SAN FRANCISCO -- Sabermetricians have developed formulas that will probably show that San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is pretty good.
But seriously, why mess with a VORP, a DIPS or an FBV when you all you've really gotta do is "Fear the Beard?"
These days, Wilson's fan-friendly rallying cry seems to working just fine.
"Fear the Beard" is an outgrowth of the black-dyed lumberjack-style full beard Wilson started sporting over the summer. And with the Giants in the NLCS for the first time in seven years, the catchphrase has become all the rage throughout the Bay Area, with fans wearing fake beards and carrying signs and wearing T-shirts bearing the catchphrase.
"You see that beard out there and he's pitching and that gets the fans riled up," said Will Arambula, a San Francisco auto body shop owner and lifelong Giants fan. " They like to see something out of the ordinary and he's definitely out of the ordinary."
Wilson has never been one to play it completely straight.
His beard complements a mohawk that flows behind his cap, and the neon orange cleats he debuted at this year's All-Star game, which he had to partially color with a black Sharpie after MLB complained it wasn't Giant orange-and-black color compliant.
"I think it's fun and it's good for baseball," Wilson said. "Fans want to wear [the beards] and that's great. That means they're cheering even louder wearing the orange and black."