Over the weekend, it was announced that San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, he of the enormous black beard and mass over exposure, will more than likely miss the remainder of the season so that his elbow can be reconstructed.

The news isn’t that surprising.

En route to his team’s 2010 World Series Championship, Wilson appeared in 70 regular season games, and then ten more during the playoffs when he struck out a rather staggering 36.4% of the batters he faced without allowing a single run. Last season, you could tell something wasn’t all together right with Wilson, who seemed to lack the command that was such an integral part of his dominance the previous year. He twice visited the 15 Day Disabled List and allowed four more runs than in 201o while pitching in almost twenty fewer innings.

During Thursday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, Wilson appeared beleaguered for the first time in his career, clearly suffering from something as he struggled to lock down a game for his first save of the year. After throwing 32 pitches and finally collecting the last out (after giving up three hits and a walk), this is how the normally energetic Wilson celebrated:

For the Giants, the immediate repercussions of the loss are far from staggering. However, outside of the vacuum, Wilson departure from the lineup does mean something to the fans in San Francisco.

The great Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles explains:

This probably won’t cost the Giants that many wins, especially if the status quo was Brian Wilson throwing 88 mph. It’ll be weird, uncomfortable, and unpleasant not to have Wilson in there, though. He’s a part of the new Giants lore, right along with Posey, Sandoval, Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgarner. He ranks highly in LORE+, trust me. And it’s discouraging to know that we won’t see him for a year, most likely. He was something of a security blanket, in which “security” was often replaced with “abject terror”, but still a familiar face for whom to root, and root hard.

There is one more interesting aspect to Wilson’s injury, and that’s his contract. At the conclusion of this season, the two year deal that Wilson signed in March of 2010 will expire and the reliever will enter his final year of arbitration eligibility. He will make $8.5 million in 2012, and while he’s unlikely to seek a raise, it’s not as though the team will be able to pay him much less than his current salary.

The team is already on the hook for an $80 million payroll next year, and that’s before considering arbitration eligibles Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Buster Posey or replacements for potential free agents Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. The team’s salary structure isn’t exactly one that lends itself to being able to take a chance on a recovering reliever that costs $8.5 million.

However, as we mentioned earlier, there’s more than the economic vacuum to consider. Wilson’s injury is most likely a result of overwork in 2010. He’s a part of the current Giants lore that Brisbee mentions. And he’s sort of a really good teammate.

Here are some of his comments following his injury annoucnement:

It’s going to be a tough situation for the Giants, that could result in Wilson getting non-tendered and then re-signed to a new contract for less money.

And The Rest

We’ll have more on this later, but it’s worth noting now this comment from Bobby Valentine, speaking about Kevin Youkilis, is going to blow up and become bigger than Jesus. [Extra Bases]

I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.

Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day yesterday, and in order to be a part of the festivities, Craig Robinson put together the definitive Jackie Robinson infograph, reminding us that in addition to all the good he did, Robinson was still a heck of a good baseball player. [Getting Blanked]

A sabermetrician’s view of Jackie Robinson. [Bugs & Cranks]

In addition to appearing as though he’s going to continue on from exactly where he left off at the end of last season, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is a gamer. [ESPN The Life]

Kevin Gregg is a well loved relief pitcher. Unfortunately, those doing the loving tend to be the opposition’s fans. [Camden Chat]

A rather contestable Triple Play happened yesterday. [Inside The Book]

The worst baseball discussions that we have. [Baseball Prospectus ($)]

The Blue Jays are selling hot dogs. No, really. I mean like not just in the stadium. This franchise is such a wiener. [NotGraphs]

The godless heathens that call themselves fans of the New York Yankees booed Tim Tebow during last night’s nationally broadcast baseball game. [NFL.com]

Willie Bloomquist is a leadoff hitter. [FanGraphs]

The Marlins home run structure thing is certainly some thing. [Old Time Family Baseball]