Los Angeles Dodgers’ relief pitcher Brian Wilson joined the team at the end of July last season and became one of the brightest spots in an already strong bullpen.
Wilson allowed just one run in 24 appearances between the regular season and playoffs, earning him a one-year deal worth $10 million this off-season from the Dodgers. It appeared Wilson was on his way out when negotiations with the Detroit Tigers reached serious levels; however, the right-hander opted to spurn the Tigers for the Dodgers.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Wilson gave some insight into his decision to remain in Los Angeles:
I just look at it this way, Wilson said. Do I want to have spring training in Florida? No. So those teams were out. Do I want to pitch in a garbage city? No. Those teams are out.
I’ve lived in L.A. for the last seven years. The weather is great. As far as the medical side of things, everything is tangible. You go to a different city and you don’t have any hookups to go to a doctor’s office. The whole moving-around thing has taken a toll on me. I’ve been moving around for 15 years. It isn’t any fun. I want to be able to live in my house. Leave for two months for spring training then stay for 10.
Living in Los Angeles, along with the faith that the Dodgers showed him, were two of the biggest reasons they landed Wilson last year following a workout. Wilson came to the Dodgers from the biggest rivals the San Francisco Giants, but became beloved in the clubhouse and with the fans. He was brought back to be the setup man to closer Kenley Jansen after many believed he was looking to be a full-time closer elsewhere.
Wilson also discussed the role he took on and more reasons he stayed with the Dodgers via Plunkett:
Just being a closer for a team that doesn’t do anything – that’s not ideal. That’s not fun. Yeah, I guess that’s fun if you’re a selfish baseball player. My motivation is to dogpile, tackle everyone at the end of the season when everyone hates us. That’s what I want to do.
If Wilson and the bullpen can replicate their numbers from the second half of last season, then the 31-year-old’s motivation could become a reality.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video