This is an article from the June 22, 2015 issue
INTO THE GAME
The Angels' 34-year-old lefty binge-watches one particular TV show, and he acts as the High Sparrow to his misbehaving teammates.
DAN PATRICK: Do players really pick on guys [in the clubhouse] or haze teammates?
C.J. WILSON: Yeah, of course. It's part of the clubhouse culture. One of the things we do on the Angels is remit someone to the bottom five—which is a list of the five dumbest guys on the team. If someone makes a mistake, we say, "Oh, man, you're going straight to the bottom five."
DP: Is it a list that's posted anywhere?
CW: No, it's sort of an ethereal ranking.
DP: Have you been on that list?
CW: Absolutely not. I try not to be on any list in the clubhouse other than the lineup.
DP: Has Mike Trout been on the list?
CW: Trout's sort of immune to being on the list because he's one of the people always trying to put people on the list.
DP: Is it true you were emotionally spent before a start last week because of an episode of Game of Thrones?
CW: Typically on game day I try not to watch any TV. But knowing that the finale was last night, I had to watch the second-to-last episode while we were on the road so I could be caught up. It was the coliseum scene, when Daenerys Targaryen gets surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy and things are looking really bad, where I just got up and walked away. I'm like, I can't handle this. If she goes down here, I'm done with the show. I was on edge. I didn't get totally upset because it turned out O.K.
DP: Is it cool in the clubhouse to talk about Game of Thrones?
CW: Totally. I'm [upset] because a bunch of my teammates are behind. I'm like, "Guys, get caught up so we can talk about this." It's like that for a lot of shows. A lot of guys like House of Cards, Scandal, True Detective, Bates Motel. We have these weird blocks of free time where we can watch three or four hours of video at a time when we're on the road in some boring city.
DP: Would you rather be an All-Star or have a large role in Game of Thrones?
CW: I'd rather be an All-Star. I've already pitched in the All-Star Game, though I'm probably not going to pitch in it this year. Having a large role in Game of Thrones means I gotta be cool with nudity or getting killed or [something else that is] against the team rules. I don't think [Angels owner] Arte Moreno would be into me doing full frontals.
Film producer Judd Apatow discussed LeBron James's performance in Apatow's new movie, Trainwreck. "LeBron is funny as hell," Apatow told me. "As a comedy person it annoys me because I went into comedy because I was so bad at sports. I don't like when an athlete is good at what I do." ... Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine doesn't like the term high basketball IQ. He told me, "That's what every white guy says to sound smart. I'm just like, Man, you're not high IQ. You play in the UCLA rec league." ... NBC sportscaster Bob Costas weighed in on ESPN's plan to give Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs in July. "It's just a crass exploitation play," he said. "It's a tabloid play. In the broad world of sports, I'm pretty sure they could've found someone who is much closer to being actively involved in sports."