If there's one thing I love about our fans is that they're loyal. Case and point, our undying love for Barry Bonds amid a sea of hatred by the rest of America.
We love our role players, our bullpen guys, and everyone in between (unless they're terrible of course).
Even me, The Dodgerhater, the mean guy that I am, feel pangs of sadness to see guys like Eli Whiteside leave our organization and bounce around.
If I feel that way about a light-hitting backup catcher whose highlights were his HR off Roy Halladay off the foul pole that one time, his eagerness to fight the Dodgers, his gray hair, and his Led Zeppelin entrance song, imagine how hard it is for me to watch our former ace, Tim Lincecum struggle so badly.
The tide is beginning to shift a bit when it comes to Timmeh.
More and more fans are losing confidence in our once unstoppable whirling dervish-- despite his past success and his forever-cemented place in our hearts.
The truth of the matter is that he was the worst starting pitcher in baseball in 2012. Barry Zito was better... and that is crazy.
Believe me, I remember his incredible performance out of the 'pen in the 2012 Playoffs en route to our second title in three years. It's hard to forget.
But the fact remains that he is not the same pitcher he was pre 2012, and I don't think he ever will be.
You can talk about the lost velocity, you can talk about dope smoking, his small frame, and everything in between. The fact remains that he has just not adjusted adequately to his diminished abilities and learned how to pitch. Sounds crazy, but he could learn a lot from Zito.
He still has swing and miss breaking stuff, and that really hasn't dissipated. It's the fact that now his fastball and changeup are too similar in velocity and that he hasn't learned yet how to pitch to contact and to keep the ball down.
The percentage of line drives allowed in 2012 was the 7th highest in the league last year, almost 24% of all contact, and of that contact, hitters were taking home a robust .309 average.
That sort of thing is going to get runs scored against you more times than not.
I can't help but be overly concerned about Timmy because of all this, especially because he's had an awful spring-- just as he did last spring. He's just not showing me many signs of improvement, and it scares me.
With all that said, I truly hope as a fan of the Giants and of Timmy, that he figures out how to locate and to pitch to "good" contact. If he doesn't, I fear that we can expect more of the same from Timmy in 2013, and that the talk radio circuit will have plenty to discuss.
We managed to win another title in spite of Timmy's regular season performance last year, but with his bullpen performance in the playoffs. If he struggles badly this year well into May and June, it's absolutely time to put him back in the bullpen and find a body to plug into the rotation. There's also the remote possibility that he could be dealt at the trade deadline. His contract is up, and he's pitching for his livelihood. If there's one year people have career years, it's usually in a walk year.
All this crap is purely speculation on my part, but we'd all be remiss if we didn't consider these outcomes. Unfortunately, all signs point to another poor season. Let's hope I'm wrong, because I'd love to see The Freak back to good form, just like you do.