Before signing latest deal with the Giants, Tim Lincecum thought about joining the Mariners

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The Giants locked up right-hander Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract on Tuesday. Via CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, while he was contemplating his future prior to signing the deal, Lincecum thought about playing for the Seattle Mariners. Lincecum grew up in Washington, attending Liberty Senior High School in Renton, then playing for the Washington Huskies in college. Lincecum did say he would like to explore the opportunity later in his career.

Lincecum said he is “really, really, really happy” about returning to the Giants, per Hank Schulman. Lincecum will be a Giant through the 2015 season, when he will be 31 years old. He is trying to rebound from two bad seasons, finishing 2012 with a 5.18 ERA and 2013 with a 4.37 ERA. He said that his poor form recently is “not the way you want to go out”.

Over his seven-year career in San Francisco, Lincecum has posted a 3.46 ERA over 1,411.2 innings, winning the National League Cy Young award in back-to-back seasons in 2008-09 and earning two World Series rings in the process in 2010 and ’12.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.

The Rays gave Seth Smith a little league homer last night

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I mentioned this in the recaps this morning, but I think it deserves it’s own special place. Get what went down in the second inning of last night’s Rays-O’s game:

Ryan Flaherty was on first with Seth Smith up to bat. Smith hit a single to center. Flaherty, who was running with the pitch, was making for third base. All-world defender Kevin Kiermaier tried to gun him down but threw wildly to third, causing Flaherty to break for home.

Pitcher Alex Cobb had the play backed up, however! He got the ball near the dugout. Flaherty scampered back to third and Cobb tried to throw him out. The ball hit Flaherty’s helmet, richocheting into left field, allowing both Flaherty and Smith — who had stopped at first and then stopped at second, like a kid at tee ball or something — to come around and score.

Watch:

 

I still think the Rays walking home the winning run on four pitches in the 11th inning was worse, but this looked worse.

Oh well: the Rays get the day off today and tomorrow, of course, is another day.