ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson made it clear on Wednesday that he does not enjoy pitching in Oakland.
"I hate pitching there," Wilson said. "The mound [stinks]. The fans [stink]. There are no fans there. It's too bad, because the fans that are there are really adamant and stoked on the team. They play drums and they wave flags, and it's cool. But some games you go there and there are, like, 6,000 people there. It's kind of sad, because that's a Major League team, and there are guys out there that are obviously pretty good players. Guys like [Trevor] Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, obviously, they are All-Star pitchers, and I just wish the fan base supported them a little bit more."Wilson, who is eligible for free agency after the season, said there is no chance he would sign with Oakland, largely due to its fan base. "I'd rather pitch here than in Oakland, regardless of the weather," he said. "I don't like their fans. You don't need to worry about me signing there after the season. They hate me anyway, so it doesn't matter. The players on their team hate me, whatever. I don't care. It's true -- dudes on their team don't like me. I get it." Wilson starts in Oakland on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
Gentry activated as O'Day sent out
ARLINGTON -- Craig Gentry made his return to the Rangers' clubhouse before Wednesday's game against the Mariners, and on Thursday he was activated from the disabled list.Five members of the Rangers' bullpen combined to pitch 6 1/3 innings in Tuesday's loss, and Gentry was kept off the roster to allow the pitching staff more flexibility during Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Seattle. But now that the series with the Mariners is complete and the Rangers are preparing to open a series in Oakland on Friday, the timing was right to make the move on Thursday.
Relief pitcher Darren O'Day was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Gentry, and the holding pattern that Gentry had been in for the last five days came to an end."I thought I was coming back on Sunday, and they called and said, 'Stay for a couple of days,'" Gentry said on Wednesday. "I don't know why, but it was probably good to get a few more at-bats down there so I could feel more comfortable down there and come back here and not miss a beat." Gentry has had no recurring headaches or any other symptoms in the aftermath of his concussion. "I felt great, went out there and played every single game, and there were no issues whatsoever," he said. At the time of his injury, Gentry had been platooning at center field with Endy Chavez, batting .265 in 83 at-bats.
Torrealba, Napoli filling in Beltre's gaps
ARLINGTON -- When Adrian Beltre went on the disabled list, manager Ron Washington said that he didn't need any one person to replace Beltre's contributions.Regardless, it seems that Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli have taken it upon themselves to do just that. "This is a guy with 20 home runs and 70-something RBIs, and he was basically the RBI machine for us in the first couple of months," Torrealba said. "He started the second half really well, but when he went down, it was a tough time for everyone on the team. We had to try to pick each other up and try to get some runs on the board. So far it's been working for Nap and myself. I give credit to all the guys." Torrealba and Napoli are sporting nearly identical lines since July 23, when Beltre went on the DL. Torrealba is 18-for-46 with six doubles and a home run, and Napoli is 18-for-48 with three doubles and five homers. The two have also been splitting time between catching and designated hitter, as Washington wants to make sure both of their bats are in the lineup until one of them cools off. The two are 12-for-34 with six RBIs in the DH role. And alhough the arrangement has been working out for the team, Torrealba would prefer to catch. "The only thing I like about DHing is that I get the chance to watch Nap and see the way he calls the game," Torrealba said. "That's probably the only good thing about it. It's kind of hard. I don't think everybody can do it. Especially as a catcher, you're so used to it being every single pitch, every single situation, being involved in the game so much, but it's working. So far so good."
Washington helps break ground on youth academy
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington visited his native New Orleans before Wednesday's game to break ground on the $5.3 million MLB Urban Youth Academy.The program will provide baseball and softball instruction to more than 1,500 underserved youth throughout southern Louisiana. "It's a good thing that Major League Baseball and the city of New Orleans is partaking in, and it sold some people," Washington said. "I had a dream to be a professional baseball player when I was in elementary school. Look at me, I'm managing a Major League club. That wasn't my dream, but you can go way beyond your dreams if you're taught the right way. I think more than anything it gives the inner-city kids a chance to get back into baseball. It gives them the chance to learn some things about life." There are already four such facilities around the U.S. Washington acknowledges that it can be tricky to introduce inner-city youth to baseball, but he feels that monetary concerns will become less important once kids become involved with the sport. "I don't think baseball is a hard sell if there's somewhere to go play," he said. "That's the biggest problem -- there wasn't [anyplace] for them to play."
Rangers look forward to escaping Texas heat
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers play the final game of a six-game homestand on Wednesday, and in a rare occurrence, the team is actually looking forward to getting away from Arlington."We're at the point in the year now, especially deep in the summer, where you're feeling the heat," Josh Hamilton said. "Mentally and physically, I'm drained. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually looking forward to going on the road trip. It should be a time to get your body feeling good again, obviously [there are] big games coming up. Overall, there's a sense of relief." Though the team is playing well, the players are looking forward to escaping the oppressive heat. The first five games of the homestand saw first-pitch temperatures above 100 degrees, including a ballpark-record 106 on Saturday. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't," Hamilton said when asked if he looked at the temperature on the scoreboard. "[The highest I've seen is] 106. I think the scoreboard temperature only goes to 106."
The home game against the Red Sox on Aug. 24 has been selected for national broadcast by ESPN2 and will begin at 6:05 p.m. CT, one hour earlier than previously scheduled. Josh Hamilton is one of four players this season with three or more walk-off hits, joining Justin Upton (four), Carl Crawford (three) and Danny Valencia (three), and he recorded all of them after July 9. Michael Young gave the jersey he was wearing when he recorded his 2,000th career hit to the Baseball Hall of Fame's Brad Horn before Wednesday's game.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.