To hear Tim Lincecum’s teammates talk, the San Francisco Giants pitcher is working his tail off. He is hitting the gym, eating better and doing everything he can to make sure he is not on the same path he was on last season when he struggled so badly all season. Yet, in spite of everything he is doing, he continues to struggle. Time and again he appears to not be worried at all but should he be? Should the Giants be?
To be fair, struggles for Lincecum aren’t quite like struggles for a lesser pitcher. Nothing against anyone, but there are a lot of pitchers that would take what Lincecum had last season and do their best to repeat it. The very fact that Lincecum refuses to repeat last year’s numbers and works so tirelessly to make sure he doesn’t, speaks to the desire he has to be the best.
That is why the Giants shouldn’t worry. After all, they won it all last year in spite of his troubles. Lincecum might never be the pitcher he was before last season again. He might never be that great again and then again he might be better. What makes good pitchers great is the fact that they continue to strive to be better and refuse to accept anything less of themselves than the best they can do.
Lincecum definitely has that going for him. His pitches are moving around well right now. Sure they are also moving out of the park and turning into lots of crooked letters on the scoreboard, but he is making progress and knows what he needs to do to get better. He wouldn’t have been the pitcher he was for so long now if he didn’t have the ability and the guts it takes to work through these problems.
It might take a month or half of the season but Lincecum will be dominant again by the end of 2013. His desire to accept nothing less of himself has convinced me. I just wonder how long it will take.