The Odd Inspiration Of Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is doing an impersonation of Brian Wilson.

Not
the Beach Boy, the San Francisco Giants’ relief pitcher. The one with
the beard dyed so absurdly dark that light will not escape it. The one
who hit the late night circuit over the off-season dressed up as a kind
of SoCal/Rex Harrison version of “The Ghost” from “The Ghost and Mrs.
Muir.”

At the start, I want to promise I am rarely going to devote
space here to Charlie Sheen. On the other hand, I’m
technically on vacation and this rather important sidelight to an
enduring, and enduringly strange, story, has not gotten much attention.

This “Tiger’s Blood” stuff Sheen keeps spouting? That’s a line of Wilson’s.The original “Duh! Winning!” That’s some more of Wilson’s act/personality/delusion/repertoire.

The
Wilson-Sheen connection has gotten some national attention but not
nearly enough. Wilson visiting Sheen at his home last month received the
usual tut-tutting and ‘it’s not a problem – right at the moment’ from the  Wilson and his team have insisted there was no wine, no women, only baseball (no Tiger’s Blood) - and fictional baseball at that:

“They
could’ve asked any other closer, but Rick Vaughn asked for me,” Wilson
said. “When Rick Vaughn picks up the bullpen phone, you answer.”

That’s
the deal here, of course. All Charlie Sheen ever wanted to do was be a
major league baseball player. He has portrayed at least two of them on
film: ‘Rick Vaughn’ from “Major League,” and one of the ill-fated
corrupted players of the 1919 World Series, Happy Felsch, from John
Sayles’ “Eight Men Out.” Vaughn was the fast-throwing, fast-living
relief pitcher who entered each game to the sound of The Trogs’ ’60s hit
“Wild Thing.” 

This unleashed the proverbial life imitating art
stuff. Soon, actual relief pitchers began to be accompanied by their own
songs. Mitch Williams of the Cubs and later Phillies became known as
“Wild Thing.” Brian Wilson’s entire ‘weird reliever’ persona owes in
some part to Sheen’s portrayal. Now, in life imitating imitated art,
Sheen is issuing online videos faster than Mubarak or Khaddafi, and
trying to act like Wilson:

One of the people he said he wished he could be for ten minutes was Giants pitcher Brian Wilson.

Sheen went on to mumble something about Wilson delivering “fury,
vengeance, hatred and absolute world domination,” then bowed his head
in silence for the man, for some reason.

At one
point in his life, in what in retrospect seems like an almost tender
time, Sheen got as close as he could to baseball by trying to buy up all
the great memorabilia. In 1992 he outbid several collectors (myself
included) for the baseball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs and
decided the 6th Game of the 1986 World Series. Less publicly, he amassed
an extraordinary card collection and had most of it housed in
individual plastic holders made in the form of richly-bound books. Then
there was a divorce or something and he wound up selling nearly all of
it (the “Buckner Ball” included) at a loss.

I’d like to thank him belatedly for the T206 Collins Proof card, by the way.

But
back to the point. There is something bizarrely baseball-related to
this Ultra Mid-Life Crisis through which Charlie Sheen, or Charlie Sheen
as Rick Vaughn, or Charlie Sheen as Brian Wilson, is passing.

I’m
not blaming Wilson or anything. I just think we need to remember that
when you grow a beard that looks like it was a prop discarded by Monty
Python’s Flying Circus, you never know what the consequences might be.
The Giants’ reliever might just want to warn people – especially Sheen -
not to try drinking Tiger’s Blood at home.

A version of this has been cross-posted at my news website, FOKNewsChannel.Com

15 Comments

Couple of words missing between ‘from the’ and ‘Wilson and his team’. (They show up right in the FOK News version.)

Happy Felsch drank too much ‘Tiger’s Blood’…

I am so happy you have treated Charlie Sheen and Brian Wilson here. Keith, your huge following and the adoration of your fans is due to the fact that you bring SANITY to a world that has gone nuts on mass media. The TV or internet allows us to connect and see just how WILD and WACKY the blue marble rolls! Truth be known, there is something inspirational about Sheen, in the same sense that any super creative rebel draws our attention! Some of his attraction is his humor and “I don’t give a rat’s ***” attitude. Some is just the lookey-loos wanting to get a better view of the train as it crashes into the station. The ghost, the Tiger’s Blood, winning…they are all about immortality. Oddly enough, the more I study baseball here, the more I see it is about the same! Genius is the ability to make connections and you make them well. We respond. In baseball, there is a microcosm that we all recognize…even old gals like me who know little about the game. That diamond allows one to step up and try to make a hit. Then, to try to move safely around all obstacles…and finally, to return safely home. Good metaphor! I am so glad I have no beard! Hugs.

I think you are absolutely, unmistakably right. I have had the same impression of Sheen’s new act for weeks. As a dyed in the wool Giants fan, I have been witnessing the meta-awesomeness of their closer and his schtick for years and I’m glad you’re source-checking Sheen’s psycho-poetics so that credit can be given where credit is due.

You nailed it! (To use another Wilson saying) As an SF native and bleeding black and orange Giants fan (stuck in the hell known as Baltimore) I?ve been saying this since they met. It?s sad and scary. Great pick up KO. Keep writing?

Minor nit. Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn wasn’t a closer in Major League, but a starting pitcher. It was only in the final tie-breaker game against the Yankees that he was brought in in the ninth to face a single batter.

Wilson’s shtick, or whatever you want to call it, comes mostly from his disdain for the media. Face it, sports reporters ask the same bloody questions over and over. So when someone asks him how he feels after winning the NLCS, he’s going to throw a curve. We love oddball closers out here (remember, the Giants also had Rob Nenn and Rod Beck) and Wilson’s personal not only led the bullpen, but became a rallying point for the fans.

Fear The Beard.

Charlie Sheen was rececently seen wearing a Giants cap probably in homage to Brian Wilson. I thought Charlie is/was a Dodgers fan.

http://www.tmz.com/2011/03/07/charlie-sheen-fired-two-and-a-half-men-chuck-lorre-warnerbros-cbs/

Too bad they didn’t talk enough about Wilson’s other passions – fitness, nutrition and God. Wilson never drinks, let alone drugs. A few poor souls have tried to buy Wilson a drink out and about in SF. It always fails pretty miserably.

As boisterous as Wilson seems, he’s really very humble. Too bad that isn’t said of Sheen.

Charlie is a Red’s fan. He’s waaaaay too smart to be a Dodgers fan. Go G’s !

Charlie Sheen might be stealing Brian Wilson’s lingo, but the repeated physical assaults on women: that’s all Charlie Sheen.

Hey! That Wilson character hijacked my persona. All you dumb SOB?s would figure that out if you only watched the first season of my show.

I?m the one and only ?bullet proof tiger?. Both the Masheen and Wilson can kiss my ***. Nuff Said!
Kenny Powers

ko,

first…miss your show man….loved countdown

and ya…every giants fan noticed sheen inserting terms used by wilson

i have followed wilson since he was in aa…the bweeze persona has been carefully crafted over the past 6 years

wilson knows that the mlb is first and foremost entertainment…and he does his best to entertain fans both on and off the field

not saying that he is putting on an act….but that he exaggerates it just a bit for full impact

to hear the real wilson, you have to listen to his first rome interview, where he talks about his father

rpAq3R HHIS I should have thought of that!

irst…miss your show man….loved countdownand ya…every giants fan noticed sheen inserting terms used by wilsi have followed wilson since he was in aa…the bweeze persona has been carefully crafted over the past 6 yearswilson knows that the mlb is first and foremost entertainment…and he does his best to entertain fans both on and off the field not saying that he is putting on an act….but that he exaggerates it just a bit for full impact
to hear the real wilson, you have to listen to his first rome interview, where he talks about his father

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