made no attempt to hide his feelings about the city when speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
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"I hate pitching there," Wilson said. "The mound sucks. The fans suck. There are no fans there. The fans who are there are really adamant, but sometimes you'll go there and there's 6,000 fans. I just wish the fan base supported them a little more."
In most places, words like that would lead to a frenzied atmosphere as Wilson took the mound in the first inning on Friday night. We don't really expect that, because, as Wilson points out, there aren't going to be too many people in the stands for the game. Anyone who is going to get their knickers in a twist should probably think twice and thank Wilson anyway.
The A's have been trying to get a new stadium for a long time now because their current one isn't a very good fit. It is a football stadium, far too big and charmless for a major league team and its flaws are exacerbated by a fan base that doesn't care to attend the games. A new ballpark in a new location is imperative for the team to move forward for economic reasons as well as the psychological lift that often comes with having a home of one's own.
Wilson might hate pitching in Oakland, but his numbers there haven't been awful. He pitched well in his only career start there earlier this year and actually did worse against the A's when he faced them in Arlington. That was the game that caused Wilson to accuse the A's of playing "lawyerball," so it would seem that there's just something about that town that causes Wilson to loosen up his tongue.