- The Most Interesting Man in the (Baseball) World.
- He once was fined for wearing “too much awesome” on his feet. He throws a 95 mph fastball. His beard throws 100 mph.
- He often allows hitters on base, just to give the fans some drama.
- He is: Giants closer Brian Wilson. The most interesting man in the baseball world.
Busting onto the scene during last year’s improbable run to the World Series, Brian Wilson isn’t quite a household name, but he sure is trying his best to change that. With his outlandish interviews, ridiculous outfits, and shoe polished beard, Brian Wilson has officially transformed himself into the most entertaining man in Major League Baseball. And with the recent irrelevance of Manny Ramirez, there is nobody who comes close to competing for the title.
At this point, the NFL is far and away the king of sports in America, with baseball now trailing the NBA for second on that list. One major reason for this decline of baseball’s popularity is lack of bankable stars. Think about it, even the most recognizable stars in the game (Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter) are seen as the classy, machinelike, boring stars. There’s nothing about them that stands out other than their statistics. While viewers care about stats, they want more than that. Viewers and fans want to see personality, pizazz.They want to see players who utilize twitter, facebook, and other channels of social media to interact and enhance the entire experience of watching and following the sport.Think LeBron James for basketball, or Peyton Manning for football. Shoot, even Rex Ryan draws more attention to the NFL as a coach than any player brings to baseball in recent years. In fact, since that ’04 champion Red Sox team that included Ramirez and the self-proclaimed “idiots” baseball has been desperately seeking a personality that keeps the broader public tuned in. Enter Brian Wilson.
The San Francisco Giants closer has been good for the past three seasons, but only recently have people started taking notice. Why? Well, for two reasons. One, he wasn’t just good this year, he was great, leading the Giants with 48 saves in 53 chances, 93 K’s in 74.2 IP, and an outstanding ERA for the season. That doesn’t include his perfect postseason which he went 6 for 6 in save chances and didn’t allow a single run throughout the Giants championship run.The first rule of being a bankable star with a bigger than life personality is that you have to be good. Really good. Two, you have to offer something different, something the public hasn’t seen before.You have to keep people entertained, and that is one thing Brian Wilson knows how to do.
One part “Wild Thing” from 90s film “Major League,” one part Kenny Powers from the popular HBO show “Eastbound and Down,” and one part Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man,” Wilson is a born entertainer. Appearing regularly on the MLB Network’s Cheap Seats program with Chris Rose, he showcased his quirky, rock star personality every week for the fans, and gained an underground notoriety with baseball fans for introducing the world to, “The Machine,” during a taping of the program. The fact that Wilson is not liked by all because of his style and personality makes him even more watchable. In many ways, the more outlandish and polarizing Wilson becomes, the greater he increases his value. Remember when John Rocker pitched for the Braves? Most people outside of Atlanta couldn’t stand the guy, but he was must see television, even if people watched just to see him fail. Wilson has this same quality. Screaming, pounding his chest, and crossing his arms when he records a big strikeout to end a game, opposing fans and players will grow tired of his act soon, but people will tune in to watch him lose, just as they did with Rocker.
Wilson is sure to gain as many fans as he is critics for his tactics this season, but rest assure if the Giants are at all relevant (and with that starting rotation they’re sure to be) then Brian Wilson be news all season long. And that is good news for baseball.