I will take great care in easing you all into this topic. I am fully aware of the gut-wrenching, convulsion inducing nature of the topic I am about to address. We are dealing with perhaps the ultimate selling of one’s soul, a true deal with the devil. What could possibly be related to the Oakland Athletics that would bring forth such a violent and disgusting reaction? A player so revolting, the likes of him being linked with the A’s hasn’t been seen since Barry Bonds was a speculated match for the A’s some years ago.
Nope, not the Beach Boy, although we all wish I was simply writing a retrospective on their classic album “Pet Sounds” from 1966. We are talking about the insufferable, beard colored with shoe polish, spandex tuxedo wearing to the Espy’s, all around tired act that is Brian Wilson – the former closer of the San Francisco Giants. I shudder at the thought.
We all know the story, Wilson was worked extremely hard by Bruce Bochy during their 2010 World Series run, and the after effects started to show in late 2011 when Wilson started to experience arm problems. His velocity took a nosedive, and after just 2 appearances in 2012 Wilson went under the knife to have his second Tommy John surgery. The Giants replaced him with Sergio Romo as they marched to their second title in 3 years, and the now damaged and expendable Wilson was non-tendered during the offseason.
It’s been a long road back for Wilson, but he appears to be nearing a return to baseball after missing about a season and a half. He held a workout a couple days ago, and according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports the Oakland Athletics were one of the teams represented at the workout.
Without a doubt the instant reaction of most A’s fans probably landed somewhere around “OH HELL NO” and “NOT A CHANCE IN HELL.” And I can’t blame them, and at some point I have to say my reaction would have been about the same. But as we’ve seen the season play out, a need has developed, and as much as I hate to say it, Brian Wilson would fill that need.
Before you all leave this page immediately, never to return, hear me out. We all know how critical the bullpen is to a team’s success, and how the workload of a full regular season can decrease the effectiveness of the bullpen as a whole. While he may be coming off a major surgery, Brian Wilson has minimal mileage on his arm in 2013, and he could jump into the middle of a Major League bullpen as a completely fresh arm. Of course there’s no telling exactly how effective he could be considering his lengthy absence from the mound, but one of the biggest culprits of his ineffectiveness prior to his surgery was the decrease in his velocity. Knobler noted that his velocity was back up around 93 mph during his most recent work out. A fastball like that is more than adequate to get hitters out.
Over this last year I’ve come to one conclusion about players on the A’s. I have all but detached myself emotionally from the players themselves, and I am strictly results oriented. If you perform, I will like you, if you don’t, I will not. It’s that simple for me. And that approach would be extended to Brian Wilson as well if he were to don the green and gold.
Another aspect of this signing to consider, many A’s fans relish in the failure of the Giants this season almost as much as they do the success of the Athletics. So wouldn’t signing the revered reliever from San Francisco and having him help lead the A’s into October be an ultimate piece of revenge against the Giants? That has to have some appeal.
So I give Billy Beane and the A’s my full endorsement to explore the possibility of signing Brian Wilson for the remainder of the season. Besides, would you really rather have Dan Otero in the bullpen or Brian Wilson? Maybe a green and gold dyed beard might actually look good.