We all knew it was a distinct possibility.
We just didn’t want to believe it was possible.
Brian Wilson is a Dodger.
My initial gut reaction (Ben and Willie do not necessarily share my opinions on this) was angst, disgust, betrayal. As witnessed by the twitterxplosion, I’d say many Giants fans felt the same way.
At first, that is.
But, when you break it down and look at the known facts (and not everything is known), I do believe it was a business decision, and nothing more. Let’s look at his motivating factors for the bearded one signing with our arch-rivals:
- IT WAS THE ONLY CONTRACT OFFER HE RECEIVED: Initially it was reported that he received 3 offers, but as of what is known now, only the Dodgers gave him a formal offer on paper. The man is unemployed and looking for work. His loyalty to the Giants and their fans does not supersede a job offer. On the surface, I don’t blame him. He was quoted by TMZ as saying, “I just play baseball. You know, if there are 30 teams out there and 29 teams don’t want me, what am I going to do, say I’m not going to play baseball?” He’s also probably concerned about what he can turn this into in 2014, and this is a springboard to it, maybe his only one.
- The Dodgers are in first place: Ok, it took me 5 minutes to type that sentence out. But, even though the Pirates and Giants were in “talks” with him, he knows the Giants aren’t going any where this year, and perhaps he felt it was more of a “sure thing” with the Dodgers anyway. Just look at how the Pirates fell flat on their face last year. Although, that beard would have been a true “pirate” look.
- He lives in Hollywood: Ok, he lives in the neighborhood. He also loves California and apparently doesn’t want to move anywhere else.
- Ned Colletti: Ned Colletti, the GM for the Dodgers, drafted Wilson when he was assistant GM with SF in 2003, and this was after his first Tommy John surgery. Now he’s signed him after his second TJ. There’s some loyalty there, perhaps, or perhaps that’s why he was the only GM to offer Wilson a contract.
- It’s not out of spite: Asked how Giants fans will feel about seeing him in Dodger blue, Wilson said, “I’ve got much love for San Francisco. We had a good time. But there’s nothing I can do. They don’t want me back so it’s all good. I’ll just play baseball hopefully here with the major league team and see if I can help them win.” This doesn’t sound like spite to me. And, after firing up his Twitter account among other news sources, he’s fully aware of the backlash amongst Giants fans.
Well, as of 1 pm Pacific today, it’s official: The San Francisco Giants did not make any trades. Hunter Pence raised his hands and yelled, “YES!” right at the stroke of the deadline. Javier Lopez was reportedly nervous up until then, but was relieved when it passed. It says something about their teammates and the organization when they would rather be on a last place team with these teammates, rather than going to a contender. I believe this is a great sign that they will want to re-sign for next year and they can regroup and have a Mulligan on their season.
Also, don’t forget to listen to our latest podcast here.
Now, let’s see if the Giants can recuperate some respectability the rest of the way.