Giants Cover Boy

Tim Lincecum is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this week in a great story by Bay Area-based writer Tim Keown. Not lots of new information for folks who have followed Lincecum since he reached the major leagues in 2007, but the story captures the Cy Young winner’s unconventional approach to the game.

Some excerpts:

* Lincecum might just be the most unlikely

dominant athlete in team sports today, baseball’s

equivalent of Allen Iverson in his prime. When

scouts told him he was small, Lincecum said, “Yeah,

I am. There’s not much I can do about that.” Except

punch out hitters, over and over. The message is

the same for scouts and fantasy owners alike: Don’t

question what you see. Simply appreciate it.

* One of many photographs displayed prominently

in the elder Lincecum’s family room in Bellevue,

Wash., is from Timmy’s days as a member of a fifth-

grade basketball team. There were seven players

on the squad, and league rules mandated that

everyone had to spend some time on the bench. In

this photo, one boy has his head in his hands, eyes

cast downward, clearly pouting because he isn’t in

the game; the other boy, feet off the ground,

mouth in midscream, is raising his fists to the sky

as he reacts to something the camera can’t see.

The second kid on the bench, the one jumping

around, is Tim Lincecum. “Whenever someone asks

me about Timmy, I show them that picture,” Chris

says. “That tells people who he is better than I ever

could. He’s a great athlete, but more than that, he

just loves to be part of whatever he’s doing.”

* At a time when ballplayers, especially pitchers,

obsess over training regimens and slavishly

follow routines with a compulsive joylessness,

Lincecum subscribes to no solemn throwing pro-

gram. He doesn’t really stretch, never ices and

swears he has never felt so much as the slightest

twinge in his right arm. Nine teams passed on

him in the 2006 draft, and six of them chose

pitchers. Two of those guys, Colorado’s Greg

Reynolds and Pittsburgh’s Brad Lincoln, have

already undergone arm surgery. All of them were,

in Lincecum’s term, “specimens.”

 

* Lincecum’s most overlooked quality

might be his adaptability. He’s gone from

relying on a strict mid-90s fastball, power-curve

repertoire to incorporating a changeup (the grip

took him three years to master) and a cutter.

“He’s learned that he doesn’t have to go full-tilt

boogie all the time,” Tidrow says. “He’s learned to

make the ball do things, and he’s learning how to

do more with fewer pitches. It’s scary, but he’s

only going to get better.”

Tim_ESPNCover.jpg

3 Comments

Thanks for the update. I want to get the mag. =) Go Giants!

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Hmmm….interesting photo.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Yeah, thanks for the update! When will the magazine be out? (Or is it already available?) I want to get one! And I agree with Julia…. that’s a very…. interesting photo.

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