If Russell Wilson “Stuck” With Rangers, Would He End up In Spokane? Is He Serious?
Russel Wilson, the Seahawks Super Bowl winning quarterback, has always dreamed of being a two-sport athlete.
Now he is pursuing that dream with the Texas Rangers. Wilson, as you know, was originally signed by the Colorado Rockies and played for the Tri-City Dust Devils a few years ago in 2010 and 2011. After returning to football at Wisconsin, signing with Seattle, most thought baseball was done.
But the Texas Rangers purchased the rights to the infielder, and he is currently in the Rangers camp. Obviously, it's been a financial boon for Texas and Seattle. Wilson jerseys have reached a new level of sales. Texas GM Jon Daniels joked this week all he needed was to get Justin Timberlake and Leonardo DiCaprio to the Rangers facility and they could take it to another level.
But obviously the Rangers saw something in Wilson, and so far he has "impressed" the coaching staff in spring training. Roster spots, even in baseball, are not considered throw-aways, and they wouldn't have invited him if they didn't reasonably think he had a chance to land a spot in their organization. The big questions are, where will he end up if he makes it? Is he serious? Why did he come to spring training?
Texas knew when it drafted Wilson that it was taking a player who likely wasn't going to play both sports, or give up his job as an NFL quarterback to play baseball again. But they hoped he would want to come to spring training. They wanted a young player -- Wilson is 25 -- who was at the top of his profession to talk with the club’s prospects about what it takes to be successful.
According to USA Today, Wilson's agent confirmed he had "no plans" to participate in in the Rangers actual practices. Other sources say he would (obviously) not be giving up the NFL to play pro baseball.
According to the Rangers, he was brought in to provide some inspiration, leadership, and to show their younger players what kind of dedication and character it takes to make it as a professional athlete. On that aspect, they appear to have succeeded. Most of the Rangers players were quoted as saying they came away from his workouts as Seahawk fans. But it does appear his stint in pro baseball is going to be very short-lived.
It's actually too bad, if that's true, because given his experience and previous performances, it's likely IF Wilson were to pursue this baseball thing seriously, he would at least start the season in Short Season Class A ball.
He's too good for Rookie Ball, or instructional league, the two bottom steps of the ladder. It just so happens the Rangers Short Season Class A team is the Spokane Indians. One would think the Rangers would not want to miss an opportunity to place Wilson with a team less than 280 miles from Seattle. The Indians would likely shatter every attendance record, as would the Dust Devils when the Indians team with Wilson on the roster came to town. Heck, the entire league would see numbers skyrocket.
Wilson did tell ESPN though, "never say never" when it comes to him pursuing a career in pro baseball. hmm....