Sunday, January 08, 2012

CJ Wilson

Ever since CJ has become a free agent and was then signed by the Angels, I have heard a lot of people say that they are glad that he is gone, and it has really frustrated me.

First off, he had a lot of success with the franchise, with a career record of 43-35, with a 3.60 ERA and 52 saves along with 637 strikeouts in 708 innings. Those are numbers that easily make him one of the Top 50 All-Time Rangers, as he ranked number 33 in my most recent list. There is no way that anybody should be saying good riddance to one of the franchise’s top players, and a player that has been a key part of back-to-back American League champion teams.

He has had this success as a starter, a closer, and a set-up man, showing his versatility and willingness to do whatever the team asks him to. He was 31-15 in his two full seasons as a starter, with ERAs of 3.35 and 2.94, pitching well enough to be an All-Star in 2011. He also led the league in games started this past year. Are those the numbers of someone that you want to get rid of?

As a closer, he had plenty of success, converting the vast majority of save opportunities, and definitely did his job. He also spent part of two seasons as a set-up man, and had ERAs of 3.03 and 2.81 in those years.

And while, yes, he did struggle in the playoffs this year, he did well in the 2010 playoffs. He compiled a 3.70 ERA and held opponents to a .191 batting average in the 2010 playoff run, and pitched extremely well in both the ALDS and World Series. So it’s not like he has been a terrible playoff pitcher in his career.

And that’s just what he had done on the field. He has also been great for the Rangers off the field. Over the course of his career, he has done a lot of work out in the community, and has been at a lot of charity events, even starting his own charity. So not only is he a great pitcher, but he is a great person, and that’s something that I have personally been able to see. He has probably been the nicest Ranger I have ever met, and that is saying a lot with all of the great guys in the organization. He did an interview with me and also helped me line up an interview with Ian Kinsler. He has taken a lot of time to talk with me. There were multiple times at Spring Trainings when he talked with me for a good 20 minutes after the morning workouts were over, while every other player on the team was back in the clubhouse showering and getting ready.

CJ is a guy that I will sorely miss, and has received a lot of unfair criticism and negativity.

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