"Nice shutout." "Thanks ... no help from you." - Ezra Shaw
There will be HOT NARRATIVES this spring. Will Pitcher have a new pitch? Will Hitter have a new swing? Which tubby fool is now the after picture in a P90X infomercial? HOT NARRATIVES, served up the way you like them: HOT.
And I will gladly play along because that's my job as someone who relies on these things. I'll set up an entire section for HOT NARRATIVES. Also of note, I'm using sections more, and you can find the list of sections here. Like the one I have for Latest News, for example, which you'll probably want to bookmark if you're interested in the "Latest News."
The first entry into the HOT NARRATIVES section, then, should absolutely do with Buster Posey catching Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum pats Posey on lower back after quick chat and handshake following first spring bullpen session together for #SFGiants.— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) February 13, 2013
Lincecum's catcher for first spring bullpen: Buster Posey.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) February 13, 2013
Lincecum's first bullpen session and he's throwing to ... Buster Posey.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) February 13, 2013
Tim Kawakami wrote an entire article on it:
Really, the disconnect—or whatever word you want to use—started in September 2009, when Posey was first called up to much fanfare.
As is normal, some veterans grumbled good-naturedly about the attention Posey was getting, and it would not be surprising if Lincecum was at the top of that list.
And I don't want to make too much fun of the NARRATIVE because it's pretty important to the Giants' 2013 season, really. The less time Posey spends behind the plate, the worse the Giants are. In a division that could be decided by a game or two, it's worth mentioning. It's worth mentioning a lot.
But here's all you need to know about Posey catching Lincecum.
1. The only reason for Tim Lincecum to use Hector Sanchez exclusively is so Lincecum will feel more comfortable.
2. The reason you want Lincecum to feel more comfortable is so that he will perform better.
3. Lincecum performed substantially worse last year, which indicates that being comfortable or uncomfortable did not make a difference. (Unless it made him worse.)
4. When it comes to anecdotal evidence and eyeball tests, Buster Posey is one of the very best catchers in baseball, and Hector Sanchez is one of the most unpolished.
5. When it comes to statistical evidence and quantifiable data, Buster Posey is one of the very best catchers in baseball, and Hector Sanchez is one of the most unpolished.
6. Replacing an inexperienced, rough catcher with a good-to-great catcher should prevent runs from scoring.
7. There isn't a pitcher on the Giants' staff who could benefit more than Lincecum from an extra run saved here or there, at least when it comes to confidence.
8. Lincecum threw 6.2 innings to Posey in the postseason, and he allowed two runners.
Now, Sanchez will need to start behind the plate often to keep Posey fresh, and if Lincecum really wants to throw to him, whatever. It's not going to make that much of a difference if it's Cain, Zito, Vogelsong, Bumgarner, or Lincecum who picks up all of the Sanchez starts.
But the debate is over when it comes to Sanchez being better for Lincecum. There isn't a scrap of evidence confirming that, except for the small samples suggesting the exact opposite is true.
So now when you read those HOT NARRATIVES, you'll know on which side you stand.