Brian Wilson – Crazy like a fox

We knew it long before the Dodgers signed him on July 30, 2013 – former Giants closer Brian Wilson is… well… different.

But don’t let the disguise fool you (okay it’s not a disguise, that’s what he really looks like) – Wilson is crazy like a fox. In other words, he is extremely smart but loves to come across as an eccentric (okay he doesn’t just come across as eccentric, he really is eccentric), and nobody does it better.

Don't let his looks and his eccentric behavior fool you, Brian Wilson is a very intelligent guy. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Don’t let his looks and his eccentric behavior fool you, Brian Wilson is an extremely intelligent guy. He is also a very hard worker.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

The day after making his first appearance (and collecting the win) against his former team, Wilson spoke with members of the media in the Dodger clubhouse prior to Friday night’s game, with one exception – no Giants media, whom he refused to speak with. And though Wilson was aloof in several of his answers, he actually made sense, good sense, in fact – hence that crazy like a fox thing.

Wilson was asked what it was like facing his old team.

“I used to face them in spring training,” said Wilson. “Just another team, I gotta go out and get three outs. I really don’t put any added pressure or any emotion into the inning. I’ve always said I go out there and do my job and get it over with.”

But what about his new team, the Dodgers? How is Wilson fitting in with them?

“I didn’t think fitting in would be a problem,” Wilson said. “I’ve known most of the players throughout my career – eccentric group (yes, he really said that), very outspoken, a lot of hard workers and they’re good baseball players, and that part made it pretty easy fitting in. And I’ve lived here (in Southern California) for six or seven years so I just play in my backyard now,” he added.

Although Wilson threw mostly sliders and cutters in the 87-89 MPH range in his inning of work on Thursday night, he hit 95 MPH once on the Dodger Stadium radar gun with a fastball. When asked if he was going to start throwing more fastballs in that range, the 31-year-old Winchester, Massachusetts native showed his humorous side.

“I’d like to throw 110, I’ve been working on that,” kidded Wilson, who then gave a serious answer. “I just wanted to throw a couple. As long as I’m flashing the miles per hour then people know nothing’s wrong. It’s coming out a lot more smoothly with a little bit more action as the months progress. I know it’s getting toward the end of the season but I’m still doing that and that’s why I want to time it correctly.”

Wilson faced the heart of the Giants batting order in his one inning of work. (Photo credit - Jon SooHoo)

Wilson faced the heart of the Giants batting order in his one inning of work on Thursday night. He ended up getting the win on Adrian Gonzalez’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th. (Photo credit – Jon SooHoo)

Interestingly, Wilson says that he hasn’t seen a doctor during his recovery from his second Tommy John surgery.

“The last time I saw a doctor was the day of my surgery (on April 19, 2012),” said Wilson. “I mean I knew what it was like coming in the first time and I didn’t really want to listen to anybody on statistics of the second Tommy John. I’d just do what I did the first time, copy and paste and it would work out.”

When asked about earlier comments he had made about turning the page on his time with the Giants and about his reluctance to speak with the San Francisco media, Wilson gave what was perhaps his best answer of the interview.

“I’ve talked about that a lot, there’s nothing more I can say,” admitted Wilson. “I’ve said what I’ve needed to say. I’ve remained silent for a number of reasons. Out of respect for the city or team I play for now there’s just no reason to say anything to get legs.”

Wilson made it clear that he harbors no ill will or bad feelings towards any of his former teammates.

“I’ve always remained in contact with friends throughout baseball.”

Yep… crazy like a fox.

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7 Responses to “Brian Wilson – Crazy like a fox”

  1. KSparkuhl says:

    Great post. I love the Isotopes t-shirt under his batting practice jersey… very stylish!

  2. ebbetsfld says:

    Great to have him on our side. He’s talented, hard-working, funny, and most important of all a winner!

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      I know there are some who do not care for Brian Wilson, but of the many Dodger players that I have had the pleasure (and been blessed) to interview, Brian is arguably the most focused and intense.

      Although he enjoys toying with the media, he (eventually) gives extremely concise, intelligent and analytic answers. He absolutely has ice water in his veins and (Lord forbid) should Kenley Jansen ever get injured or stumble in the closer role, Wilson would be the right guy to replace him – no contest.

      Brian Wilson is everything that a great closer should be and is indeed a winner.

  3. ebbetsfld says:

    Based on tonight’s performance, Fife should be given an opportunity next spring to show what he can do. But shutting him down for the rest of the season might not be such a bad idea.

    • Bluenose Dodger says:

      It would seem he has not recovered from his arm problem.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      A little over a month ago I mentioned that when Fife went on the DL for a second time with shoulder bursitis I suspected that there may be something more serious going on with his shoulder – which I still think is the case.

      It could be something as simple as him over-compensating or babying it but I think it may be something that may require surgery. Obviously, I hope not but it this is the case, get it done right now before his MLB career passes him by.

      As Bluenose mentioned, I would not be at all surprised to see Fife being completely shut down. That said, it’s kind of unfair to point the finger at him for Friday night’s disaster when every pitcher except J.P. Howell allowed between 2 and 5 earned runs each.

  4. ronnidonni says:

    Just read an article about him on the Dodgers web site.
    Having always like him because of his “schtick” I have even more affection and respect for him now. He truly does respect the game and I love that. I’m a pretty conservative and traditional(real baseball requires the pitcher to bat for example) fan but you can tell he’s just a real good baseball player… that’s what he wants to be.
    There have been eccentric guys over the years, Hraboski, Fidrych to name just a couple and we loved them the same.
    Brian Wilson is as real as it gets and I’m very happy we have him on our side.

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