TAMPA – Russell Wilson was not expecting Odell Beckham to be shipped off to the Browns.
“Wow, I was definitely shocked by the Odell move,” the Seahawks quarterback said. “In sports especially, also in the NFL in today’s age, a lot of crazy things happen. To see Antonio (Brown) go to the Raiders, obviously, and Odell leaving New York and going to Cleveland … Cleveland will have a good squad. It’s a process as fans and me being a player, most fans forget it’s a business, it’s part of the process.”
The Yankees “minor-league” infielder reported to spring training Friday for a two-day visit. He chatted with Aaron Judge in the clubhouse and others around the cage during batting practice before the Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox.
Judge said that he has kept in touch with Wilson since last spring training.
“We just check in with each other. I know he’s busy doing his thing. I don’t like to bother him too much during the season. I’ll just shoot him a text after a win or just check in every now and then. He’ll do the same for me during the season,” Judge said. “Building a relationship like that is always great across sports like that. He’s a special individual, it’s been wonderful. You learn a lot from him. I learned a lot from the time we spent in camp last year.”
Judge said he learned about Wilson’s preparation and how he leads by example, going 110% in drills last season. He was impressed with Wilson swinging for the fences in the batting cage last spring.
He won’t get a chance to see that this spring.
Unlike last year, his first at Yankees’ spring training camp, Wilson isn’t looking to get any at-bats in spring training.
“I am here for two days. (Thirteen) days away to the first game, I don’t want to be a distraction,” Wilson said. “I got my hacks last year. My first at-bat I was going for the fences. It didn’t work out like I wanted it to, but it was still a great experience.”
Wilson was a two-sport athlete at North Carolina State. He played second base and was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. He played in parts of two minor league seasons with the Rockies, appearing in 93 games and hitting .229 with five home runs and 19 stolen bases before deciding to commit full time to football.
Wilson’s rights were eventually traded to the Texas Rangers and then to the Yankees.
Though he grew up a Yankee fan, and professed his love for New York City, he said he didn’t see himself playing football there anytime soon.
“For me I love Seattle, obviously. It’s one of those places, I won a Super Bowl there I won a lot of playoff games there and a lot of game. I love being there,” Wilson said. “You know, in terms of sports … get traded and move, never be surprised with those things. Part of the process. I think I have a clear mindset how much I love Seattle.”
As he did in the clubhouse with his teammates, Wilson was happy to talk football.
Wilson on the Giants’ new wide receiver Golden Tate:
“He can make plays. That’s for sure. He’ll make a lot of people miss and make plays. He definitely has that talent for sure.”
On Colin Kaepernick and his settlement with the NFL:
“I don’t know what happened with it. I think for where we are in the game and all the social stuff going on, important for us and players and organizations to make the world a better place, whatever that means.
“There is a great opportunity for all of us to make a difference. I try to do my part and everybody else tries to do theirs. In terms of the actual settlement case, I don’t know. He’s a great football player. He made a lot of plays. Hopefully you will see him again soon.”