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Tag:Brian Wilson
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:22 pm
 

Beyond the closer -- baseball's best facial hair



By C. Trent Rosecrans


When it comes to baseball facial hair, all the glory seems to go to the closers -- from Rollie Fingers to Rod Beck to the modern-day duo of Brian Wilson and John Axford. Wilson's beard has made him baseball's version of Peyton Manning -- appearing in more commercials than games. And then there's Axford, the Brewers' closer won the title of Mustached American of the Year from the American Mustache Institute, despite the fact he's Canadian.

Well, why should closers have all the fun? We need to get back to the glory days of the 70s and 80s when mustaches weren't just for the closers, they were for everyone in baseball. So, with that in mind, here is some of baseball's best mustaches, beards and other facial hair variations that are sported by players other than closers.

The outfielder -- Toronto's Eric Thames

 

Thames gets bonus points for versatility, changing his facial hair throughout the season, from simple stubble to some fantastic sideburn-mustache combos. Kudos to Thames for several of his combinations and his sheer willingness to experiment. A true All-Star in terms of facial hair.

The infielder -- Seattle's Brendan Ryan

 

Ryan finished the season clean-shaven, but hopefully he's using the offseason to get this glorious 'stache back in shape for spring training. Ryan also knows how to sport some awesome stirrups, so the man knows his style.

The starter -- Minnesota's Carl Pavano

 

Pavano's 'stache has its own Facebook page, as well it should.

The middle reliever -- Cincinnati's Sam LeCure

 

LeCure used his mustache to raise money for prostate cancer as part of the Movember movement. While a native of Missouri, LeCure went to college at Texas, so he's taken note of the great gunslingers of the old west for inspiration for his 'stache.

The manager -- Seattle's Eric Wedge

 

Like Ryan, Wedge shaved late in the 2011 season. Let's hope Wedge brings back the mustache -- which just commands respect. 

The bench coach -- Tampa Bay's Dave Martinez

 

Martinez didn't shave his beard, but he did give it a good trim late in the season. But you've got to give the guy credit for keeping that glorious monster alive during a Florida spring and summer. Sure, Tropicana Field is air conditioned, but you've got to leave the ballpark sometimes and that humidity is deadly.

The umpire -- Jim Joyce



Joyce became a household name for the way he handled his blown call costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010, but his mustache screams authority and confidence, meaning we believe him now when he says out or safe -- no matter what's happened in the past.

The mascot -- Mr. Redlegs

 

Mr. Met is probably the best mascot in the game, but the Reds took the Mr. Met template and one-upped him with a handlebar mustache -- which is like the bacon of facial hair, it makes everything better.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 12:17 am
 

Homegrown Team: San Francisco Giants



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

On the strength of an incredible -- and mostly homegrown -- pitching staff, the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series in 2010 (yes, the Giants had won the World Series before, but that was as the New York Giants). So when you picture how the Giants would fare in this just-for-fun series, you might think these Giants will be pretty good. If so, you'd be wrong. You'll find a similarity to the real Giants in terms of pitching and offense, but the bad is much, much worse. In fact, it's awful. Don't say we didn't warn you ...

Lineup

1. Brandon Belt, RF
2. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
3. Buster Posey, 1B
4. Nate Schierholtz, CF
5. Yorvit Torrealba, C
6. Brett Pill, LF
7. Matt Downs, 2B
8. Brandon Crawford, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Tim Lincecum
2. Matt Cain
3. Madison Bumgarner
4. Ryan Vogelsong
5. Francisco Liriano

Bullpen

Closer - Brian Wilson
Set up - Joe Nathan, David Aardsma, Sergio Romo, Scott Linebrink, Jason Grilli
Long - Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correia

Notable Bench Players

Hector Sanchez, Emmanuel Burriss and Conor Gillaspie.

What's Good?

The pitching staff could be even better than the real-life lock-down staff because you add the upside of Liriano, along with Nathan and Aardsma as setup men for Wilson. Of course, Nathan had a down year while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Liriano was pretty bad and Aardsma missed the entire season with his own injury. But since we're living in a dream world anyway, just picture this staff with everyone at his best. It's amazing, top to bottom.

What's Not?

Pretty much everything else. There is no bench depth at all, which is bad because Torrealba, Pill, Downs and Crawford don't have any business being everyday big-league starters. The Belt-Sandoval-Posey start to the lineup isn't bad, but after that the lineup is brutal. Schierholtz is fine for a six or seven hitter, but definitely not cleanup on a team that wants to be in playoff contention. The presence of Sandoval and Posey probably prevents this from being the worst Homegrown offense, but it's really, really bad. The team speed is lacking, too, so the offense can't exactly hope to put pressure on the defense that way. Oh yeah, the defense. Due to having one true outfielder (I still count Belt as a true first baseman) on the entire roster in addition to that guy being a corner outfielder having to play center, and we have four guys playing out of position. The outfield's range in particular would be crippling to the elite pitching staff in that spacious outfield.

Comparison to real 2011

It's similar in that the pitching is great and the offense is a big problem, but this offense is far worse than the real-life Giants' was -- and that wasn't good enough to make the playoffs. The actual 2011 Giants went 86-76 and were quite fortunate to get there with such a bad offense. This group couldn't possibly get to .500, even with the one of the best pitching staffs in this exercise -- and, again, the defense would make the pitchers look worse. I think it looks like a 75-win team, based purely on the pitching staff, Sandoval and Posey.

Up next: Oakland Athletics

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Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:26 am
 

Brian Wilson is '2 Legit 2 Quit' in political ad

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Wouldn't you know it, but Brian Wilson is "2 Legit 2 Quit" -- but you probably knew that already.

The Giants closer is featured, alongside MC Hammer, NFL legend Ronnie Lott and others in an ad for San Francisco interim mayor Ed Lee's election bid. Yep, the Giants' closer isn't just schilling for chalupas, he's also getting political in his own way.

Lott is appearing in his second video for "2 Legit 2 Quit" video -- back in 1991 he was in the original along with Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Kirby Puckett, Roger Clemens, Deion Sanders, Isiah Thomas, Jerry Rice, Andre Rison, Chris Mullin, Roger Craig, Lynette Woodard, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, David Robinson and Jerry Glanville. None of those guys back in the day had the stones to rock the hammer pants, though, like Wilson does. 

Sure, I don't live in San Francsico, but if I did, how could I not vote for Lee with an ad like that? 

And, if like my sister-in-law, you can't get enough of Wilson, there's even the outtakes of his dancing. Hey, it's the offseason.

 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Bud Norris takes swipe at Brian Wilson on Twitter

By Matt Snyder

Have you seen those recent Taco Bell commercials with eccentric Giants closer Brian Wilson? If not, here you go:



Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris has seen it, and he's evidently not a fan (understatement alert). Witness his tweet from Monday night (via Big League Stew).



It's too bad that with Wilson being a closer and Norris being a starter, the odds of one stepping into the batter's box against the other are pretty astronomical.

Also, this kind of disrupts traditional hierarchy. Generally speaking, less established players don't really go after more established players. Norris, 26, had a decent season for the Astros -- who were the worst team in baseball. Wilson is a three-time All-Star and was a prominent member of the World Series champion Giants in 2010.

This example, in a long line of examples, is why Twitter is equally awesome for fans and maybe a bit too much for some athletes. If you're Bud Norris, why go after Brian Wilson? Nothing can possibly be gained by that. And, really? He can't tell if Brian Wilson plays baseball?

We can help, Bud: Yes, Brian Wilson plays baseball. He's better at it than you are.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 21, 2011 11:51 am
 

Wilson hits the disabled list

By Matt Snyder

Giants closer Brian Wilson has landed on the disabled list, along with his beard, due to inflammation in his right elbow (Extra Baggs). He reportedly felt something in his elbow last Monday night during his blown save against the Braves and didn't feel comfortable Tuesday, which prompted a visit to Dr. James Andrews (MLB.com) -- the famed surgeon who performs Tommy John surgeries, among other procedures. He did Wilson's Tommy John surgery a few years ago. Andrews found nothing more than inflammation, so Wilson isn't going under the knife, for now. Still, it's bad enough to land him on the disabled list. He's eligible to come off August 31.

Wilson, 29, has closed 35 of 40 save chances this season with a 3.19 ERA and 1.49 WHIP.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 19, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 5:11 pm
 

On Deck: Tigers, Indians face off

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Big series: The Indians enter this weekend's three-game set in Detroit a game-and-a-half behind the American League Central-leading Tigers. As if that wasn't enough, Cleveland dodges Justin Verlander during the series, which is always a good thing if you're not the Tigers. The Indians took two of three in Cleveland earlier this month and the Tigers have lost six of their last 10, while the Indians have one four of their last five to tighten the race in the Central. However, the Tigers are 17-3 in their last 20 games against Cleveland at Comerica Park and won two of three against the Indians there in June. Indians at Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET

Derek LoweLowe struggling: Braves right-hander Derek Lowe is 4-7 with a 6.30 ERA in his last 12 starts and 7-11 with a 4.89 ERA on the season. He's been even worse at home, going 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in 10 starts at Turner Field this season. Arizona right-hander Daniel Hudson followed a disastrous start on Aug. 8 in Houston with an eight-inning outing against the Mets last Saturday, improving his record to 12-8 with a 3.76 ERA. Diamondbacks at Braves, 7:35 p.m.

Just what the doctor ordered: San Francisco may be struggling, but the Giants get a nice shot of the lowly Houston Astros, facing the game's worst team for the first time this season tonight. Houston could be the gift that keeps on giving, as the Giants will face the AStros in seven of their next 10 games. The Giants have won just six of their last 20 games while putting Carlos Beltran, Andres Torres, Sergio Romo, Eli Whiteside and Barry Zito on the disabled list, while dealing with injuries to Brian Wilson and Jeff Keppinger. The Giants, though, hit the easy part of their schedule before starting a series with the first-place Diamondbacks on Sept 2. In addition to the Astros, the defending champs also face the Cubs and Padres before their three-game series against Arizona at AT&T Park. Giants at Astros, 8:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Wilson sidelined with elbow injury

By Matt Snyder

The Giants seem to have a bit of an injury curse going right now. From day-to-day issues (Jeff Keppinger, Aaron Rowand, etc.) to the disabled list (Carlos Beltran, Sergio Romo, etc.) to season-enders (Buster Posey), they're going through pretty much everything. Add All-Star closer Brian Wilson to the list now, as he's going to miss a few days with inflammation in his throwing elbow.

Wilson reportedly felt something in his elbow Monday night during his blown save against the Braves and didn't feel comfortable Tuesday, which prompted a visit to Dr. James Andrews (MLB.com) -- the famed surgeon who performs Tommy John surgeries, among other procedures. He did Wilson's Tommy John surgery a few years ago.

Now that Giants fans are sufficiently panicked, we can pass along that Andrews didn't find anything worse than inflammation (MLB.com). So it's just the next few days that Wilson will miss, at least for now.

Wilson, 29, has closed 35 of 40 save chances this season with a 3.19 ERA and 1.49 WHIP.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:02 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome owned the night



By Matt Snyder


Jim Thome, Twins. What a day for one of the most respected players in baseball. Thome went 3-4 with five RBI in a Twins' 9-6 victory. Among those three hits were two home runs, meaning he now has 600 in his illustrious career. He's much more than just a home run hitter, too, so let's give him all the respect and adulation he deserves.

Mike Carp, Mariners. Don't look now, but the Mariners have a cleanup hitter. Long gone is Jack Cust and they don't have to use Adam Kennedy there anymore, either. Carp has locked down that lineup slot as he's presently on fire. The 25 year old went 2-4 with a pair of home runs Monday night, including an eighth-inning shot that tied the game at five. He's now 36-for-97 (.371) with six home runs and 26 RBI since rejoining the lineup July 19. Between Carp, Casper Wells and Dustin Ackley, the Mariners seem to have a good, young core of offensive players for the future.

Ryan Doumit, Pirates. The catcher tied a career high with four hits, as he went 4-4 with a three-run homer in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. He's now 10-for-23 (.435) since coming off the disabled list. Considering the Pirates have fallen out of the race and at least one contending team -- the Giants -- wouldn't mind an offensive upgrade at catcher for this year, he's an intriguing name in terms of a possible trade candidate through the waivers process this month.

Bonus Up: Jason Isringhausen of the Mets recorded his 300th career save Monday night in San Diego. He's the 23rd man in baseball history to achieve the feat and only Mariano Rivera and Francisco Cordero among active players have more.



Brian Wilson, Giants. The Giants were all set to move within 1 1/2 games of the Diamondbacks in the NL West when Wilson coughed this one up. He was spotted a 4-2 lead, but ended up walking off the field with a 5-4 loss. Three singles and two walks amounted to three earned runs, the blown save and the loss for The Beard.

Marlins' 9th inning. It was a rough inning for Jack McKeon's club. The Marlins went into the ninth with a 4-3 lead over the Rockies and closer Leo Nunez coming into the game. Dexter Fowler hit what reads in the box score as a double, but it was actually a flare that no one could get to. When Marlins third baseman Greg Dobbs ended up with the ball at second base, Fowler was slipping between first and second and was a sitting duck. Dobbs then fired an errant throw in an attempt to cut down Fowler, which instead allowed Fowler to reach second base. “Hindsight being 20-20, I should have held the ball and ran at him,” Dobbs said after the game (Fish Tank). A Carlos Gonzalez double plated Fowler to tie the game. McKeon then elected to intentionally walk Troy Tulowitzki and bring in left-handed specialist Randy Choate to face left-handed hitting Jason Giambi. It was certainly the right move on paper, but Giambi hit a three-run, walk-off homer. Basically, Lady Luck was not on the side of the Marlins in the ninth.

The Angels. They lost a young starting pitcher to a groin injury in the first inning, gave up eight runs on 14 hits and committed three errors against the Rangers Monday night. Oh, and the Angels also fell five games behind the Rangers in the AL West. There are three games left in the series, but that could mean bad news if the Angels don't wake up. Otherwise they're liable to see themselves eight games back by the weekend, especially if they play the way they did Monday.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com