Things I learned from watching yesterday's game:
- Travis Ishikawa isn't going to hit 324 home runs this year. That's absurd. But cutting that prediction down by 50% -- 162 home runs -- is very reasonable. I, for one, am looking forward to the new, clean home run champ. Stand up and clap, Selig! Ishikawa will save us all!
- Based on one nice play, I'm pretty sure Pablo Sandoval is going to be no worse than a jollier Brooks Robinson at third base.
- The Giants can score runs. Take off your evidence blinders, haters. Ten runs is nothing for this team.
- The Indians broadcast team needs to mix up their programming. Baseball is sooo boring. How about a guest or two, guys?
- Tim Lincecum will average a strikeout per inning this year. Crazy, I know, but I'll stand by it.
Which brings us to our community projection for Lincecum. Somehow, I forgot to do one last year, but I'm sure I predicted that he was going to win the Cy Young. Just search the archives. If you can't find anything, search them again.
The problem with this projection is that I'm a superstitious fool. I don't want to be too optimistic about the guy, because then I'm scared he'll get hurt. My actions and thoughts do kind of control the universe, it seems. But Lincecum isn't made of porcelain, so I agree with Ralph Barbieri. I talked to an anatomy professor, and she assured me that it is very unlikely that Lincecum is made of even .0001% porcelain.
That made me feel better, but my research also uncovered that Lincecum is made of tissue, muscle, sinew, and bone. And those things can degrade over time, especially if they're involved in some sort of unnatural physical activity. I was shocked. Stunned. Aghast. Now I'm thinking that maybe it wasn't a good idea for Lincecum to throw more pitches than anyone in baseball.
Calling Lincecum "The Franchise" always seemed a little cliché and trite, but danged if it isn't the truth. My baseball-related happiness is entirely wrapped around the fate of one player. He made a 90-loss season watchable, and he gave us something to root for in November. If the Giants are going to do something that resembles anything in the next couple of years, it's almost certainly because Lincecum is pitching like the generational dynamo that he is. That urge you have to stand outside of Lincecum's window, arms aloft, holding a boombox above your head? Run with it. It's natural.
But I can't go nuts, here. I can't just predict another Cy Young season because he had one last year. That was a special season, and just because he's young doesn't mean that it's a given that he'll improve. A calm, collected projection is what we need. Temper the expectations. Let the world know that even if Lincecum regresses to the mean a little bit, he's still the greatest thing since penicillin.
There. That's somewhat reasonable. I didn't let my inner fanboy corrupt my projection too much. Your projections for Tim Lincecum, if you would....