Akin to the hordes of laid-off members of the UAW, there is also no work in Detroit for the San Francisco Giants’ former closer Brian Wilson.
Now, I’m sure some MLB team will take a chance on this bearded, self-described “certified ninja”, but you can bet it won’t be the Detroit Tigers. It’s a shame he couldn’t stay in San Francisco, but it’s understandable that the Giants are choosing to go with the younger, cheaper, and un-certified ninja Sergio Romo once they realized he could effectively close out games.
However, if the Tigers weren’t so keen on 22-year-old Bruce Rondon management could see this very differently. Like Wilson, Rondon is a power pitcher, but, unlike Wilson, Rondon hasn’t had two Tommy John surgeries during his career. Acquiring a power pitcher is a lot like being a drug addict—you’re going to have some high highs, but they’ll eventually give way to crashes, physical distress, and low lows. Ask any Tigers’ fan about their feelings about the often-dominant, but more often-injured, Joel Zumaya if you’re looking for proof of frustration with an injured power pitcher.
So Wilson has had two Tommy John surgeries, which means that his right elbow is being held together by nothing more than some Cherokee hair, maybe a chewed piece of Bazooka Joe, and possibly some other tendons scavenged from elsewhere on his body. Yeah, even my non-licensed medical opinion doesn’t instill confidence in Wilson’s future.
Good work, Tigers’ brass. I’m in full support of your decision to save money, give Rondon a shot at the closer position, and not pursue this aging closer whose ferocious facial hair makes him look like a lovechild between Santa Claus and a pirate king.