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Applause, please: Brian Wilson won't shave beard to be a Yankee

November 18, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson won't give up his famous facial hair to join the deep-pocketed New York Yankees.
Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson won't give up his famous facial hair… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Brian Wilson is my new hero.

Not you? Still having trouble divorcing him from his time with the evil black and orange? Might want to be a tad open-minded here.

My favorite story to come out of the general mangers’ meetings last week had nothing to do with replay or the Masahiro Tanaka machinations, but Wilson’s beard.

He won’t shave it off to be a Yankee.

Is this great or what? The Yankees need bullpen help, and Wilson came back from elbow surgery to sign with the Dodgers and allow one earned run in 18 appearances.

But the Yankees have a no-beard policy. So when general manager Brian Cashman inquired about Wilson, agent Dan Lozano told him to forget it.

Wilson won’t shave his beard for the Yankees. He won’t even shave his beard within the beard.

“We could use bullpen help, but you can cross him off the list,” Cashman said. “I was told, 'Don't even bother.'”

How can you not love this? A man standing up for his principles, or at least his right to be every bit the individual he chooses to be. Wilson would not shave off his beard as a promotional stunt for a razor company last August and he won’t shave it off now to wear pinstripes.

Understand, this is costing him real, serious dollars. The deep-pocketed Yankees bidding for his services certainly would have driven up his asking price. And he turned them away without blinking.

He may be idiosyncratic in a baseball clubhouse. He may be foreign to your world. He may be … ah, I’m still not sure exactly what he is.

I do know he’s a fierce competitor and is willing to tell the Yankees to buzz off because he likes his trademark black beard. What could be better than that, except for maybe telling the Giants to take a leap?

There is no guarantee Wilson will return to the Dodgers, not when other clubs want him as a closer. If he leaves now, though, bid him adieu with fondness and a certain respect. Brian Wilson would not sell out to be a Yankee. Such a great thing.

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