An open letter: To Timmy with love, from San Francisco

Hi, Tim,

Thanks for coming, have a seat. Listen, please, don’t get up. We’re all friends here. You know us. There’s trust in this room. And a lot of love.

The most important thing we want to make clear is how much we value your presence in our lives. When you first came to San Francisco in 2007, you gave us a taste of the zip in your arm, tossing heat at almost 100 miles an hour. Sure, you were a little erratic, but after a few outings, we started to believe.

And frankly, it had been hard to believe in our Giants. Loma Prieta just about killed us in 1989, and that damn rally monkey still haunts our dreams. We thought we had something going there with Barry and Dusty, but they couldn’t bring home the gold. And that juicing thing, and Barry’s temper — well, let’s just say that the new ballpark can only give us so much dopamine.

But then you started to shine. Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009 — that’s back-to-back, brother. You were coming up, part of a hardscrabble team that no one outside The City gave any credit. And listen, that stringy hair, and the 2009 pot bust? Well, hey, this is San Francisco; we practically invented that stuff.

Two years ago, we finally saw what you could do. No one saw the Giants coming, but in Game 5 of the World Series, you walked up to that mound in Arlington, Texas, and planted your flag in front of the Rangers. George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan went home and cried; we woke up with the best hangover in history.

That’s why it’s so hard for us to come here today. We need to talk about your fastball.

You’re just not putting it there like you used to. The aim is off. You know it, so you’re going to the curve and the changeup. But the batters know it too. They’re waiting for that off-speed pitch.

And they’re smacking it far and long. We don’t want to bring up numbers, but we’re talking about the season here. Your won-loss record is 3-10. At 6.42, you have the worst ERA among qualifying starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Listen, we know you know this. And we know that if you spend too much time thinking about it, you’ll only dig yourself in deeper.

So we, your fans, your city, have assembled to say: We believe in you. Every pitcher has moments like this.

Especially the best ones. And you are one of them.

So when you get back up on the mound for the second half of the season, know that we are here, in the bleachers, squinting to see your windup. We know that when you deliver, you will burn that sphere past every power hitter in the game. We know this because we have spent the last three months watching as you and your brothers go neck-and-neck with the lowest form of life, the Los Angeles Dodgers. And we know you won’t let us down.

Not that there’s any pressure or anything.

Barry BondseditorialsGiantsOpinionTim Lincecum

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