- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The coolest person at the World Series is C.J. Wilson.

The Texas Rangers pitcher chilled out as he prepared to face the St. Louis Cardinals in Wednesday night’s opener. He spent 2 1/2 minutes in a Dallas cryotherapy chamber, where liquid nitrogen lowered the temperature to a frosty 295 degrees below zero in an effort to speed body recovery.

“So 35 degrees should be no big deal, right?” Wilson said Tuesday after examining the frigid forecast for Game 1 at Busch Stadium, where he starts against the CardinalsChris Carpenter.

Wearing a dark ski cap, dress shirt and vest in the interview room, Wilson said he read about the Dallas Mavericks trying out cryotherapy last season, when they won the NBA championship, and had Rangers head athletic trainer Jamie Reed check out the relatively new treatment with Casey Smith, his Mavs’ counterpart.

“I’m kind of an experimental guy. I’ll go for the hyperbaric chamber, drink a new type of sports drink that’s supposed to keep your blood sugar regulated. I’ll do whatever,” said Wilson, one of baseball’s best talkers.

Eric Rauscher, managing director of the Millennium Ice facility that Wilson uses, said the treatment has been available in the U.S. for about three years. It’s an improvement over an ice bath, which lowers the skin-surface temperature to about 48 degrees.

“The body goes into fight-or-flight syndrome, and surrounds the major body organs with enriched blood,” Rauscher said.

Preparing for the treatment, Wilson stripped down to his shorts, and put on special gloves and socks to keep his fingers and toes from getting frostbite. The rest of the body can tolerate the extreme temperature for that brief period.

“Basically you stand in this freezing can and cold air circulates around you. I did it a couple days ago,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he’d like to get to 300 below zero. Rauscher said there’s not much additional benefit, if any, at that point.

“Being competitive athletes, they want to outdo each other. I think it’s more of an ego thing,” he said.

For someone coming in off the street, a single treatment would cost $85, according to Mark Murdock, Millennium’s contact person with the Rangers. For packages of multiple treatments, the rate drops to about $75.

“It gets really cold, really quick. And your body’s response is it pulls all the blood from your extremities in around your vital organs, kind of going into safety-survival mode,” Reed said. “You walk out about 2 1/2 minutes later, and that blood in theory has been enriched and oxygenated.”

Wilson has gone for the treatment twice between starts when the Rangers are at home. Fellow Rangers starter Matt Harrison also has become a devotee. He tried it out after feeling tired legs during a trip to Chicago.

“I’ve never been that cold before in my life,” Harrison said. “Those last 30 seconds in there are pretty miserable. You’re in there jumping around, just waiting for that guy telling you you’re done.”

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