The loss of Brian Wilson to season-ending elbow surgery will be a big one for the San Francisco Giants to overcome. Not only do they lose their proven closer, but they also are left scrambling for other options for the ninth inning. While manager Bruce Bochy has relievers capable of serving in the closer's role, it shortens up his list of potential options for all of the other innings once the starting pitcher departs.
Wilson, understandably distraught, took some time to meet with the media and discuss his arm injury. Here are a few of the snippets, courtesy of The Mercury News.
On how he's handling the news:
I'm fine. I'm not down at all. The likelihood is, yeah, the season's over with. I'm getting a couple more opinions, but we all know what structural damage is, and the likelihood of me throwing again this year is minimal. I've obviously prepared for a different view of the game. I have an opportunity now to be a better teammate and watch other stories unravel and be more of a student of the game. I still have a lot ot learn and I still have a lot to teach. By now stretch of the imagination is my journey over with here. This is just a mild bump in my road. It's never been easy when I've pitched, or lived. So this is an opportunity for me to get a better arm, you know? How is that disappointing? I get to throw harder. I like it.
Do not expect Wilson to sit around and mope as he recovers, though:
I like my odds to become more involved in the community. Kruk and Kuip better watch out, because I'll be upstairs in the booth. I may announce some games, maybe win an Emmy.
And on when he knew something was seriously wrong:
Yeah, you can tell what pitch didn't work well on film or on the walk behind the mound. It felt like tennis elbow after that. But I was still able to finish the inning and my mindset was, `OK, if it's inflammation, get out of your mess. If this is season-ending, your last pitch is going to be preserving Bumgarner's win, and not walking off the mound a failure. That's just how I pitch. I don't care how painful it is.
Brian Wilson is a beloved member of the Giants for many reasons, but his team-first attitude may be the most likable thing about him (other than The Beard, of course). With some hard work and a little bit of luck, the club can expect to have their closer back some time around the start of the 2013 season.
For more on Wilson and the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.