C.J. Wilson's "Prank" on Mike Napoli Adds to What Should Be a Volatile Rivalry

Austin WynneContributor IMarch 19, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 10:  C.J. Wilson speaks at a public press conference introducing newly signed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  players Albert Pujols and Wilson at Angel Stadium on December 10, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

C.J. Wilson's time in Texas was strange.  He was a competent reliever, a decent closer, a headache of a player and a solid starter.  Everyone had their opinion of him, but for the most part, Wilson didn't fit in. He was a mess as far as interviews go, and it wore thin on the Rangers fanbase.  

In the offseason he signed with the division rival Angels, and Texas was seemingly done with him.  Most of the Rangers' faithful said "good riddance" and dreamed of ripping him apart in the regular season on the way to their third consecutive AL pennant.  

In an interview over the offseason, Rangers fan favorite Mike Napoli said he was excited about taking Wilson deep.  In a lame attempt at humor, C.J. Wilson retaliated by tweeting Mike Napoli's alleged phone number.  

Mike Napoli has since said that he doesn't think that the prank was funny.

I don't even know why he did it.  You don't do that. I am not taking it as a prank.  You know, I haven't even talked to him since the end of last season. We don't have that type of relationship.

It's pretty clear now that Napoli didn't much care for Wilson when the two were teammates, and now he's even less thrilled with his behavior.  

It would be one thing if Wilson and Napoli were still (or ever) buddies, but they haven't been in contact since the end of the season.  I'd imagine the guy didn't get a ton of respect in the clubhouse either.

Earlier last year, C.J. claimed that he would be able to land a 757 safely and that everyone else would have given him a high-five on the way out of the plane.  The face of the franchise, Michael Young, responded saying, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."

Napoli is going to be excited about facing his former teammate.  He is already a proponent of showing up the Angels' pitching staff.  Next year should be even better. 

Wilson has long been the source and/or target of jokes from Rangers fans.  His bragging was akin to something that children do to fit in with a popular crowd.  The Rangers will already be geared up when they face him, and this should just add fuel to the fire.