Thursday, January 6, 2011
PLAYER DISSECTION: Brian Wilson
I cannot put my finger on this guy. Brian Wilson was the most dominant closer in Major League Baseball last season. He led the league in saves, was named an NL All-Star, and won a World Series.
He was also the most entertaining and unpredictable guest on several interview-style talk shows, such as Jim Rome is Burning, The Cheap Seats, and the Tonight Show. I personally think this guy is out of his mind. Or he's just a funny guy. Or he's just putting on a big act for publicity. Or he's just a genius. Yep, I'm almost positive he's one of those.
One thing I'm sure of is that if there's a Brian Wilson interview on television, I am not turning the channel. The things that come out of this guy's mouth range from absurd to extremely absurd:
- He claims he became a certified ninja after a 12-minute dream he had.
- He credits his transformation from starter to reliever as his own idea, based solely on his hatred for "doing the bucket," the job assigned to starting pitchers during batting practice the day after their start.
- He asserts that his now famous jet black beard is not dyed, but rather it is 'tan' from the California sun; a beard he says he models after Chuck Norris and the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
- When asked for the reason behind his $1000 fine from the League regarding his infamous all-orange cleats, he declared: "having too much awesome on my feet." (When told his cleats needed to be at least 50% black, he did not simply buy new cleats, no sir- he grabbed a black sharpie and went to work. Of course he did.)
- The most bizarre parts of the closer's interviews have to be his on-going references to "The Machine" - a black leather clad, mask-wearing, half-naked mystery man that Wilson claims in many instances as his neighbor, friend, and mentor. 'The Machine' has made background appearances on The Cheap Seats and The Tonight Show, while his mask was brought onto the Jim Rome set during one of Wilson's appearances. I don't know if he's nuts or just having a little fun with America, but the whole Machine thing kinda creeps me out.
Wilson's mind must be like a circus- but lucky for Giants fans, it doesn't seem to affect his performance, negatively at least- I know as a hitter I'm not looking forward to facing a wackjob throwing 98 MPH. There are times when I think this guy's got several screws loose, and other times when I think he's actually a normal guy who knows what the audience wants to see.
As ridiculous as some of his interviews are, he answers some questions seriously and respectfully. He's a well-spoken guy and has a self-deprecating sense of humor, which I appreciate. After every save, he makes a gesture where he crosses his arms and looks up, which he describes as a tribute to God and his father who is no longer with him. He's in your face, but he's not confrontational.
He's an entertainer, really- I think he's a guy who's gonna make the most out of his time on top of the baseball world. 'The Machine' thing is a little over the top for me, but otherwise he's a funny guy who crafted a public persona that has turned him into a crowd favorite. His Dos Equis beard inspiration would be proud, for Brian Wilson has quickly become "The Most Interesting Man in Baseball."
World Series Post-Game Interview: "I'm feeling like I wanna rage- RIGHT NOW." Who says that?