Pitchers and catchers report to spring training later this month, but C.J. Wilson won’t be one of them. The two-time All-Star has announced his retirement from baseball and will instead focus on auto racing.
“I still keep myself in shape. I’m still working out and all that stuff,” Wilson said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I just tell everybody that I signed with C.J. Wilson Racing instead of signing with a baseball team.”
Wilson, 36, has been racing for 10 years. He also recently purchased BMW, Audi and Porsche dealerships in Fresno, California.
Wilson arrived at a “fork in the road” in 2010, as he both reached the World Series and won a race that year.
“I realized, ‘Okay, I need to focus more on baseball and put racing off to the side and start a racing team so that they can build a racing business,’” Wilson said, “‘and then with my sort of inspiration and guidance, they can drive the business forward in one direction, and that when I’m down with baseball, (I can) circle back around and start racing for my own team.’ That’s kind of been the thing for the last six or seven years. That’s where we’re at now.”
Wilson was asked if he will ever pitch in the majors again.
“If the situation was right, maybe,” he said. “But I think at this point right now, I’m racing. I’m focused on that. That’s the most attractive offer I had was to race this year. The good thing is now I don’t have to deal with umpires anymore. Do you have any idea how much better my life is without any umpires in it? So much better.”
Wilson was also asked about a new rule that MLB will experiment with this season in the Arizona League and Gulf Coast League. The rule will automatically place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings.
“Is this alternative facts or is this real?” Wilson asked.
It’s real, Gottlieb said, and it’s been endorsed by Joe Torre.
“I don’t know if I’d be listening to Joe Torre,” Wilson said. “He’s like 80 years old. But what’s he really going to contribute at this point? I’m not a baseball player anymore, so I can say whatever I want. I’ve heard of dumber things, but that’s (on the) very high list of dumb things that I’ve ever heard. Why don’t we just play home run derby? That’s what they’re basically saying. It doesn’t make any sense to me. You can change the game, but you’re not going to make it any better. The game is the way it is for a reason. It’s because it’s 100+ years of evolution to get to the point where it is. You (shouldn’t just) arbitrarily (change) rules and insert runners. What is this, whiffle ball? This is a terrible idea.”