Results tagged ‘ Armando Galarraga ’

Food for thought: Cain or Lincecum?

Thursday, June 3

Matt Cain’s surge and Tim Lincecum’s slump might lead some to ponder a question that’s familiar to some Giants fans: Which right-hander will have a more productive career?

While the season is raging, the proper answer is, “Does it matter?” The Giants need both Cain and Lincecum to thrive to have any hope of reaching the postseason.

Still, this is a question many fans will continue to raise, and it is somewhat intriguing. Obviously, Lincecum has had much more early success with his two National League Cy Young Awards. But will Cain, with his classic pitcher’s build, outlast the undersized Lincecum?

At some point, the answer may become obvious. For now, the politically correct view is: Enjoy them both.

*****

Judging from the players’ visceral reaction, the Giants felt sick for Detroit’s Armando Galarraga, who lost a perfect game Wednesday due to umpire Jim Joyce’s blown call.

Yet a handful of veteran Giants also felt badly for Joyce, who they described as a decent man.

Joyce proved that by admirably owning up to his mistake. His error was profoundly egregious, but perhaps his accountability will endure as long as his goof.

The upshot of all this will be an increased presence of instant replay in baseball, if not all sports. Bank on it.

*****

Galarraga’s imperfect game overshadowed what normally would have been the day’s biggest story: Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement. Here’s what Lincecum, a Seattle-area native who grew up watching Griffey, had to say about the slugger:

“He was the epitome of Seattle baseball, pretty much, him and Randy [Johnson]. He was that new face, they called him ‘The Kid,’ he was making those spectacular catches and always seemed like he was having fun. Almost like watching a different Pablo [Sandoval] … He had one of the prettiest swings I’ve ever seen.”
 
One enduring memory Lincecum doubtlessly shares with many Mariners fans is the sight of Griffey scoring the winning run in the 1995 Division Series against the Yankees and quickly being engulfed by overjoyed teammates. “I think that’s what a lot of us remember,” Lincecum said.
 
Lincecum also will treasure the memory of meeting Griffey for the first time in Spring Training this year. As Lincecum was interviewed after a Cactus League game at the Mariners’ training complex, Griffey parted a group of reporters to shake hands with the pitcher. “I went ‘uh’ — it kind of caught me off-guard,” Lincecum said. “Obviously it was a pleasant surprise for me.”
 
Lincecum recalled the little-boy feeling that stars like Griffey and Johnson gave him and his peers: “Those guys were gods of our worlds.”
 
 Chris Haft
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