September 25, 2010
With Miguel Olivo(notes) batting in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, the San Francisco Giants ace looked down at a baseball he was trying to rub up, lightly frowned and got the umpire's attention.
"New ball," Lincecum can be seen saying. As umpire Laz Diaz reached for a replacement, Timmy said something else to himself (which I believe was):
"[Bleep] this juiced balls bull[loney]."
You have to get up pret-ty early to fool Timmy.
UPDATE: Timmy elaborates on his comments, not disputing what the lip-readers say.
Anyway, the next ball was more to Lincecum's linking, or at least it was not as objectionable, and he used it to strike Olivo out. Though the Rockies scored in the inning, the Giants won 2-1 and stayed in first place.
Overall, it was perhaps Timmy's finest hour this season.
But what about that Olivo baseball? Well, reporters at Coors Field apparently didn't have a chance to address the issue, but it undoubtedly goes back to what Giants broadcaster Jon Miller accused the Rockies of doing earlier in the season.
Miller said the Giants suspect the Rox of switching in baseballs, at opportune moments, that had gone untreated by the Coors Field humidor. These rogue balls would, the conspiracy theory goes, be more apt to go flying over the fence.
Lincecum, it would seem, found the ball in question to be wanting. The look on his face is priceless.
I recall ripping Miller for casually accusing the Rockies of cheating. His assertions seemed half-baked, at best, but Lincecum seems to be on the same wavelength.
Pitchers eject "unworthy" baseballs from games all of the time. Umpires do it too. I just think it's ... neat that a pitcher apparently can use an incredibly deft sense of touch and knows — or thinks he knows — that a ball is somehow "juiced." It's almost like a sixth sense. It will be interesting to hear Lincecum expand on his feelings (which he now has).
Nobody has proved the Rockies are cheating, but they certainly have their doubters, along with a perception problem. They're also 4 1/2 games out of first.
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