Last year, all the buzz around Tim Lincecum was about his pitching out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
This year, it’s all about his hair.
The new-look Lincecum made his public debut Friday at AT&T Park, sporting short hair and eyeglasses in a media appearance leading up to Saturday’s Giants Fan Fest at the ballpark.
After 33 regular season starts in 2012, Lincecum was relegated to long relief after struggling to his worst mark ever, 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA.
But Lincecum shined as one of the best pitchers in the playoffs and World Series, going 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA with 20 strikeouts, five walks, and nine hits allowed in 17-2/3 innings.
With such a Jekyll and Hyde season behind him, everyone is wondering what’s next for 2013. Lincecum said:
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum
“I took (pitching in the bullpen) for what it was. It wasn’t a position I was 100 percent familiar with but I just wanted to help the team and right now my perspective isn’t to be in the bullpen, my perspective is I want to be a starter and I want to get back to that elite status that I once had.”
Lincecum might just be both Clark Kent and Superman. When he met with reporters, he looked like the mild-mannered reporter. But we’ll all soon find out — when he dons his No. 55 — if he’ll be the Lincecum of old with his blazing fastball and devastating change-up:
“I didn’t want to go through last year again. Changing my work ethic and getting on top of things that I need to do to take care of my job and not embarrass myself out there is pretty much my mindset. It’s not just the jersey but it’s the name on my back which is reflective of my family and their work ethic.”
For the past five seasons, Lincecum’s straight long hair flowed as he delivered each pitch from his long exaggerated delivery. Now — having cut his hair the shortest it’s been with the Giants — fans quite frankly might not recognize him on the mound:
“I feel like I’m the same person here minus the haircut but I’ve always matched up different things and change, especially if I was open to it so it made it easier but now I’m just getting back to being myself and finding confidence in that and I’ve been insecure with that (in the past).”
When asked by SFBay if there was any motivation to drastically change his appearance, Lincecum replied:
“There was really no motivation outside of I wanted something different. Usually I take between six months in between each haircut just because I was lazy. And now it’s something I’m going to upkeep and just take care of yourself I guess. I’ve had short hair before…”