Jaws dropped when Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum won another Cy Young Award — the fourth player to win the title back-to-back in National League history — and smiles were plastered on fans’ faces.
The reactions were about the same: “He won?” supporters asked while they raised their eyebrows in suspense, waiting for the official answer.
Yasuko Takada, 31, had just taken a break from work when she heard the news.
“I can’t believe it! Yes, he won!” Takada said, as she jumped up and down a few times.
Many fans surveyed believed one of two St. Louis Cardinals — Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright — was the favorite for the award, which goes to the best pitcher in each league.
Lincecum, the Giants’ 25-year-old ace, sent 265 batters back to the dugout via strikeout in 2008, then 261 more in 2009. The team scooped him up from the University of Washington in 2006, with a signing bonus of a little more than $2 million to play for the team that drafted him with the 10th overall pick in 2007.
Some smiles lost their spark when asked if Lincecum’s $650,000 contract — his salary this year — would be enough to keep the wiry right-hander faithful to the Giants.
“Players like that should be making millions,” said Paul Vallone, 45, an attorney in The City.
Lincecum was already due for a big raise via Major League Baseball’s salary arbitration system, with some experts predicting as much as a $10 million salary for next year. That figure may have increased Thursday.
A man wearing a Giants hat said the team should definitely lock down Lincecum with a huge raise and long-term contract.
“Ticket sales will go up for sure,” Danny Callaghan, 25, said. “People have got to see how fast he pitches.”
Forgiving fans were not fazed by Lincecum getting caught with a little pot in October after he was pulled over for speeding in his home state of Washington.
“So what?” said Dave Berry, who said his kids will be thrilled with Lincecum’s win. “He’s a pot smoker. That’s fine by me.”