After being plagued by arm complications and undergoing two (count ‘em, two) Tommy John surgeries, right-handed reliever Brian Wilson was DFA’d and released by the Dodgers halfway through his 2014 season. Apparently not living up to expectations, the Dodgers decided his remaining 2015 contract money wasn’t worth the roster spot he was hogging, and set him free. With $9.5 million dollars of free money in his pocket, two summers to think it over, and after a month of eating only guacamole, Wilson has shaved his beard and pointed his eye toward an MLB comeback.
Oh, and best of all, he’s gonna throw a knuckleball.
Wilson taught himself to throw a knuckleball when he was twelve years old, and has been refining his craft ever since. Having been told to hold off on the pitch by the Giants, this is the opportune time in his career to reveal his ace-in-the-hole.
Donning a hideous hawaiian-print cap, Wilson threw a half hour bullpen session at USC, most of the pitches being knucklers. “That right there,” he told Yahoo! Sports, “was an MVP-Cy Young knuckleball. You can write that down, too. No joke.”
No beard, no spin… pic.twitter.com/jduVacBBMA
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) February 8, 2017
With his history of arm injuries, the knuckleball is, as it has been for many, a great tool to keep Wilson in the game. While the knuckleball isn’t injury proof, it’s certainly a safer bet for Wilson than the 95-100 mph stuff he’s shown us for years.
If Wilson can really throw this ball for strikes (which he seems incredibly confident he can do) he shouldn’t have a problem settling into a roster spot in the big leagues again, and even finding a home in a rotation. Having only ever had 10 major league plate appearances (all fruitless) he’ll probably find himself in the American League where someone with a batting average higher than .000 can hit for him. Focusing 0% on hitting the ball will give him an opportunity to continue to focus 100% (or more) on throwing it. This, combined with his relatively fresh age of 34 and the low impact of the knuckleball, could allow Wilson to have a long and successful Disc 2 of his career.
Not only is the knuckleball appropriate for the current state of his career, but it’s also a great reflection of his personality. Whether it’s controversy over the natural color of his beard, being fined for wearing highlighter orange cleats, or launching his own reality television show, Brian Wilson has certainly earned a reputation with many as one of the strangest characters in baseball. As if all that were not enough, this month long guacamole diet and new knuckleball-lead career resurgence campaign has only added to his long history of zaniness.
If Brian Wilson can manage to break back into the majors, do well, and stay healthy, he’s well on his way to being a favorite among fans and writers. Maybe he can get some tips from Dan Haren on how to properly use Twitter. I don’t know if that matters, I just want to see him tweet.
I found an article which claims that avocados can cost anywhere from $1 to $4 per pound. Let’s assume that they cost $4 per pound.
At this rate, $9.5 million could buy Brian Wilson 2,375,000 pounds of avocado.
(9,500,000 / 4) = 2,375,000 lb
The average avocado weighs ~0.33 lb, but we’ll round up to .5 lb.
Assuming an avocado weighs .5 lb, 2,375,000 lbs of avocado is 4,750,000 individual avocados.
(2,375,000 / .5) = 4,750,000 avocados
The average person’s bowl of guacamole usually requires 2 avocados. 8 avocados could make a particularly large bowl of guacamole for a man such as Brian Wilson. 4.75 million avocados could make Brian 593,750 large bowls of guacamole.
(4,750,000 / 8) = 593,750 bowls
Assuming one of these bowls could feed Brian Wilson for one day, 593,750 large bowls of guacamole could feed him for 1,649 years.
(593,750 / 30) = 19,791 months
/ 12 = 1,649 years
The average lifespan for a US male is 76 years, so $9.5 million worth of avocados could feed Brian Wilson for 21 lifetimes.
(1,649 / 76) = 21 lifetimes
Editor’s Note: Isn’t math fun?