Welcome to the second part of HOT NARRATIVES, in which we offer "fresh sports takes" on the HOTTEST NARRATIVES coming out of Scottsdale. This one involves Tim Lincecum. And it's more of a public service announcement than anything else.
See, Tim Lincecum struggled last season. Before that, he was really good. This created cognitive dissonance that I'm still getting over. Heck, I might not ever get over it. And to think, there wouldn't be any good Lincecum-related news to hang our hats on if the Giants didn't make the playoffs. Instead, we get this:
Mmm-hmmm, and this.
Actually, going over those clips, there were more hard-hit balls than I remember. Which suggests a little luck. Which also suggests the absence of luck that was so noticable in the first half of Lincecum's 2012. Which confuses me. Dammit, this is never going to end.
But throughout the spring you'll get updates. Oh, how you'll get updates. Of course you will. Lincecum's a huge story. And in the earliest part of spring training, things are looking good.
"I felt like my front leg was actually stabilizing my motion when it comes to an end," said the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, who threw only fastballs and changeups. "I'm actually following through instead of falling out of it or wheeling off. My follow-through is a lot better and on target."
That sounds amazing. It's technical in all the right spots, giving you the right kind of hope. It's like when a scientific expert goes on CNN and tells the world why the poison-gas cloud isn't going to kill us all. It's soothing.
And then there will be a spring-training game. Here's were the public-service part comes in. You'll need this:
Even though I just made that, I'll forget about it the first time Lincecum gets bludgeoned by a team of Double-A players, or the first time he strikes out six consecutive hitters to start the game. You can't avoid this.
Remember how we thought Lincecum's spring last year was meaningless? Turns out it wasn't. But that doesn't mean we can glean any useful information from this spring. There's so much noise, so little signal, and we'll just have to pretend like it means something. Kind of like baseball games in general.
I hope Lincecum's back. I'll take note of anything related to Lincecum, especially if he's talking about his mechanics, because that's all I can do. The HOT NARRATIVE is that Lincecum is better or worse or improving or stronger or leaner or bulkier or sleepy. We'll know in about June or so if it's helping out with the pitching part.