OAKLAND -- With an off-day on Thursday, the Rangers normally would have taken both early batting practice and regular batting practice before Friday's game. Both were cancelled because workers were still getting the Oakland Coliseum back into baseball shape after the Raiders played an NFL exhibition here on Thursday night.
Workers were still putting the backstop and outfield fences back in place three hours before game time. Rangers manager Ron Washington, who spoke with Oakland grounds crew before the game, said the biggest concern was center field, which took a beating because retractable football stands were dragged across the grass. Washington said the infield was fine, even though much of it is in play during the football game.
"Center field may be tough, but that's about it," Washington said.
Washington shrugged off comments made by pitcher C.J. Wilson on Wednesday that he hated pitching in Oakland because of the poor mound and lack of fan support for the Athletics.
"I love it here," said Washington, who was on the Oakland coaching staff for 11 years before being named Rangers manager. "The only thing that concerns me is they know I love it here."
Wilson's comments apparently riled some of the Athletics. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, pitcher Dallas Braden left a commemorative perfect game T-shirt in Wilson's locker with a pointed message to him.
"There is an old saying that if you can talk the talk and walk the walk, then you can wear the bull's eye," Washington said.
"That wouldn't have been my choice of words, but C.J.'s entitled to his opinion," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "As an organization, we've got nothing but respect for Oakland and their group. I'd prefer to let our performance and actions speak for us. My expectation is C.J. will do just that, as he usually does."