Monday, June 25, 2012

Bengie's Thoughts On Timmy

Dan Brown of the Merc has a great interview with Bengie Molina that Alex Pavlovic kindly shared with his blogging audience early, which I've linked here.   This is exactly what I've been saying here and other places, that Tim is fighting himself mentally.  And Bengie provides a lot of good information about pitching, catching, and his thoughts on Timmy (mostly) plus some comments on Buster, and Hector Sanchez, catching in general.  I highly recommend reading the article.  It even noted the Chris Lincecum interview on USA Today, and Molina noted how cruel sports can be.

USA TODAY Out of Line Baiting Papa Lincecum

I would add here, like I added on the original USA Today article interview with Chris Lincecum, that it is the media that is crucifying Tim, specifically USA Today.  Most fans I've seen are concerned, of course, but not "crucifying" Tim.  Of course, there are whack jobs in any group, but the vast majority are still very supportive of Tim.

And they should be.  As Papa Lincecum noted, Tim has given us two Cy Youngs and a Worlds Championship.  We are indebted for life to Tim, is the way I see it.  And his father expressed that rather forcefully in his article.

But it was not the fans bringing up that Tim could be sent to the minors, nor was it Giants management - in fact, just the day before that interview, Sabean was interviewed on CSN regarding Tim and he said, very clearly, that Lincecum is a part of our rotation, that there will be nobody will be coming in to take his spot in the rotation, and if the experts - Bochy, Righetti, and Gardner - think that Tim needs a break, then that will  happen, but at that moment, they saw no need for one.  Said that Tim's record "speaks for itself," that "he's our starting pitcher."  As far as I can tell, it was USA Today who brought up the fact that Lincecum could be sent to the minors, to which, of course, Papa Lincecum exploded when it was brought up.

That's where the media toes the line between reporting news and making news.  True, Timmy could be sent down.  I've certainly been aware of that, so I'm sure others are, including Giants management.  But nobody from the Giants have said that.  And the Giants blogs I've been going to have not suggested that either, not even close.  

What does USA Today think would happen if they brought up that fact to Chris Lincecum?  What would be the logical, common sense reaction?  It would be similar to asking a father what if a terrible thing happened to your child, of course you are going to get a strong negative reaction.  Why put people through such a mental exercise when nobody remotely connected with the team had even intimated that something like that is possible?  What purpose does it serve, other than to sell more newspapers (or in today's world, get more eyeballs reading)?

And I think USA Today generally does a very good job of reporting on baseball, so I'm disappointed in them that they took the low road in baiting Papa Lincecum with that loaded "what-if" scenario.  I expect better from them.  And I hope Tim knows that it was not fans nor Giants management who brought up the minors to his Dad, I hope it does not negatively affect his signing a long term deal with the Giants, as his father intimated.  I'll be very angry with the USA Today if Lincecum leaves us because of their baiting of Tim's father in that interview.

2 comments:

  1. Nice interview with Bengie. I think he's pretty spot on.

    A couple thoughts - was watching the hated Yankees vs the Mets last night, and the talking heads were talking about Sabathia and wins, getting to 300, etc. They didn't quite say this, but it is true - if you pitch 200 innings and have a 4.00 era for the Yankees, you're golden. You win 20 games. I like Sabathia, this isn't criticizing him, but if you took him and put him in SF with the same stats, he's be seen as underperforming. So Timmy does have an unrealistic, or different, standard to live up to.

    The other thing, that I believe, is that this was inevitable - Lincecum is transitioning into knowing more how to be a "pitcher". I thought this would occur because he couldn't keep his odd delivery forever (and maybe it is) but, in any case, almost all pitchers have to make that transition. His key, which is indeed attitude but is also born of experience, is to learn how to give up 2, not 3 runs, 3, not 4 runs, in tight situations. I don't think he's living with that reality of being a pitcher, it's not either/or. Or he's learning. As Bengie put it so well, he always gave up hits, he gave up walks, the difference is not continuing to go after the next batter.

    He's a smart guy. I believe he'll figure it out. But, one hopes that finally realizing he's "mortal" is something he can deal with. He obviously still has the skills, but shit happens, it's the reality of the game.

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  2. I'm unwavering in my support of Mr. Big Time Timmy Jim. Its all about adjustments. If they come from Posey, or Papa Chris, or Timmy figures it out on his own... It will happen. But he has to execute that change. His yo-yo weight and diet stuff just doesn't seem connected with pitching. Hopefully Timmy is addressing the physical conditioning part of the game in a more balanced approach. But mainly this is mental. He's always done this from time to time - sort of spacey on the mound. Its just held up a lot longer. When he gets the killer look in his eyes, and pitches with purpose, we'll know he's back.

    Also, I really liked Bengie's comment about getting sink on the fastball. With Timmy throwing up meatballs on full counts all the time lately, getting that cut back would do wonders.

    Good point about Sabathia and standards being different from team to team, Anon. Bengie touches on that as well. This is the Giants, for better and for worse, and there are different standards.

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