Giants’ closer Brian Wilson appears on Lopez Tonight in a sea captain outfit

Giants’ closer Brian Wilson appeared on Thursday’s “Lopez Tonight,” which was good because that show could use a few laughs.

As usual, Wilson was nuttier than squirrel sh*t. Dressed as a sea captain (which was apparently his idea), he talked about his recent trip to Thailand and what it’s like when he doesn’t get to close a game (also known as being “dry humped” according to Wilson).

Considering he’s a walking sketch, it would be criminal if Wilson never gets to host SNL. He’s launching his own website next week (BrianWilson38.com) and has a digital short film for Major League Baseball 2k11 by 2K Sports coming out as well.

“Just living another day, my man.”

He is the real life Kenny Powers.

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2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

Years from now, when people look back on 2010, what will they remember as the defining sports moment? Uh, they can only pick one? We discovered that Tiger Woods likes to play the field and that Brett Favre doesn’t mind sending pictures of his anatomy to hot sideline reporters via text message. We found out that LeBron listens to his friends a little too much and that Ben Roethlisberger needed a serious lesson in humility. But we also learned that athletes such as Michael Vick and Josh Hamilton haven’t blown second chance opportunities (or third and fourth chances in the case of Hamilton). It was also nice to see a certain pitcher turn down bigger money so that he can play in a city that he loves.

We’ve done our best to recap the year’s biggest sports stories, staying true to tradition by breaking our Year End Sports Review into three sections: What We Learned, What We Already Knew, and What We Think Might Happen. Up first are the things we learned in 2010, a list that’s littered with scandal, beasts, a Decision and yes, even a little Jenn Sterger.

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

Tiger Woods gets around.

We hesitate to put this under “golf” because the only clubs involved were his wife’s nine-iron hitting the window of his SUV and the various establishments where Tiger wined and dined all of his mistresses…over a dozen in all. This was the biggest story of the early part of the year, but it got to the point that whenever a new alleged mistress came forward, the general public was like, “Yeah, we get it. Tiger screwed around on his wife. A lot.” He has spent the rest of the year attempting to rebuild his once-squeaky clean image, but it’s safe to say, we’ll never look at Tiger the same way.

LeBron wilts when his team needs him most.

Say the words “LeBron” and “Game 5” in the same sentence and NBA fans everywhere know exactly what you’re talking about. In the biggest game of the season, LeBron looked disinterested, going 3-of-14 from the field en route to a 120-88 blowout at home at the hands of the Celtics. There were rumors swirling about a possible relationship between LeBron’s mom and his teammate, Delonte West, and there’s speculation that LeBron got that news before tipoff and that’s why he played so poorly. Regardless of the cause, LeBron played awful in that game, and it turned out to be his swan song in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers. Talk about leaving a bitter taste.

You can auction off your talented son’s athletic abilities and get away with it.

The NCAA set a strange precedent this season while dealing with the Newton family. The always inconsistent and completely morally uncorrupt NCAA decided in its infinite wisdom that despite discovering that Cecil Newton shopped his son Cam to Mississippi State for $180,000, and that is a violation of NCAA rules, that Cam would still be eligible because it couldn’t be proven that he knew about it. Conference commissioners and athletic directors around the country spoke out about the decision, while agent-wannabes and greedy fathers everywhere had a light bulb go off in their own heads: As long as we say the player doesn’t know about it, it could go off without a hitch. What was Cecil’s punishment in this whole thing? Limited access to Auburn for the last two games of the season. Easy with that hammer there, NCAA. Read the rest of this entry »

Brian Wilson, “The Machine” go on Jay Leno

If you missed Giants’ closer Brian Wilson’s recent interview with Jay Leno, then you’re welcome.

There’s an online movement trying to get “Saturday Night Live” to have Wilson on as a guest, which is a great idea. He gained a lot of national attention when the Giants made the World Series this year and as San Francisco fans know, he’s a freaking character. I would love to see what he could do in a skit with Andy Samberg.

Giants make statement in Game 1 of NLCS

San Francisco Giants' Cody Ross (L) celebrates with teammates after hitting his second home run of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth inning during Game 1 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in Philadelphia, October 16, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Before the NLCS started, you almost had the sense that the Giants didn’t belong. That they weren’t supposed to be here and that they were just stopping by to pay a visit to the Phillies before Philadelphia went on to play in its third straight World Series.

Sure the Giants had Tim Lincecum starting in Game 1, but he was facing Roy Halladay. In his first postseason start of his career, “Doc” threw a no-hitter against the Reds, who arguably have a much more potent lineup than San Francisco. He was sure to slice through their lineup with the greatest of ease.

The Giants are a cute team, but you can’t get serious with them. You two have some fun, you share some laughs – but you’re not bringing them home to meet mom. The Phillies – now that’s a team you marry.

Well, apparently that cute Giants team isn’t messing around.

Thanks to huge night by Cody Ross, another stellar pitching performance by Tim Lincecum and a shutdown effort by their bullpen, the Giants beat the Phillies 4-3 in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night. They knocked around Halladay for four runs on eight hits and Ross went deep twice on the Phillies’ ace to set the tone for a massive San Francisco win.

Lincecum wasn’t as dominating as he was in Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Braves, but he allowed just three runs on six hits over seven innings of work while also striking out eight. He gave up a two-run home run to Jayson Werth in the 6th to make the game 4-3, but Javier Lopez (a great mid-season add by GM Brian Sabean) and Brian Wilson (whose black beard is mesmerizing) combined to shut Philly out in the eighth and ninth to preserve the victory.

The G-Men have a long, daunting task ahead of them but this was a huge first step. To beat the Phillies’ ace in his home park and in a hostile environment was impressive. The late-season acquisition of Ross continues to pay off and don’t forget that Lincecum isn’t the only Giants’ pitcher with nasty stuff. Game 2’s starter Jonathan Sanchez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Braves and his slider could limit Philly’s power. It doesn’t get any easier for Philadelphia, either.

But even if Sanchez doesn’t pitch well in Game 2 tonight, the Giants have already accomplished what they needed to do, which was win at least one game in Philly. Now that the pressure is on the Phillies to earn a split, San Fran could go a long way to making its World Series dream a reality if it can beat Roy Oswalt.

Lace ‘em up – we’ve got ourselves a series.

Baseball’s law of averages catches up with the Braves

Atlanta Braves second baseman Brooks Conrad dives for a single hit by San Francisco Giants' Aubrey Huff during the eighth inning in Game 3 of the MLB National League Division Series baseball playoff series in Atlanta, Georgia October 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Like any red-blooded sports fan, there are players I root against. I’m supposed to be somewhat objective with in my job so I won’t list those players’ names, but I’m like most fans: I don’t mind seeing certain players fail.

Brooks Conrad isn’t one of those players.

I love self-made guys because they never have the best talent, they’re not flashy and they usually appreciate what they have. Conrad, the 30-year-old journeyman who was forced into regularly playing time because of injuries to Chipper Jones and Martin Prado, is a self-made player. He was a nobody until May 20, when hit his first career major league grand slam by helping the Braves beat the Reds, 10-9.

But because of his three errors in the Giants’ 3-2 come-from-behind win on Sunday in the NLDS, now Conrad is somebody. And unfortunately for him, he’s somebody for all the wrong reasons.

Conrad’s three errors tied a record for most errors in a single divisional series playoff game. Two of his errors led to Giants’ runs, including the eventual winning run when a Buster Posey routine ground ball traveled through his legs to score Aubrey Huff in the top of the ninth.

Of course, had Billy Wagner not gotten hurt in Game 2 of this series, Craig Kimbrel would have never pitched the top of the ninth on Sunday. And had Kimbrel gotten one more strike on Freddy Sanchez, the Giants’ second baseman wouldn’t have reached on a base-hit and Atlanta would be up 2-1 in the series.

Read the rest of this entry »

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