Lincecum apologizes for harshing everyone's buzz

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If Tim Lincecum truly regrets anything, he probably regrets getting caught the most. But he’s pretty hip to the P.R. issues surrounding his pot bust and because of it he offered a statement following his post-Cy Young interview yesterday:

“I made a mistake and I regret my actions. I want to apologize to the Giants organization and the fans. I know as a professional athlete I have a responsibility … both on and off the field. I promise to do better in the future.”

I think the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman summed up this business the best the other day: “I know this whole Lincecum story is considered overblown and a joke in Northern California, where many folks probably vacuum more than 3.3 grams of pot residue off their carpets at home, but it’s taken seriously elsewhere and by Major League Baseball.”

I’d argue that in an ideal world it shouldn’t be taken all that seriously, but we don’t live in an ideal world.  We live in a world where people freak out about small amounts of generally innocuous, generally harmless plants while drugs that actually kill a lot of people are allowed to advertise on outfield walls. We live in a world where the same writers who just acknowledged via their awards vote that it’s possible for a guy to take a certain drug and still be a world class athlete also write about how bad a thing it was for that athlete to take that drug.

I understand that Lincecum broke the law and should pay his fine. I also understand that he’s subject to a collective bargaining agreement that tells him he can’t smoke pot, and to the extent that agreement calls for anything to happen to him because of it, so be it.  But the fact that we expect guys like Lincecum or Michael Phelps or whoever to make public apologies like this is a bit much for me.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”