Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum And Brian Wilson Talk Dodgers Rivalry, Hitting The Town And The Future Of The San Francisco Giants
Who: The San Francisco Giants' brightest stars: two-time Cy Young Award-winning starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, National League Rookie of the Year catcher Buster Posey and All-Star closing pitcher Brian Wilson.
Current Gig: The leaders of the 2010 World Series Championship San Francisco Giants, Lincecum, Posey and Wilson are gods around this town. Remember the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show? Their World Series parade was kind of like that.
At 5'11" and 175 pounds, Lincecum has single-handedly proven that little guys don't finish last. The lithe 27-year-old phenom has already earned two Cy Young Awards (the Oscar for Best Pitcher) and a $40 million contract in his five-year career.
At 24, Posey has become the unofficial captain, and led the team to the World Series Championship. He tragically suffered a season-ending injury in May during a home-plate collision with Scott Cousins of the Miami Marlins. His 2012 return is perhaps the most anticipated moment of the season.
And then there's Brian Wilson. While his fastball made him famous (Wilson threw the game-winning pitch at the World Series), his legendary beard and personality have made the 29-year-old indispensable.
And while the team is undeniably good, we think it's the off-the-field details -- from Lincecum's long hair and pot bust to Wilson's S&M tendencies -- that make them indisputably San Francisco.
Now preparing for the team's first Spring Training game on Saturday and the season opener on April 6, the three took a moment to sit down with The Huffington Post to talk about what's in store for 2012.
Welcome back to San Francisco, guys. What did you do in the offseason?
Buster Posey: It was great; I just hung out with the family. My wife and I had twins so we've been pretty busy with that.
Tim Lincecum: I went to Hawaii right after the season ended with a few friends. We just hung out on the beach and rode mopeds around the island.
Brian Wilson: I hate to disappoint you but I just worked out. I know that's a pretty boring answer, but that's what I do.
Tim, you just signed a $40 million contract for two years with the Giants. What's that like?
TL: It's pretty surreal. You think to yourself, there's no way I could ever make that kind of money playing baseball. You look back at when you were young and you heard about guys making that kind of money – it seemed so ridiculous. Sometimes I pinch myself to come back down to reality.
There's been some speculation on why you only signed for two more years. Are you thinking about leaving San Francisco after that?
TL: It's not about San Francisco or the Giants. I love San Francisco. It's just that I've never been a guy to commit too far in advance because I don't know how I'm going to feel later. I don't know how I'm going to feel about baseball; I don't know how I'm going to feel about anything in two years. So I'm just focusing on right now.
What do you guys do in San Francisco when you're not playing baseball?
BW: I like going out in the Marina sometimes. I love Mamacita.
Where else do you eat out?
BW: House of Nanking is bomb.
TL: (Removes hoodie to reveal a Tacolicious hat.)
BW: (Points to Lincecum’s hat.) Tacolicious! We're going.
TL: I really like their carnitas. The one on Chestnut is great.
BP: Before FanFest, my wife and I went out a few nights in the City. We went to this place called First Crush that was really good.
Tim, you look like you've lost a little weight. Have you been cutting down on the carnitas?
TL: I have lost some weight. I was up to 196 at the end of last season and now I'm at 175, which is a much better place for me. I learned last season that I don't play well with extra weight. I was 160 when we won the championship and then I bulked up last season. I've always had trouble gaining weight and now I guess my metabolism is finally catching up with me.
How did you drop that so fast?
TL: Swimming. I did 20 to 30 minutes a day and I'm not supposed to swim freestyle as a pitcher. So it was just froggy the whole time -- it's fucking tough! And I had to eat better. I mean I'm not crushing vegetables by any means. But I had to cut out the fast food: McDonalds, Jack in the Box, In-N-Out. I had to quit those double-doubles. Or I at least had to stop at two before going for three.
Your first game is on Saturday. Are you excited to get back out there?
BP: Definitely, I can't wait to play again.
Buster, how are you feeling? Tell me a bit about your recovery.
BP: It's getting better all the time. It feels more and more like my ankle every day. Fortunately I had so much support for the team and the fans. It was frustrating being in the dugout knowing there was nothing I could do to help, but the guys really made me feel like part of the team.
Do you think you'll play catcher in the first game of the season?
BP: I expect to, yeah. I'm actually a few weeks ahead of my goals, which is great. But the biggest thing is not to push it so I don't take one step forward and two steps back.
After your injury, there was a lot of controversy surrounding [Miami Marlins outfielder] Scott Cousins. Some thought he hit you too hard and others thought he was just doing his job. Have you ever talked to him about it?
BP: I haven't; I sure haven't. I heard he called the night it happened, but I wasn't even in the clubhouse -- I was getting X-rays. I think people made a bigger deal about that than it was. I don't need to talk to him about it. It's time to just let the past be the past.
Guys, tell me a bit about the Dodgers rivalry.
TL: I hate to even talk about it after the incident last year [in which Giants fan Bryan Stow was critically injured outside Dodger Stadium]. I heard about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry growing up, but when you step into Dodger Stadium or when they come up here, you see how big it is and how much it means to people. It's stronger than it's ever been and it's ridiculous. It's life or death, sadly.
2010 was obviously a huge year for the Giants, but 2011 was a little lackluster. What happened?
TL: Honestly, I think health issues were a big part of our season last year. We just couldn't keep the team healthy. I mean, you need your catcher to stay in the season -- it's such a big position. And then there was Freddy [Sanchez]. I think we got up to 20 injuries at one point. It was ridiculous.
Do you think this season will be different?
TL: Having Posey back will be huge. He's kind of our unofficial captain, which is rare since he's so young. Posey's a guy who leads by example and isn't afraid to speak his mind. That took a little getting used to at first, but I really admire him because he didn't have a problem telling me when I was doing something wrong. Like when things wouldn't be going right, I'd start getting pissed. But then he'd come up to the mound and say something like, "hey man, would you rather be sitting in the fucking dugout or would you rather be pitching?" It would knock me back into reality and change my whole demeanor.
Buster, do you think what happened last year changed you as a player?
BP: I'm more appreciative of what I do now. It's such a long season, so hopefully I'll be able to use this when it's August and we're playing in Atlanta and it's 114 degrees. Then I can remember, "Hey, at least I'm playing."
Brian, Tim, what's going to be the walk-up music this year?
BW: House of Pain! [Sings opening bar of "Jump Around."] I love that song. When I step on the field I'm just raging.
TL: I haven't decided yet. I might just stick with "Electric Feel."
[Editor's note: Hey Tim, here's an Rdio playlist of suggestions from HuffPost SF!]