Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson apologized this afternoon for his comments criticizing the team’s most recent trades, including popular outfielder Nyjer Morgan.
Wilson, the longest-tenured Pirates said he “really didn’t sleep last night” and stressed yesterday’s tirade was emotional and uncharacteristic.
“Some of my comments were pretty harsh,” he said. “When you are in the moment and everyone’s bummed out, you tend to lose your head a little bit and vent. A lot of the things I said I thought about last night. I definitely don’t want to be that guy that’s butting heads with the organization. I apologize for that. That’s not the person or the player I want to be.”
The Pirates traded Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett to the Nationals and outfielder Eric Hinske to the Yankees in a four-hour span on Tuesday. It came less than a month after center fielder Nate McLouth was dealt.
The Morgan deal prompted Wilson to question the franchise, which is suffering through its 17th consecutive losing season.
“I’ve lost a lot of (friends) and at some point it blows up in your face,” he said. “I didn’t handle it the right way. I had strong feelings about it and I’m not going to say that’s different. But there is definitely a better way to take it.”
Wilson, 31, who himself has been the subject of many trade rumors over the years, said he wasn’t asked by anyone in the front office to make the apology. He said he hasn’t spoken to general manager Neal Huntington. He said he talked about his comments Tuesday night with his wife, and the decision to apologize was “pretty easy.”
“I said, ‘Honey, I got myself in trouble again,’” he said. “I’ve done this before. It’s just something when you see what you said (in print), ‘wow that guy is kind of a jerk.’ That’s not me.”
Here is what he said Tuesday in the wake of the trades: “You hope that eventually some of these trades will work out. They haven’t yet. The biggest question is, when do things start turning around? It’s hard for guys who have seen these exact kinds of trades happen before and seen it do absolutely nothing. For nine years, I’ve seen these trades two or three times a year, every year, and we still haven’t had a winning season.”
– John Grupp