Category Archives: sports

Linceblog:Tim Lincecum speaks candidly about his Filipino roots; SF Giants Filipino Heritage Night at AT&T tonight

For Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants, it’s another Filipino Heritage Night, an homage to a fan base that represents the second largest Asian American group in the nation (Four million based on 2011 Census estimates, with Northern California the largest concentration of Filipino Americans outside of Hawaii).


And they all love Lincecum, whose mother was Filipino, making the Giants’ star the son of a great-granddaughter of a Filipino immigrant.


Lincecum is a 4th generation Filipino American.


Far from an accidental, or the reluctant Filipino, Lincecum always seems interested when I’ve mentioned Filipino history to him. One of his recent starts actually was on Bataan Valor Day, the surrender of Bataan and the start of the death march.


After a recent game, when he struggled and gave up 7 walks, I asked him about superstitions since ballplayers, like Filipinos are notoriously superstitious. I thought this might get him to open up about being Filipino.


But any discussion of being Filipino always goes back to his mother.



He certainly doesn’t deny his “Filipino-ness.” But like many half-Filipino, or multi-racial Filipinos (21.8 percent of U.S. Filipinos), one’s  comfort level is based on a continued connection to family. Certainly, that’s a private matter–to a point. It’s just that when you take the mound on such a public stage as Major League Baseball, you lose some of that privacy. Filipinos see a game where there are zero Filipinos on the field. And when someone like Lincecum comes along, naturally, he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a kind of global hero to Filipinos everywhere. Sports and identity politics go together.

Just like Venezuelans love Sandoval, Scutaro and Blanco, Filipinos love Lincecum.

Lincecum isn’t pitching tonight. The starter is Matt Cain, not even 1/32nd Filipino, but still beloved by Giants fans.


Lincecum might make a cameo as he did on what I believe was the very first Filipino American Heritage night in 2009. The coincidence of Manny Pacquiao promoting his fight with Ricky Hatton made it practically a community event.


When pound-for-pound champ Pacman threw the ceremonial first pitch to a catcher named Lincecum, it was probably the first major league Filipino battery in history. (Not in all of baseball, of course. When I caught Marcelino Dumpit as a youth player for Dolores Park and Everett Jr. High in the ’60s, we had a nice Filipino battery going in the city leagues).

Fast forward to 2013, and an older Pacquiao has lost twice, his star not quite as bright as in 2009.


Lincecum? He’s had it even tougher. From double-CY winner to statistically being the worst starting pitcher in the league, Lincecum’s last two years have been a mess. He’s struggled to find the rhythm that made him into one of the game’s premier pitchers.


Then last Saturday, on 4/20 (coincidence?), Lincecum was brilliant. Throwing with control, Lincecum walked just two batters, and used his low-nineties fastball primarily to challenge hitters, striking out eight. Even more significant, he didn’t give up the big inning that has raised his ERA to over 5.  Does pitching to Posey at catcher really make that much of a difference? It sure seems to. The Giants won the game 2-0, courtesy of a Sandoval homer.


Lincecum earned his second win for the season and gained a lot more confidence as continues to get back to his 2009 form.


Giants fans, Filipino or not, left that night with big smiles on their faces.


The “Preak” was back.



Read more about Lincecum on, the major daily newspaper of the Philippines.


That Immigration bill, Boston, and baseball?

The Boston blasts have knocked even the grand leakage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 AKA “The Immigration Bill,” down a few notches in the news ladder.


Going over the details now and will post on Initial reaction is it’s “not great,” and forgets why people immigrate here in the first place. There’s an “F” word that seems forgotten.


In the meantime, speaking of words and language, look at all the news stories and  if anyone says “illegal immigrant.”


We didn’t see that faux pas yesterday, but look at how quickly we launched into profile mode.


Yes, we were kind and all to the innocent. But not so much to people of color when the word went out that police were looking for a “dark skinned male, possibly with an accent, and a black sweat shirt.”


Certainly let the white terrorists off the hook.


That kind of profiling shows we haven’t learned much from 9/11.


If you haven’t noticed, I’ve got this thing for baseball, and covering the San Francisco Giants and their half-Filipino pitcher Tim Lincecum.


He’s a real Asian American, not some imported star from Korea or Japan. He’s from the Seattle area.


For me baseball and his struggles to date are the human story of the game that provides real perspective. I use it as an antidote to the reality known as “the political process,” where the glacial pace of change makes a nine-inning game go by in a wink. Read the posts under the heading: Linceblog.


It’s my form of escape that gives me a sense of balance.


It also works both ways. Too much time in the candy store of life, and

you get a day like yesterday.


Yesterday’s violence—amid the intense competitiveness of a marathon hailed as one of the iconic events in U.S. sports—brought us all back to that reality as we prayed for the dead and counted the wounded.


By the way, yesterday was another milestone day in sport: Jackie Robinson Day.


Read my take at


And please read my other work at the archives :

Linceblog: Lincecum has the Chicago Blues–another big inning that’s done him wrong–but Giants’ offense, Pence, save day

Just as the full “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire fizzled, the Giants’ half-Filipino flash, Tim Lincecum. was rocked in a first-inning that began with a walk to the first batter he faced.

It was the only walk he allowed the whole game.

That’s the positive.

But then he gave up two 2-run homers in that same first inning. That’s a four-run inning, a typical Lincecum start.

Lincecum has given up three-or-more runs in an inning 10 times from the start of the 2012 season to date.

But the Giants’ offense eventually picked him up. Pinch-hitter Nick Noonan (batting .600 on this road trip) lined a single to left to give the Giants a 5-4 lead, and cap a 4-run inning in the 6th.

Lincecum was still in for the win. But the Cubs came back to regain the lead 7-6 in the 8th.

That set up a 2-strike homerun by Hunter Pence to tie and extend the game at 7-7.  Lincecum was off the hook totally for another no-decision start. And then the Giants with some clutch hitting pulled away with a 3-run 10th, 10-7.

Suddenly, the Giants  aren’t reliant on pitching so much. They are confident and showing enough offense to erase deficits late in the game.

Mark of a champion? Team is going well at 9-4.  And Lincecum? Well, the team has won his last three starts.

Tim’s next start is likely Saturday night against the Padres at AT&T.


Linceblog: Lincecum battles Cubs, and more on that little fight in the Big Apple

Tim Lincecum, the half-Filipino flash, pitches today for the Giants against the Cubs in Wrigley, and that’s good news for the Giants.

Winners of two of three 1 run games vs. the Cubs, the Giants will have a pitcher who has never given up more than 2 runs per game at Wrigley Field. With a 1.82 ERA in five starts, Lincecum loves Wrigley.

If he pitches to his record,  the Giants may be able to muster just enough run support to take three out of four in this Cub series, and give Lincecum his 2nd win of the year.

Lincecum had that rocky 2nd inning against the Rockies this past week. In an answer to my post-game question, he said he saw video in-between innings  and saw something he was able to correct.

 He didn’t say what it was , but added it wasn’t a mechanical or timing thing.

“Rhythm,” was the word Lincecum used. He went on after that to give the Giants a solid four innings.

We’ll see today if he’s still on the beat and can avoid a bout of the Chicago blues.



The Big Apple played host to the best small guys in boxing, the 122 lb. super bantamweights.  But it’s hard to say what was on Nonito Donaire’s mind last night at Radio City Music Hall?

Was he waiting for the Rockettes?

It  sure didn’t seem he wanted to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux.

I was hoping Donaire would take advantage of Rigondeuax’s lack of pro experience and school him into pronouncing his first name the Filipino way (not Gee-air-mo, but Gil-yer-mo).

But my loyalty to  Filipino American Donaire was all off.  On this night, Donaire was neither linguist or pugilist.

I had seen both fighters’  televised bouts over the last year, and never was all that impressed with Donaire.  He always showboated with his left hand down. I just couldn’t imagine him so much quicker than opponents that he could avoid telegraphing his punch.

Rigondeaux, on the other hand, I’ve always thought was fairly quick and elusive.  And he’s a lefty, which meant that with luck, he could possibly catch the righty Donaire flush in the face.

Sure, enough, the left caught Donaire, puffing up his eye, and essentially ended all chance before the 12th was done.

Indeed, the so-called “Filipino Flash” hardly flashed a thing all night, unable to jab or catch up to Rigondeaux.  For at least the first six rounds, it was like Donaire wasn’t even in the fight.

Later, in the post-bout interviews on HBO, Donaire admitted, “I never studied (for) the fight. “

It was a stunning admission on his lack of preparation. HBO commentators said that trainer Robert Garcia had been so involved with his other top fighter Brandon Rios, that much of his time with Donaire was spent on the phone.  Maybe that’s why Donaire looked like he was “phoning it in.”

It all leaves Filipino American fans wondering if Donaire really has what it takes to replace Manny Pacquiao, a loser in his last two fights.