Watching Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson pitch to his former team, the San Francisco Giants, should have riled up some anger inside me last night — but it didn’t. Not even when Wilson earned the win after Adrian Gonzalez won the game for the first-place Dodgers in the 11th inning. Something must be wrong with me, right?
I was infuriated when former Giants Jason Schmidt and Jeff Kent joined the Dodgers after spending many years as Giants. I couldn’t stand the sight of either player, especially Schmidt, who traitorously jumped between rival teams in one offseason. There was something about seeing two of my favorite Giants in Dodger Blue that I couldn’t stand.
Seeing Wilson pitch against the Giants last night, however, didn’t bring out that side in me. The fact that he helped bring the first World Series title to San Francisco obviously plays a huge factor in the way I feel about Wilson, but I don’t feel the need to throw out the word “traitor” when discussing Wilson. The same went for Juan Uribe when he went straight from the Giants to the Dodgers during the 2011 offseason.
So watching Wilson face Buster Posey — an odd sight to many — wasn’t as strange to me. I accepted the fact that Wilson is a Dodger and moved on. Many, I’m sure, hurled negative comments at Wilson during his inning of work on Thursday night, but I looked at him as just another reliever on another team.
Wilson returning to the Giants was a move neither side wanted to make. The Giants front office didn’t want to pay him the money he was asking for just a half year of work, and Wilson wanted to head to a contending team — something the Giants are not.
In the end, Wilson gave me an experience I wasn’t sure I’d ever see. The 2010 World Series run is something I will never forget, and every Giants fan owes a thank you to Wilson for his contributions.
We’ve seen it time and time again, and will see it for as long as this sport is around: baseball is business. Wilson returning to the Giants would have been bad business for both teams. Giants fans need to recognize that, move on, and praise Wilson for his tenure in San Francisco.