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.
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.”
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.