Tim Lincecum, 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner. I’m sure Bud Selig is STOKED right now.
You can’t make the following claim about the sport’s commissioner, but baseball’s writers seem to have finally stepped into the 21st century. Even if Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award for the second consecutive year mostly due to two St. Louis Cardinals splitting the vote, the idea of a 15-game-winner winning pitching’s biggest honor would have been sacrilege just five years ago.
This isn’t a fluky thing, either. Remember last year, when everyone thought Brandon Webb’s 22 wins would certainly propel him past Lincecum, even though Lincecum’s stats bettered Webb in nearly every single other category? I was one of many who were genuinely shocked last year that Lincecum won his first Cy, and this year I’m somehow less surprised even though the competition was arguably much tougher.
The one time I’ve been able to ask Lincecum a question in person, he said hearing from his agent a year ago that he had won his first Cy Young was like having a big cake come to his front door. I took the comment literally, and asked him what kind of cake it was, which probably made him think I was influenced by the same stuff he was when he got pulled over on I-5.
Now we know that if Lincecum mentions cake tonight to the press, it probably means he’ll eat it. Or at least some Crunch ‘N Munch, Doritos, or a Choco Taco or four. Or all of the above.
Sorry, too easy. That’s the thing with marijuana arrests, they make everyone feel like a comedian. Everyone gets to make their “High Young,” 4:20, munchies or Snoop Dogg/Cheech & Chong jokes, and nobody gets hurt. Hard drug arrests always have a little sense of danger and/or desperation to them, and alcohol arrests (unless they involve Najeh Davenport in a dorm room) usually have to do with peoples’ lives being in danger or someone with legitimate personal problems crying out for help.
Plus, like Michael Phelps, Lincecum’s legal troubles have come while he firmly stands at the pinnacle of his profession. Everyone freaked out when Phelps had his picture taken with a bong firmly applied to his face, but less than a year later he’s in a national ad campaign for crappy sandwiches.
Still, if I were Lincecum’s agent I’d advise him to avoid replacing the “99 tacos” guy in the Jack In The Box ads, even though he’d probably do a fantastic job.
In the end, all anybody will remember is Lincecum just put together the two best years in a row of any San Francisco Giant in history. Yes, even better than any two consecutive years Juan Marichal enjoyed, considering the era and how clearly Lincecum towers over the rest of the pitchers in his league. Yes, this means I’m faulting Marichal for the existence of Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax, but them’s the breaks.
Final vote totals (first place votes in parentheses)
Lincecum: 100 points (11)
Cris Carpenter: 94 (9)
Adam Wainwright: 90 (12)