Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Like the Olden Days

An article by Tim Keown (formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle) in the March 9th, 2009 edition of ESPN magazine, was about Tim Lincecum. It was reminiscent of an article you may have seen in the newspaper back when Denton True Young (also known as Cy) played for the Cleveland Spiders or Christy Mathewson was tossing 'em for Bucknell University.

As Keown says, 'to watch this 170-pound man throw a baseball is to witness a miracle in a minor key.'

Dick Tidrow, a Giants executive who scouted the pitcher at the University of Washington before the team chose him with the 10th pick of the 2006 draft told GM Brian Sabean (after watching Lincecum pitch for San Jose of the Giants' Single A affiliate) "This kid's going to get there a lot faster than you think."

was called up to San Francisco in May 2007, after just 62 2/3 minor league innings. (His debut was on May 6, Willie Mays' birthday.)

Last year, in his first full big league season, he won the National League Cy Young Award, going 18-5 and leading the majors with 265 strikeouts.

scouts prepared (former pitcher)Dick Tidrow extensively before Tidrow watched Lincecum face Oregon State during his junior year at UW. Said Tidrow, "The arm speed, the hand speed, the length of his stride- I was blown away. There were a lot of things going on, but basically I liked all of them."

On Lincecum's adaptability, Tidrow adds: "He's learned that he doesn't have to go full-tilt boogie all the time."

"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."

Writer Keown ends the piece describing Lincecum playing catch with a friend at Crissy Field. He was throwing long-toss and those on the receiving end were returning his throws on two bounces while Lincecum was firing 250-foot heat seekers that never got more than 15 feet off the ground.

There's nothing about young men playing catch in a public park, but it didn't take long for this scene to become spectacle. The people walking their dogs, flying their kites, jogging - they started watching the throws and looking at the thrower. They'd take one look...

Nah, it can't be.

...then another. The body, the motion, the ball searing through the air...

Has to be.

Tim Lincecum can't be mistaken for anyone else. There's nothing-and no one- quite like him.

(thanks to Tim Keown, of ESPN magazine)


I see where Danny Ortmeier hit his 3rd homer of the Cactus League for the Colorado Rockies.

Now some might say 'It's only Spring Training. In Arizona, where the air is thin and balls carry exceptionally well.' Those people could just as well be talking about Coors Field. Good Luck Dan Ortmeier, just don't come back to bite the Giants in the ass.