Baseball’s biggest tease

Tim Lincecum

Tim Lincecum: a one-time ace who still teases greatness.

Giants fans got teased again last week. In the midst of a dreadful, team-wide June Swoon, Tim Lincecum took the hill against San Diego and fired a no-hitter – his second in as many seasons.

This isn’t the fireballing Lincecum of five years ago, however. Watching him today, it’s increasingly difficult to recall “The Freak” that burst upon baseball in 2007 and went on to back-to-back Cy Young Awards in his first two full seasons in the big leagues in 2008-09. That flame-thrower led the National League in strikeouts three straight years, posted remarkable WARs (Wins Above Replacement) of 7.9 and 7.5 in 2008-09, and was widely regarded as the game’s most dominant pitcher and a future Hall of Famer. Continue reading

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2012 World Series, Game One

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval crosses the plate after one of his record-tying three home runs in a World Series game. (DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP)

I was lucky enough to be at Game One of the 2010 World Series, when the mood outside the ballpark before the game was just amazing. Palpable excitement about a team that had survived its division race on the final day of the season and then rolled through the playoffs. This year was a bit different…this team did the opposite, rolling to a division title over the last couple months of the season but then needing miraculous comebacks to win both playoff rounds. There was less hyperactivity outside the park for Game One this year, at least before the game, but that all changed once everyone was inside and gametime approached.

Thankfully, after the 9th inning monsoon in Game Seven of the NLCS, the weather was perfect…a cool, crisp fall day in the City by the Bay. Continue reading

Mitch Williams, another bad example of jock-turned-broadcaster

It was painful listening to the decidedly Phillies-flavored telecast on FOX today of the Giants-Phillies game.  It’s not that I mind watching the opposing team’s telecast.  I do that often, and enjoy learning about the other team that way.  After all, I watched countless Braves games games back in the TBS Superstation days in the ’80s, and a lot of Cubs games on WGN too.

MLB on FOXWhat got to me was that this was a Saturday afternoon national broadcast, one in which the broadcasters supposedly are neutral and unbiased.  Yet in an exciting game filled with big moments for both teams (a 6-5, 10-inning Giants win after two lead changes), broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Mitch Williams made it sound like a bad version of a Phillies broadcast, without the local flavor such a broadcast would have if it was the real thing. Continue reading