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Why the Giants passed on Brian Wilson

Aug 2, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

brian wilson getty wide Getty Images

On Tuesday, we learned that the Dodgers and Brian Wilson agreed on a Major League contract. The former Giants closer is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, required after succumbing to injury in his second appearance of the 2012 season. Current Giants closer Sergio Romo, normally solid, had a horrendous July, posting a 5.63 ERA in nine appearances — and it continued last night as he magically escaped a bases loaded, no out jam against the Phillies unscathed. The Giants were one of several teams interested in obtaining Wilson’s services over the final two months of the season, but backed off after internal discussions.

Via CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly:

Upper management recognized the value that Wilson had both as an attraction and an endearing figure in franchise history. Others in the organization were put off by Wilson’s antics and the fact he showed up all of the sudden down the stretch, cavorting around the dugout just when all the national cameras showed up.

But ultimately, CEO Larry Baer told Sabean to make a baseball decision. And part of a baseball decision is making sure you have a healthy and cohesive clubhouse.

Wilson’s antics are harmless when the team is winning because everyone is happy. When the team is losing, as the Giants are, Wilson’s antics can become irritating and distracting. The Phillies are another great example of this, as GM Ruben Amaro scolded Cliff Lee for pranking his teammates when they participated in live in-game interviews. Lee has always been known to do that, and it was acceptable behavior because the team was a perennial powerhouse in the league. Now that they are a sub-.500 club, the jokes don’t seem as funny.

The Dodgers are a great landing spot for Wilson. They’re in first place, have had a ton of media attention on a handful of players (particularly Yasiel Puig), and have a legitimate need for another reliable arm in the bullpen. Can’t blame the Giants for passing on him, and you can’t blame the Dodgers for snapping him up.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Sergio Romo’s awfulness had to be at least in part due to a series of recurring nightmares that he was being chased by a giant disgusting wad of Just for Men jet-black beard hair.

  2. losangelesfan - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Your shower shoes have fungus on them. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think you’re colorful. When you’re losing in the show, however, it means you are a slob.

    Apologies to Ron Shelton

  3. fanofevilempire - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Cliff Lee is a douche for what he did at the all star game, glad he never will pitch in NY.

    • yahmule - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Yeah…what was it he did again?

      • Carl Hancock - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:08 AM

        He’s referring to ths…

        So what, Cliff Lee wasn’t all smiles during All-Star Game introductions, would you be all smiles if the stadium was booing you as the New York crowd was booing Cliff Lee? New Tork fans dislike him because he plays for a rival of the Mets and he spurned the Yankees during Free Agency,

        If anything I’d say fans booing players at the All-Star game is a douche move. Not Cliff Lee for being unhappy about it.

  4. fanofevilempire - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    upper management never pitched a ball but they are so smart, what happened to the team this year, maybe they should worry about fielding a better team and defending a title, you failed twice in three years to do that, better to pitch for a chance at winning.

    • bfunk1978 - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      In other news, the Giants won the World Series 2 out of 3 years, so shut yer yap.

    • dan1111 - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      Giants management is full of people who are former players.

  5. smcgaels1997 - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Brilliant least they won 2 titles. 2 tommy John surgeries and the fact they paid 8 million last year for 36 pitches is cause enough. Considering they have 2 titles, pretty clear they understand baseball..

  6. smcgaels1997 - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Hard to fault them for not. “Defending their title” when repeating is almost as rare as actually having a successful career after 2 TJ surgeries

  7. xmatt0926x - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    So you’re saying that there are some that believe that Brian Wilson’s antics are a way to attract attention as opposed to him just being plain ol’ zany by nature? I find that hard to believe. I’m sure he had no idea where those cameras were in those dugouts.

  8. smcgaels1997 - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    And not showing up all season until the postseason..glory whore.

  9. koufaxmitzvah - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    That hefty wind of hot air Giants fans are feeling are the Dodgers blowing past the rest of the NL West division. Adios, muchachos. Better luck next year.

    • gymviking - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Wilson was a distraction, which is fine when winning. He liked the limelight. The current team doesn’t have the winning environment and talent to handle distractions, and our friends to the south have a large pocket book…

      @koufaxmitzvah 2 World Series titles in the last 3 years. Your new owners are spending money, but your last WS was when Ronald Reagan was President. Shut it. Mickey Hatcher ain’t going to come back to save you and Kirk Gibson is with the Diamondbacks now.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        I do believe that 5 is more than twice than 2. Which is something to think about when touting about previous World Series victories.

        Of course, some of us think that the current World Series is the real shizz.

        Maybe ya’ll can win something next year?

  10. paperlions - Aug 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Isn’t the most likely reason they passed on him because they are playing horrible baseball and the 2013 season is cooked….so, why sign a bullpen arm for the rest of the season?

    • bfunk1978 - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      In essence, paying him to audition for teams to prove he’s healthy when he’s a free agent again this winter. Spot on.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      Egg-zactly. And if you subscribe to that point of view, which I do, what does it say about Brian Sabean that he planted this story to deflect from the poor performance of the team he has assembled?

  11. jayquintana - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Dodgers bully needs all the help they can get. I’m all for this signing.

    Go Blue!

  12. MyTeamsAllStink - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    this will all be moot if Wilson doesn’t have the arm he once did.Youll just have a
    bunch of fans wearing stupid beards for a washed up pitcher

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