The Beard is back. From pain, that is.
Brian Wilson, the San Francisco Giants' eccentric, wild-and-wooly closer, pitched through pain during most of 2011 -- he had elbow pain throughout all of last season, he said. Bad enough for a pitcher, but how about some back and hip pain to go along with it?
That could be part of the reason why Wilson's numbers dipped from a league-leading 48 saves in 2010 and a miniscule 1.81 ERA to more human figures of 36 saves and a 3.11 ERA in 2011.
All that is over now, as the pitcher declared himself pain-free in 2012, the San Jose Mercury News reported. "It was pain-free, no ailments or inflammation," Wilson said of his right elbow, which also caused him to miss a fair bit of the second half of the season. "I don't imagine there will be any hiccups."
Wilson said that he pitched through pain because he knows no other way: he dislikes taking days off, and won't take himself out of a game. He'll pitch left-handed before he steps off of the mound, he said -- which is why it's probably a good thing the right arm is working.