They call him "Manchild" and "The Freak." He doesn't care, and today, Tim Lincecum is a champion.
"Here comes the freak" is a new single by a San Francisco band called the Freaky Freaks who sing about the look in Tim Lincecum's eyes. Forget Betty Davis Eyes. Now punk rockers are singing about Tim Lincecum's eyes. He doesn't mind being called "The Freak." He uses all the ridicule to work for him. How do I know? It's apparent in his bravura performance and conversations with his father, Chris, a Boeing employee.
"Aren't Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and sports figures that defy the numbers all considered freaks?" he asks his father in a recent Sports Illustrated interview. His father taught son Tim everything he knows about the game and to ignore ridicule.
Tim Lincecum doesn't care about public opinion. He defies it. He makes adversity work for him. He embraces challenge.
He is a winner of two CY Young Awards. His shoulder length hair is jet black and long and tousled. His dark eyes smile after he strikes someone out.
He pitches right handed and bats left. His ambidexterity and facile hands topped with a face right out of Harry Potter recall a Doonesbury character. Family Guy is his favorite TV show. He sings and dances to Spanish Rap songs and likes to wear bow ties. And still has the best change up in the game according to a Fox TV commentator who calls it, "devastating."
His pitch can be up to 98 mph and his eyes have the same velocity when he has an idea. They sparkle, "Yeah, I struck him out," as he thinks about his success but then those eyes quickly become humble when he's ready for the new batter as he opens his mouth slightly, drops his gaze and launches into his violent delivery.
'"Lincecum is playing just as good post season when lights are the brightest," the Fox commentator says. "Carves 'em up...one away... Lincecum has the stuff to make a batter look foolish. He's a machine out there right now having fun."
Tim Lincecum is known for his long stride, unorthodox mechanics and ability to generate a high-velocity pitch despite his being only 5 '11 and 163 lbs. With his power fastball and strong secondary pitches he has established himself as one of the elite pitchers in the league. As the game between the Rangers and the Giants progresses, a 3 run home run at the top of the seventh by Edgar Renteria for the San Francisco Giants is followed by the Ranger's Nelson Cruz who hits a home run and the score becomes 3 to 1.
The coach comes out to talk to Lincecum -- "a how do you feel meeting." Now an eighth strike out for Lincecum changes to a "make sure" meeting with the catcher. Lincecum strikes the next batter out for his ninth strike out. "Lincecum is doing his thing again," the Fox commentator says." Lincecum who has been a tremendous pitcher has Rangers guessing and guessing wrong."
Lincecum allows two walks and three hits in a pitcher's duel and it becomes a ten strike out night for Tim Lincecum.
As the game goes to the ninth, it is San Francisco on top 3 to 1. In the bottom of the ninth Brian Wilson, the closer, has replaced Tim Lincecum.
"I would not have taken him out," the Fox Commentator says. Wilson strikes out the Rangers.
and the Giants win it all, Thanks in part to consecutive strike outs and the pitching of Champion Tiny Tim Lincecum who is awarded the Ram Power Player Award. Lincecum gets the win and is carried on the shoulders of the players after he hops the fence in one swift gymnastic move.
"He deserved it. He was brilliant. How much better was he than before?" the announcer asks then answers his own question. "Lincecum had confidence. He was good all the way through. Probably could have finished us up. Lincecum set the tone in game one."
After Edgar Renteria is awarded the MVP, closer pitcher Brian Wilson is interviewed. "Tim has championship hair," Wilson says deadpan not reacting to his pun. "We won because of our persistence and work ethic."
Now the presenter offers the trophy to Lincecum to hold for a moment and asks, "How does it look?"
"Shiny," Lincecum replies also deadpan then becomes serious.
"What was the difference tonight?" the presenter asks.
"We wanted to nail it down. Played good defense . We had to stay poised and be collected," Lincecum replies.
"When you were a kid, were you dreaming about being a championship pitcher?"
"No, I was dreaming about being a championship hitter, but I'll take this this," says Tiny Tim Lincecum, no longer a manchild or a freak. You can call him anything, but you must include "world champion."