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Hustle and Flow

November 4, 2010 | by

Dear Will,

It’s often said that a loss hurts more than a victory can heal. As a rule, it might be true, but it didn’t seem so on Monday night. After fifty-six years of waiting, the Giants finally won the World Series, and San Francisco set itself on fire.

Lee pitched a hell of a game. Hats off to him—he is the beau ideal, I’ll give you that. But give me the weird one; give me Tim Lincecum. At rest, slouchy and loose, wearing a grimy, graying cap, he looks like a teenager cupping a spliff in his hand. But then he begins. The torque—the spring—the splits—the snap! His coaches call his motion “flow.” He did not dominate the Rangers so much as confound them. Mighty hitters were reduced to awkward little jerks of the bat. Remarkably, he may not even be the Giants’ best pitcher—Matt Cain threw more than twenty-one scoreless innings in the postseason—but he’s the best to watch.

I nearly missed it all. As it happens, when the game began, I was at Lincoln Center. The tickets had been purchased long ago, back when it looked like the Giants might not even make the playoffs. The Dresden Staatskappelle was playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. I think it was nice, but I wasn’t really playing attention. Instead, I was sitting in the back row, pressing refresh on my Blackberry. One scoreless inning, two… Ah! Perfido was next on the program. Ah, Perfido?! I bolted and headed to the nearest bar.

I’m very fond of these Giants. They came upon me by surprise. Then again, not totally. The Giants were my dad’s team growing up. He used to tell me about Willie Mays, who played with power and with passion and who smiled. He had a pigeon-toed gait, bowlegs, long arms, and a barrel chest. A strange specimen. A Giant! It’s been a pleasure watching the World Series with you, Will. Better luck next year!




  1. SARS | November 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    tim lincecum has won two cy youngs after five years at the major league level. he is, without a doubt, the giants best pitcher.

  2. Steve Baker | November 5, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I saw a picture recently of a shirtless Willie Mays in the locker room celebrating the 54 series. A slender muscled torso. Not a sign of a barrel chest.

  3. Louisa Thomas | November 5, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Tim Lincecum has certainly earned his spot at the top of the rotation, but he went through some rough spots this year. You could make the case–and some have–that the Giants have a roster stocked with four aces! Especially during the postseason, when it really counted.

    As for Mays–you’re right, Steve; barrel chest is overstating it. But his chest is certainly big and strong.

  4. Adam W. | November 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Th reason Lincecum brings hidden spliffs to mind is because he looks uncannily like the kid from Dazed and Confused.

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