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Brian Wilson has custom Jordan cleats with kangaroos and a koala on them (Video)

28 Major League Baseball teams have yet to get their 2014 season underway. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks are not among them because they kicked things off last weekend in Australia in the the Opening Series.

Among the decidedly cool things to come from the two-game series were legendary broadcaster Vin Scully using an Australian accent and Clayton Kershaw spending his birthday with a kangaroo.

brian-wilson-custom-cleatsSpeaking of kangaroos, Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson has a custom pair of Nike Jordan cleats with some painted on them. There is a koala too, because koalas are awesome.

Also making an appearance on the shoes is Wilson’s knuckleball. Yes, he’s apparently adding one to his arsenal.

Brian Wilson, of course, is no stranger to sporting fancy footwear. Remember when he rocked the Nike Air Mags in the dugout?

Yeah, Mr. Wilson’s shoe game is strong.

Photo via Los Angeles Dodgers

Brian Wilson adding knuckleball to his arsenal? (Video)

Brian-Wilson-knuckleballBrian Wilson has always been known as a power pitcher. The Los Angeles Dodgers reliever has relied on a variety of fastballs and a slider to record 171 saves in his career, but he broke out an unfamiliar pitch during a spring training appearance on Tuesday. Wilson’s first pitch of the game appeared to flutter to the plate.

To the naked eye, it looked like Wilson had thrown a knuckleball. It went for a called strike. It’s also worth noting that Wilson appeared to throw a knuckle ball during a side session last year the day before Game 3 of the NLCS. He never used it during a game.

Wilson has had Tommy John surgery twice in his career, so maybe he’s looking to reduce the stress on his arm. Guys like Tim Wakefield enjoyed very long and relatively healthy careers by relying on the knuckleball. Chances are, Wilson is just screwing around in games that don’t count. We’ll know when the regular season is underway.

H/T Dodgers Insider

Brian Wilson, Dodgers reportedly close on one-year deal

Brian Wilson beard

Brian Wilson and the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly are close on agreeing to a one-year deal that would keep the bearded relief pitcher in LA.

Wilson was said to be a strong possibility for the Detroit Tigers, but they signed Joe Nathan instead. Now Tim Brown at Yahoo! Sports said Tuesday that Wilson and the Dodgers appear to be close on a contract.

Wilson would likely remain as a setup man for Kenley Jansen if he comes back to the Dodgers. Though he had a great partial season for the Dodgers, the market didn’t set up too favorably for him. If he agrees to a one-year deal with LA, he could probably hit the market again next offseason and hope for a big free agent contract to be a closer.

Wilson went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA and eight hits allowed in 13.2 regular-season innings. He pitched six scoreless innings in the playoffs.

Brian Wilson can’t sign with Yankees because he won’t shave his beard

Brian Wilson beard

The New York Yankees have a rule that prevents players from wearing long hair and/or facial hair. That rule might be an irritant for some who desire to wear long hair or a beard, but once they see how much money the Yankees are offering them, they usually acquiesce. It looks like that won’t be the case for free agent reliever Brian Wilson, because he refuses to shave his beard.

According to Yankees beat writer for the New York Daily News Mark Feinsand, Wilson’s agent told Yankees GM Brian Cashman that the closer won’t shave his beard. Cashman’s reponse was “cross him off the list.”

This should come as no surprise. The beard has become Wilson’s trademark over the past few years and is a huge part of his persona. Maybe he also believes it’s part of who he is as a pitcher. I could understand why, beyond aesthetics, he wouldn’t want to shave it and risk changing his image; maybe he believes the beard gives him an intimidating presence on the mound, which could be priceless to him.

We know in August that Wilson turned down $1 million to shave his beard, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that he would not want to shave his beard for the Yankees. There will be plenty of other teams interested in signing him after the year he had who will also let him keep his mane. The Detroit Tigers want an experienced closer and could be an attractive alternative.

H/T Extra Mustard

Brian Wilson: I got my World Series ring, issue is squashed

Brian Wilson Larry Baer

Brian Wilson confronted San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer last week following a game between his new team and old one over his 2012 World Series ring, but he says he finally got the ring and that the issue is over.

[Previously: Brian Wilson confronted Giants CEO over World Series ring]

“I got my ring,” Wilson said Friday at Dodger Stadium, via the Los Angeles Times. “It’s of no one’s concern. It was handled.

“I’m not asking America to understand. I don’t play games. I handled the situation. It’s over with. It’s squashed.”

That’s pretty typical of Wilson to say he’s not asking America to understand him. Believe us when we say we’re not here to psychoanalyze you and your actions, homie. I don’t think there’s enough time in the day to get to the bottom of your behaviors.

But it’s amazing things got to that point between him and the team. The Giants claimed they tried contacting their former closer throughout the year to get him his ring after he (understandably) declined an invitation to attend the team’s ring ceremony. I can’t imagine it would have been that hard for him to get his ring after missing the ceremony, but it apparently took months. I guess credit Wilson for taking the proverbial bull by the horns on this one, however unorthodox his methods may be.

Brian Wilson reportedly confronted Giants CEO Larry Baer over World Series ring

Brian-Wilson-Larry-Baer

Brian Wilson and the Los Angeles Dodgers were in San Francisco on Thursday night to take on the Giants in an eventual 4-3 loss. The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West and are thinking about winning a championship, but Wilson appeared to have much more on his mind in his final trip to AT&T Park this season.

After the game was over, Wilson strolled across the field to where Giants CEO Larry Baer was seated and had an animated conversation with him. It was originally believed that Wilson was angry with the Giants over the lack of security near the bullpen because he had been heckled, but CSNBayArea.com reported that Wilson was confronting Baer about his 2012 World Series ring.

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Vin Scully: Brian Wilson’s beard reminded me of Smith Brothers cough drops

Brian Wilson Smith Brothers

Vin Scully truly is one of a kind.

The legendary Dodgers announcer regularly brings up the level of sports broadcasting with his combination of historical references, poetic language, and masterful storytelling. On Monday night, the 85-year-old broadcaster sent fans scrambling to their search engines to understand one of his references.

Per Pedro Moura and others on Twitter, Scully said that Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson reminded him of a Smith Bros cough drop box:

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