SAN FRANCISCO - They are America's team now.
That's what Texas Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson says.
And he has 35,000 fans to prove it.
"It's funny but we beat the Yankees, now the Yankee fans are rooting for us," said Wilson, who will start Game 2 of the World Series for the Rangers tonight. "And the Red Sox fans are rooting for us, because we beat the Yankees. And Angels fans are rooting for us, because we're AL West and Dodgers fans are rooting for us, because they hate the Giants."
"I have 35,000 followers on Twitter. People are always telling me things like, 'Please don't let the Giants beat you, because they beat the Phillies.' At this point, we've got Seattle fans, because Cliff [Lee] was there a little bit, and Philly fans had him, too. And they lost to the Giants."
Oh yeah, that.
But here's the thing: The Rangers play in Arlington, just down the street from that other America's team.
People, do you realize what you're doing here?
Two America's teams from Texas?
From Dallas, really?
Are you out of your collective minds?
Wilson, a cerebral sort, said it makes perfect sense to him.
"The reason why they're paying attention is because we have fun," he said. "It's a great group of guys and we pull for each other in a way that's unique. And it gives fans a chance to participate in a way that's higher than any of the other teams."
OK, Bengie Molina, which Phillies ace is better: the one they had and traded, or the one they traded for, instead?
Molina, experiencing a second life as the Rangers catcher after being traded midseason by the Giants, was the Blue Jays catcher in 2006, when Roy Halladay was 16-5 with a 3.19 earned run average.
"They are different," Molina said. "They throw the ball different. The only comparison that they have is the outcomes of the games they pitch. The outcomes are they're going to win the game and they're going to go all nine innings. That's how you can compare them. But for me catching them? I have to catch every pitch. There's no comparison."
Well, glad he cleared that up.
More from C.J.
* On pitching in Yankee Stadium vs. AT & T Park: "It's, like, the exact opposite. Yankee Stadium is, like, 310 down the lines and 340 in the gaps. It's, like, you sneeze on the ball, break a bat, it's out."
* On the becoming a starter after being a reliever: "As a starting pitcher, it's very important to stay emotionally flat, for me. When I was a reliever, I was much more aggressive, much more amped-up. It was like a 1-10 scale, I was at 7 or 8 all the time, max effort."
* On modeling himself after Cliff Lee: "Why wouldn't you try to follow the guy who's the best? You know what I mean? . . . Everybody knows what he has and he still goes out and strikes out 10 dudes in a playoff game. It's, like, what are you going to do? If they know what he's got and they still can't hit him, then why would they hit me. If I can pitch as well as him, I'll probably end up with the same results."
When the Rangers pushed across a run in the first inning last night, it was the sixth time in 12 postseason games they accomplished that. It was also the ninth time they scored first . . . Rangers rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus has a hit in all 12 postseason games. One more and he will tie Greg Luzinski for second all-time. Marquis Grissom holds the record, hitting in 15 straight . . . The two runs Cliff Lee allowed in the third inning were the same number he allowed in three previous postseason starts. *