Wilson returns, won't shave beard
Aug 22, 2013 at 1:00a ET
What a day for the bearded one.
Early on Thursday, it was reported that eccentric reliever Brian Wilson was offered $1 million to shave his trademark beard.
"His management feels we need to match his present salary of $1 million at a minimum," co-founder and president of 800Razors.com Philip Masiello told Radaronline.com.
"Over the weekend and continuing today, we have been in discussions with his management at MVP sports to finalize the terms under which Brian would participate in a beard shaving promotion and endorsement."
Wilson, who has 171 career saves and played a key role as the closer for the San Francisco Giants during their 2010 World Series, missed most of the last two seasons following his second Tommy John surgery. He recently signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers and on Thursday, pitched in the majors for the first time since April 12, 2012.
With the Dodgers leading the host Miami Marlins 6-0, Wilson entered to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Before throwing his first pitch, he took a deep breath.
"I only have a brief moment out there, and I can either crumble or rise to the occasion," Wilson told the Associated Press. "I can tell you crumbling isn't something I'd like to do."
The 31-year-old right-hander wrapped up the Dodgers' win by tossing a scoreless inning, striking out two and allowing a two-out hit.
He struck out slugger Giancarlo Stanton and induced Logan Morrison into a groundout before yielding a double to Greg Dobbs. Justin Ruggiano fanned for the final out, culminating with Wilson's famous cross-armed, finger-pointing gesture to signify his finishing off a victory.
"It felt normal," Wilson told the AP. "It was long overdue, a very arduous process, but I'm glad I went through it so I could appreciate baseball even more. I felt comfortable. I felt like I hadn't skipped a beat."
Wilson needed 19 pitches, 11 which he threw for strikes, in his scoreless inning and reached 94 mph on the radar gun.
"Pretty impressive," Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly told the AP. "He comes out throwing strikes. His stuff seemed sharp. It was good."
Added Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis to the AP, "I was very impressed with his stuff and the way he threw the ball and his confidence. He's going to help us out. The guy has gotten last outs in World Series games, so he's somebody we can count on who won't get rattled in tough situations, which is another great piece to have."
As for the proposition to shave his beard for $1 million as part of an endorsement campaign: TMZ reported it received a statement from Wilson's camp saying, "I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH MONEY'S ON THE TABLE ... NOBODY'S CUTTING ME!"
TMZ also reported that Wilson told the agency that represents him that the beard is "going with him to the grave."
Meanwhile, FOX Sports Live panelist Gabe Kapler tweeted about Wilson and his famous facial hair earlier in the week.
— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) August 19, 2013
Do Brian Wilson and his beard count as two roster spots? #Dodgers— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) August 19, 2013