Hey, baseball… LET’S GET WEIRD. My man Brian Wilson is back in the news, because he wants back in the BIGS.
As Yahoo’s Tim Brown puts it, he’s got quote “no beard. no spin.”
Because my man is attempting a comeback as a knuckleballer… Of course. Only makes sense that the wackiest cat in baseball would comeback with the wackiest pitch in baseball.
The guy was clean shaven at USC yesterday, throwing a 30-pitch bullpen sesh where all but a handful of pitches were knuckleballs. And apparently he sees himself coming back this year: “I can already see myself out there. Throwing up some waffles.”
Look, this is a long shot to be sure. The knuckleball is the wackiest, most interesting thing about the sport of baseball. Lots of guys have one, and mess around with it at the yard. But having one and being a knuckleball pitcher are two totally different things. It’s very difficult to throw, and it takes unbelievable stones to stand 60 feet, 6 inches away from major league hitters, and throwing it. But it’s not impossible. And a few guys have made a really good living doing it. And there’s nothing I’d rather see more than a former flame thrower, coming out of nowhere, and reinventing himself as a 50 mile per hour, waffle thrower. I’ll admit it. I miss this dude. And his rap. And the fact that he is a certified ninja…a mental assassin:
Baseball is just BETTER when Brian Wilson AND THE MACHINE are in the bigs… Who’s the machine? I’ve interviewed this cat a dozen times and I still don’t know the answer. He first busted out the MACHINE during a sit down I had with him on JRIB. No joke, near the end of the interview, dude whips out a Zack Morris blower and starts chatting it up with “the machine.”
Is the machine even a person? There was one point I caught wind that the machine might be Pat Burrell:
And it wasn’t just imaginary concepts and ideas this guy was thinking up. He also singlehandedly coined new phrases…. like GOT HEEEEM:
Look, Brian Wilson may be crazy, but having a guy reinvent his career as a knuckleballer isn’t. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. That path alone can elongate a career. Just ask 42-year-old R.A. Dickey and the $8 mill check from the Braves he’ll be cashing this season. Hell, ask his Cy Young award. Tim Wakefield and Tom Candiotti pitched well into their 40’s as knuckleballers. And Wilson’s only 34.
Again, this is a long shot. But I’m not sure there’s anything I’ve wanted from major league baseball in a long time. Probably nothing I wanted this much from baseball since I was 16 years old, with my license for the first time and driving after the penguin Ron Cey, trying to meet him and get his autograph: so I want this badly. If anything, just so I can shoot the proverbial poo with him one more time: