Hard Times, Hard Feelings
We might be a little late to this story, but here we are.
This may be the first time I’ve ever seen the Bay Area media and fans being referred to as…well, whatever these comments were. Ever.
I’ve seen them get referred as idiots (especially when Skip Bayless was a Mercury News guy). I’ve seen them referred to gutless (mostly by fans who want the beat writers to ask ‘tough’ questions). But being too hard on anyone? Maybe with the Hank Schulman’s comments about Dodger fans earlier this year…but they deserved it.
I get that Chris is Tim’s dad. So yes, he’s going to be protective. I get that part. There are times that parents can be that way. But these comments just got ridiculous.
Let’s be honest: There has been something wrong with Lincecum. I don’t know what. I’m pretty sure Tim’s not entirely sure. But any sort of media is going to ask questions when a two-time Cy Young winner is leading the league in earned runs after nearly three months of the season. If they don’t, they aren’t good media. That’s just a fact of life.
But the Bay Area media has done little more than explore all possible options, even the very, VERY unlikely ones. And the Giants themselves have shot down those really, really bad options, without hesitation. Lincecum is not getting sent to the minors. He’s not skipping a start.
And the fans have not been horrible to him. They have not booed him en masse, even on those starts when he really blew it. There have been some fans that asked questions, and a few of the very mad ones have demanded those things. A few.
But Philadelphia fans have booed Santa Claus. They just got voted the most obnoxious fans in baseball. (We know this poll is accurate, because it also showed that A.J. Pierzynski is the most hated player in baseball.) So…oh, wait, the same poll put Giants fans second? Wow…um, that’s kind of cool.
But seriously, Giants fans are not as bad as fans in the northeast. And Giants fans are passionate, but at least they show up. Any player who’s played for the Florida Marlins can attest how sad it is to play in front of no fans who care than a lot who do.
Tim Lincecum is one of our own. He’s a Giant, through and through. Yes, he’s getting paid a ton. And he’ll get paid a lot more if he overcomes his problems. And I hope it’ll be with the Giants.
I hope that Chris Lincecum’s opinions are his own, and not Tim’s. Tim will never get a better group of fans to play for than us. He’ll never have fans who fill the seats every night, like we do. He’ll never find a city that’ll embrace all his quirks like San Francisco does. He may find a team that’ll pay more, but he’ll never have as good a chance to be part of a legendary rotation as he will with the Giants over the rest of the decade, now that Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are locked up.
(And keep an eye on a couple of the kids coming up. Chris Stratton and Kyle Crick are a few years away, but they have some stuff.)
Hard times will always be hard to go through. Things will get said that will be regretted, by those who say them, and those they were directed at. Give it time, and with positive work, and wounds will heal. But only if both sides work on it.