Wrapping up 2010 with C.J. Wilson
Extra Mustard's Jimmy Traina spoke with Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson earlier this week to talk about Cliff Lee, memorable sports stories of 2010, social media and more.
SI.com: Were you surprised Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies?
Wilson: I was zero percent stunned actually. Zero percent.
Wilson: He had a lot of great things to say about his time in Philly and he likes a lot of the guys. What it came down to was that if he had a couple of dudes on that team he was cool with and felt like it was a little bit of a lower pressure situation. Although it is Philly, he didn't have to be the savior. He was gonna be one of four pitchers. So it's a completely different scenario than him coming to Texas and having all the pressure on him.
SI.com: A lot was made about the money he left on the table. Do you think it was just a case of, once you get to that amount of money, there's not much difference in the millions?
Wilson: He's has an option for another what? Twenty-seven million on that last year? So as long as his arm doesn't fall off he's going to end up getting pretty much the same thing. At some point it's not about the total amount of dollars. It's also about the years.
SI.com: With Lee gone, have you thought about the added pressure it puts on you?
Wilson: Not at all. He wasn't there last year until July. As far as [Rangers starting pitcher] Colby [Lewis] and I are concerned, we were pitching well the whole season and that's our job. It doesn't have anything to do with who else we have on the team. I texted GM Jon Daniels and said "Go get Greinke, go get Cliff, let's have a party." Why not have all the guys you can? But if you don't have those guys, that's fine. And Cliff wasn't as effective in the regular season as we hoped he'd be. He was good in the playoffs and he got us to the World Series but he didn't pitch as well in the World Series as he wanted to.
SI.com: What was being in the World Series like? What is everything you imagined it would be? I know your Twitter followers shot up a lot.
Wilson: It put me in the spotlight a little more. I think I got 20,000 more Twitter followers just from being in the playoffs. It was OK, but it was over pretty quick. It would've been nice to have more drama and a Game 6 or 7. The funny thing is the notoriety increased a lot so every Giants fan knows who I am and they hit me up on Twitter and talk crap. I want to go back, obviously. I want to win, that's the whole point. It was disappointing, but losing is better than not going, so you have to think of it that way.
SI.com: Let's talk about big sports stories from 2010. Time.com just named the Armando Galaragga no-hitter that wasn't a no-hitter their sports story of the year. What did you think of that and what was your biggest story of the year?
Wilson: That was pretty big because it ignited a whole conversation about extended instant replay and replay in general. The milestone stuff becomes less and less of a story every year. Someone always seems to be getting their 300th win or 2,000th strikeout. The no-hitters and the perfect games and the "Year of the Pitcher" thing was obviously a big story for me.
SI.com: The LeBron James "Decision" was also a huge story this year. What did you think of that whole thing?
Wilson: To have the whole TV show was kind of lame. Nobody really cares that much that we need to see you talk for an hour about it.
SI.com: The Brett Favre texting scandal was also a major story. What is with this phenomenon of athletes texting naked pictures of themselves?
Wilson: I think getting caught with that kind of stuff is directly related to technological intelligence. If you have a high tech IQ, you don't get caught. If you have a low tech, then you're gonna get caught doing stupid stuff. I have no sympathy for Favre. He gets exposed now for a multitude of different things, and maybe that's better. Maybe that will encourage him to stop holding the nation hostage every year while he decides if he wants to play or doesn't want to play.
SI.com: You're a big tech guy. What did you think of Time Magazine naming Mark Zuckerberg its Person of the Year?
Wilson: Preposterous. The only reason he deserves any recognition is because he donated a lot of money. The only reason why he's considered a good dude is because he gives money away. But just because you start a website that wastes everybody's time doesn't mean you're a good person. I'd be more interested in someone who made a technological advance for society or a health breakthrough. I mean, "Congratulations, you're now responsible for 80 percent of American wasting their time.
SI.com: But you and I both are big fans of Twitter and some people would say that's a waste of time, even though we know it isn't.
Wilson: It's different. People think Twitter is a very vain thing. But I think Facebook is even more vain. I like it less and less everyday. I find myself struggling to even go on there. So maybe when I invent a new Facebook in a couple of years, I'll win the award.
SI.com: The iPad caused a big stir in 2010 and I know you just got one. Do you think it's as good as everyone says?
Wilson: It just depends what you want from it. If you're looking at it as an entertainment device, it's very good. If you're looking at is as a productivity device it's lacking. It's not a productivity device at all. It's unwieldy, but it's cool for playing Angry Birds.
SI.com: Lastly, I can't wrap this up without asking you about your girlfriend. You're dating SI Swimsuit model Dominqiue Piek. How is that going?
Wilson: Well, I'll just say this: I'm about to go to South Africa. [Editor's Note: Piek is from South Africa.]