05/11/09 9:53 PM ET
Wilson moving on from Blake incident
Giants closer tries to take high road over gesture
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
Though thrilled with their 13-inning victory, they were considerably less than thrilled with Los Angeles third baseman Casey Blake, who appeared to mock San Francisco closer Brian Wilson's post-save celebration in the Dodgers dugout after hitting a game-tying solo homer off Wilson in the bottom of the 12th.
Several Giants saw what Blake did, and Wilson received a photo of it on his cell phone after the game. The comments that came out of the clubhouse from Wilson and his teammates were terse at best, suggesting that another contentious chapter in the often heated rivalry was underway.
Yet on Monday, when the Giants opened a three-game series against the visiting Nationals at AT&T Park, Wilson took the high road the best he could.
"It's over," he said. "Baseball is a game where you're going to be hated, whether it's for the way you pump your fist or run the bases after a home run or whatever. People might not even like you for the way you play the outfield. That's just the way the game is.
"So if this is a guy who doesn't like me, that's fine."
What angered the Giants is that Wilson's celebration -- he turns his back to the plate and crosses his arms, the index finger of his pitching hand pointing skyward -- is a tribute to his late father and his Christian faith. The general consensus was that Blake had crossed a line, and it was a hot topic on the flight home from Southern California.
Wilson on Monday said he wasn't particularly interested whether Blake, whom he'd struck out with a 99-mph fastball Friday night with two runners on to end the eighth inning on the way to his seventh save, knew the genesis of the gesture.
"Regardless of the meaning of it, that's not the issue," Wilson said. "I'm sure he had a lot of adrenaline going, and he decided to do what he did. ... I'm not going to speculate if it was uncalled for.
"I know I don't do what I do to show anyone up. That's part of why I turn my back."
Wilson, a 2008 National League All-Star who sports a Mohawk and several prominent tattoos, said some friends have suggested that he ditch the celebration, telling him it might be best to "leave it at home." His answer?
"No," he said with a dose of defiance. "Why? Because someone doesn't like it? No. If someone doesn't like it or misinterprets it, whatever. People make fun of my hair every day. Not everyone in the world is going to like you, especially in baseball."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted no part of discussing the simmering controversy, stretching plausibility in his pregame media session Monday by saying he'd hadn't "heard of the whole thing" until 15 minutes before batting practice.
"That's not something I'm going to comment on," Bochy said.
Asked if he was open to chatting with Blake to clear the air, Wilson offered a wry smile.
"As far as I'm concerned, there's no need. It's baseball and it's over," he said. "... I'm never going to close the door off if someone wants to talk to me, but I don't expect it."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.