October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson waves to the crowd while riding in a cable car during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
For those that were hoping for a Brian Wilson return to the Bay, there is some bad news. The former Giants closer is “moving toward a possible deal” with the Detroit Tigers, according to Lynn Henning of The Detroit News.
Would the Giants even want “The Beard” back anyway?
Wilson posted a 0.66 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and struck out 13 – while only walking 4 – in 13.2 innings in 2013 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, all after undergoing a very public war-of-words with the San Francisco organization.
He underwent his second Tommy John surgery in 2012 and missed virtually the entire season. While rehabbing and subsequently signing with San Francisco’s chief rival, Wilson and his former team seemingly developed some bad blood.
Wilson had claimed that the Giants didn’t want him, but San Francisco brass stated otherwise.
"“It was obvious we had the interest,” general manager Brian Sabean said on a conference call back in late July, according to Andrew Baggarly at CSN Bay Area. “We had a private workout and two other workouts. He was wanting to move at lightning speed. He wanted to make a fast decision and the Dodgers jumped on him and he signed with the Dodgers.”"
Oct 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson before game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The now infamous differences in opinion culminated in Wilson yelling at Giants’ team president Larry Baer after a Giants vs. Dodgers game in late September. The spat was over Wilson wanting his 2012 World Series ring — something San Francisco had been attempting to give their former closer for 7 months prior –as the legend goes.
So there is that.
Then there is the Brian Wilson that saved 171 games and posted a 3.21 ERA over seven seasons with San Francisco. The closer that saved 6 games without giving up a run in the 2010 postseason en route to the Giants’ first World Series title in the City by the Bay.
The charismatic weird guy that spawned thousands upon thousands of fake beard-wearing fans and that provided a fan base with bountiful entertainment — or horror depending on who you ask.
Wilson did a lot of good for the Giants organization.
In baseball terms, I think of course you want Brian Wilson in your bullpen. The guy was hitting 97 mph on the radar gun towards the end of the season and was virtually untouchable. But yes, there is risk.
Sep 13, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo (54) celebrates at the end of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Wilson’s injury history, first and foremost, might lead to a bit of hesitancy from some. An ability to coexist with Sergio Romo – now that Romo is an All Star closer himself – would also be a concern in Giants-land.
Even with the perceived obstacles to a reunion, reports such as this Tweet from Tim Brown at Yahoo! Sports and the Giants being open to a reunion have been popping up all month:
So, it behooves us to ask: Would you want Brian Wilson back? Did he pass the point of no return? If he goes to Detroit, at least he’ll be out of the division, right?
Let us know what you think.