This Is a Team Timmy Zone. Proceed With Caution.

Tim LincecumI just spent a grand total of 15 minutes – time I will never get back – watching the 2012 Home Run Derby.  Why do I do this to myself every baseball season?  The Home Run Derby has to be one of the most boring spectacles on earth.  It might be more fun to watch hitters knock baseballs out of the park, if they weren’t practically tossed underhand with momentum that even Barry Zito would scoff at.  Ooh!  Ah!

What’s more, when I switched on my TV, Andrew McCutchen  — Lincecum slayer — was batting.   This was not a positive development.  I guess you could say I’m a little bitter about the San Francisco Giants’ 13-2 loss to the Pittsburg Pirates on Sunday.

Tim Lincecum’s post-game interview was heartbreaking.  I obviously have a soft spot for the guy — and listening to him whisper his pain and frustration, while his chin practically trembled, tore me up.   He wondered if he’d reached “rock bottom”, and talked about being the Giants’ weak link, disappointing his teammates, and having “nothing left to lose”.   The reporters quizzing him seemed almost as miserable as he was.

I’ve always found Timmy’s eloquence, and his openness with the media, endearing.  During his 2010 slump, he thoughtfully answered reporters’ questions after every game when everyone knew he’d rather be just about anywhere else.  Compared to the disingenuous Bull Durham-style platitudes and grudging one-word answers from other ballplayers, it was refreshing.

Timmy is beloved in San Francisco so reaction to his implosion was subdued at first – after all, he’s struggled before, and always bounced back.  But this week I’ve begun hearing, “If he’s not hurt, then he must be washed up.  He’s finished.”

It’s true, his 6.42 ERA is the worst of any starting pitcher in the league, but I haven’t given up on Tim Lincecum. I have nothing to back this up but my pure, blind faith.  He had his stuff against the A’s and the Dodgers, and his delicate confidence seemed on the rebound.  Then came the heat and humidity of D.C., where he lasted fewer than four innings and probably lost 10 pounds in perspiration.  Timmy won’t make excuses for himself, so I will – he is not a hot weather pitcher, which is one of the reasons he’s thrived here in foggy San Francisco.  I can’t help but wonder if things would have been different, had July 3rd’s game been played at AT&T Park.

Anyway, I refuse to believe Tim Lincecum is washed up.  I’m with Ann Killion, who wrote today about Timmy’s need to not over think things during the All-Star break.  Let’s hope he takes this chance to regroup, remind himself how he got where he is… and hopefully get his swagger back.

Come Saturday, when he’s scheduled to pitch against the Astros, I’ll be watching on tenterhooks.  When it comes to Tim Lincecum, I’m not just on the bandwagon… I’m driving it.

So, anyone out there want to ride shotgun?

 

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