Lunch w/ Tim

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Had lunch today in Manhattan with an interesting dude—Tim Lincecum.

Met up with him for a magazine piece. Never spoke with the guy before; actually knew little about him, not having covered the game in several years. Sat down at a restaurant in Manhattan—me, Tim, his girlfriend, his dad, his agent and someone else.

To be honest, toward the end of my baseball writing days at SI I came to dread these sorts of things. The cliches. The blahs. The lack of any sort of radar outside of the game. But I found myself really liking Tim. He has a good head on his shoulders for someone in his mid-20s; doesn’t seem overly consumed with his own fame or, for that matter, overly impressed with it. At the end of our hour together, I actually said to him, “I covered baseball for several years, and it’s refreshing to meet someone like you.” I don’t know why I uttered the words, because I can’t image he cares what some washed-up baseball scribe has to say. But it’s true—I’ve seen a ton of ballplayers start out one way and, gradually, morph into different people. Hell, it’s hard to blame them—the money, the celebrity, the fans, the women, the awards. I always found Barry Zito to be the most blatant case. When I first met Barry, he was just wonderful. Unassuming … casual … indifferent to attention. We ate fish tacos at Manhattan Beach, and I thought, “If every ballplayer were just like this …”

Then something snapped. Not sure why. Maybe the big contract. Maybe the struggles. But he’s not the same guy. Perhaps that’s just life—I’m probably not the same guy I was at 25, either. But I hope I still hold onto the decency and wonderment and empathy from past decades; the stuff my folks taught me.

I hope Lincecum does, too. Because he’s a person worth rooting for.

8 thoughts on “Lunch w/ Tim”

  1. I’m not doubting his character as a person, but he is WAY over-rated as a player. Had him on my fantasy team. Worst first round pick ever made.

  2. So overrated. Being the best pitcher in the game the past 2 yrs. Maybe he’d help ur fantasy team if he had 3 more wins a yr. Sigh. He should really pitch better.

  3. Yeah, a 2.62 and a 2.48 ERA are SUCH crap! Man, stat-heads are ruining this game! Good call, Joe! I’m glad someone finally called Lincecum out for the overrated lump that he is, just like Pujols!

  4. The real stat-heads love Lincecum like few others. Pretty sure, Rotisserie Joe isn’t a card-carrying member of SABR.

    Hell, a couple of prominent stat-head voters (Keith Law, Will Carroll) were essentially the difference in Lincecum winning the Cy Young this year over Chris Carpenter.

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