Barry Zito

Tim Lincecum takes weight off his shoulders, wins

I’m not going to go as far as my fiance and say the reason why Tim Lincecum won today and struck out 11 (with no walks) was because he chopped a couple inches off his hair. She also swears Lincecum last trimmed up his locks after the 2008 All-Star Game that he missed due to dehydration. You know, because all that extra sweat he was perspiring due to the excessive length of his hair. I vaguely remember this, but my biggest strength has never been noticing hairstyle changes from two years ago.

I’m not prepared to say Lincecum should have cut his hair sooner, because then I’d sound like Jay Mariotti mixed with Paul Mitchell. Judging the appearance or lifestyle of athletes is a slippery slope, because I’ve never seen a sportswriter who models on the side (and I definitely wouldn’t be the first). But there’s one thing that’s clear: Lincecum’s hair means an awful lot to him.

He knows that to 97% of the country, it looks ridiculous. He feels it cling to his face while he pitches in pretty much every U.S. state outside the Pacific time zone. He habitually pushes it behind his ears, and he looks like the lead singer of the Black Crowes in street clothes (except his jeans may be a little looser). And clearly, when he decides to go under the knife scissors, it isn’t like when most people get a haircut every two weeks or two months.

Here’s why I think it means so much. The Giants are a team obsessed with their own hair. Poor Nate Schierholtz probably has a complex. Same with Eli Whiteside, unless he’s accepted his silver-haired fate and takes pride in his shock of gray curls. Do you realize how many mohawks this team has sported over the past two seasons? And Juan Uribe has dyed his! Can you imagine the conversations that have been had between Lincecum, Brian Wilson and Barry Zito about hair, hair products, and whatever Cole Hamels is doing with his hair lately?

Stay tuned for more “Sheer Genius” after these messages…

— Kind of strange how Lincecum fell apart before reaching 80 pitches tonight, but Freddy Sanchez hit an opposite-field home run tonight, so he was probably lucky to be as dominant as he was over 6 innings.

— I heard Marty Lurie predict Pat Burrell was getting ready for a hot streak so many times last night that I’m pretty sure it haunted my dreams, but I have to hand it to him. Burrell absolutely crushed that ball.

— I swear the Giants hit 14 balls off the center field wall tonight.

— Kind of nice for the Giants to go to bed feeling like they have both Lincecum and Jeremy Affeldt back.

— Too bad they can’t count on the Dodgers to do anything right, since they’re currently waiving a white flag reading “THINK BLUE.”

— Best running subplot of the game: the absolute takeover of Chase Field by Giants fans, highlighted by multiple “OOOH….REEEEBAY” chants. It’s kind of amazing how many Giants fans either (A): live in Southern California or Arizona or (B): have the disposable income to travel down south to watch the Giants play. A guy wearing a Giants-themed costume of some sort caught Sanchez’s homer in the right field bleachers, and from the looks of things on Twitter, there’s going to be a sizable black-and-orange contingent either flying or driving down to San Diego this weekend.

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