Tim Lincecum’s struggles from a year ago are well-documented. The two-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t start during the postseason last year and was relegated to coming out of the bullpen. Lincecum says that opportunity changed his perspective on pitching and now he enters 2013 with nothing on his mind but rebounding from the struggles.
Tim Lincecum joined 95.7 The Game in San Francisco with Bucher and Towny to discuss what this offseason was like for him, where his mind is at entering 2013, how important it was that he was given a chance to make an impact out of the bullpen in last year’s playoffs, his approach now returning to a starting role, his main objectives for this season, his new short haircut and the chemistry of the San Francisco Giants.
On what the offseason was like:
“It was a good time for me to pick up the weights again, get back to work. I took a month and a half off and then got implemented into a nice workout program. … Being able to get back into things and move my body around in the ways I like to and implement physical movements that I’ll be doing out on the baseball field will make this spring a lot easier and going into this season a lot more optimistic for me.”
What’s different for you mentally from last year and now going into 2013?:
“I feel like the physical preparation makes the mental preparation and going through the hard times a lot easier to accept. … The old saying is you get what you put in. When you don’t put in and you don’t get out the results you want, you kind of understand why. When you put it in there, the question mark isn’t so bad anymore.”
How important was it for you to make the impact you did during the postseason last year even if it wasn’t as a starter?:
“They put me in a really good position to build my confidence. I know I had been struggling with my starting last year a lot. So putting me in smaller situations, where it wasn’t such a mind-battling situation … they put me in that position to do well. And obviously giving me opportunities was beneficial to me. It was a different look at it. … A different perspective was a lot of fun for me. I wasn’t taking it as a bittersweet thing at all. It was sweet the whole way through.”
How do you feel you’ll be different now returning as a starter?:
“I feel like my preparation off the field is going to make it easier now. Just focus in between pitches is the biggest thing. I felt like last year my biggest problem was wondering if I was going to be able to throw my pitch after I threw a good one — that was the question mark. Right now, it’s like I know what I’m doing wrong, I know what I need to fix.”
How much does it weigh on you how big this year is for you financially and for your future in baseball?:
“I never really looked at it as far as a free agent, crucial kind of period for me. I just look at it as every year’s a big year. Rebounding is obviously the biggest priority on my mind, whether that means I’m going to be here after this year or not.”
What’s up with your new hairstyle?:
“For me, it’s not about making any huge transition. It’s just about acceptance of what happened and then growing. The haircut wasn’t any … indication of that transition or anything. It ran its course and it was time to cut it. It was looking pretty bad at times. … It took me a while to grow it and go through those funky, awkward phases.”
On the chemistry of the team:
“I think where we came together the most was last year in the playoffs when we were three games back, just fighting for that next day. You look to the guy next to you and the other guy next to you to your left and you’re wondering who’s going to pick up. You know when you come together collectively, it’s everybody picking up everybody. … So when you have that faith in your teammates, it’s practically like playing with your family.”