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Umpire contradicts C.J. Wilson's claims about slick baseballs

BaseballSportsMajor League BaseballLos Angeles AngelsC.J. Wilson (baseball)Mike Scioscia

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Umpiring crew chief Ted Barrett said that every baseball used in Friday night’s Angels-Rangers game was rubbed with mud, contradicting claims by Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson that “three out of four balls were basically brand new.”

Wilson said his inability to grip the slick baseballs contributed to a shaky outing in which he walked four in six innings and threw three wild pitches and hit two batters in the third inning of a 5-3 loss.

“They were all definitely rubbed, they all had mud on them,” Barrett said before Saturday’s game. “Maybe he felt there should have been more. Most of the complaints we get is they’re too dark. Once in a while, especially in drier climates, a pitcher will complain that they’re too slick.”

Wilson, the former Texas pitcher who has irked former teammates with some of his comments, insinuated the balls were purposely not rubbed enough. And Manager Mike Scioscia claimed a couple of balls were “taken right out of the box. They still had packing dust on them.”

Said Wilson: “It’s not a coincidence. Let’s be honest.”

But Barrett reiterated that “normal procedure” was followed, meaning the balls were rubbed by the umpires’ attendant and the same bag of game balls was used for both teams.

“The attendants rub literally thousands of balls each year,” Barrett said. “They do every one individually. Sometimes maybe they’ll use a little too much mud, sometimes not enough, but they try best as they can to be consistent.”

And if a brand new baseball somehow made its way to the home-plate umpire Mike DiMuro during Friday night’s game?

“He would have immediately told them we’re not using this one,” Barrett said. “I’ve never had a ballboy bring a brand new baseball without mud on it.”

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