Its the end to the biggest non-story in recent Giants history. I’m sure most of you called in sick. In the docket this morning:
WILL TIM LINCECUM MAKE $8M OR $13M?omg
The answer: yes. Plus an extra $2M for his troubles.Two years, $23M. Quite fair for both parties.
Well, maybe "non-story" isn’t the right way to put it. That extra $5M if they had went to arbitration might have made a difference when the Giants traded for a broken and expensive player in July, or it might have changed drafting strategies in June. ‘Tis a lot of scratch, even by baseball standards. But I still can’t figure out why people were freaking out. It seemed like there were two popular scenarios:
a. It was totally going to bum Timmy out that the Giants didn’t respect him and low-balled him with the highest arbitration offer ever for a pitcher. If you’ve ever read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings -- in which Maya Angelou has to deal with someone offering $8M for her poems instead of the $13M she thinks they’re worth -- you have to be amused at how parallel the situations were. The ending is what scares me. After begrudgingly accepting the $8M, Angelou started to tank her own poetry.
There’s a pain or something in my chest/ I think it’s gas/ That Steve Allen is a funny man Night everybody.
She never recovered, and she remains one of America’s lesser poets because of the financial insult she received early in her career. That could have been Tim Lincecum, except instead of slapping words together, he would have lazily tossed up fastballs that aren’t fast enough to break through the glass case of emotion that he was in. Think of the logic. Why does Barry Zito pitch like an ace? Because the Giants told him he was an ace by paying him like an ace. Science.
b. Assuming that Lincecum continued his historic run of success for the next four years, the disrespect shown by the Giants in this initial arbitration hearing would have made Lincecum want to leave. Again, in four years, he was going to be so discouraged that the Giants offered him only $8M in a case with no precedent, that he wouldn’t stay with the Giants at any cost.
Four years. After the 2013 season. Like, four years from now. You know what worries me more? That Lincecum doesn’t get hurt like Dwight Gooden or Bret Saberhagen. I worry that Brian Sabean will continue to surround Lincecum with lesser offensive talents. I worry that the Giants will move Buster Posey to left field this year to fit him into the lineup, and keep him there because he never learns how catch. I worry that Madison Bumgarner’s velocity is never coming back, and that he’ll have to watch tapes of Kirk Rueter if he ever wants to be effective in the majors. Those are the kinds of things that worry me.
Worrying if Lincecum had a fragile, money-equals-self-worth kind of ego? That never made it too high on the list. So everybody can go about their business. Lincecum is still a Giant for the next four years. Both sides got something out of today’s deal: Lincecum gets more guaranteed money than he would have had by waiting for two arbitration awards, and the Giants probably save a few million by not going to arbitration.
Our long national nightmare is over.
Tim Lincecum will be a Giant next season! (And the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that.)