Tag Archives: Filipino American

Linceblog: Is Tim Lincecum saying goodbye to the SF Giants?

In an revealing interview with MLB.com, Tim Lincecum says a whole lot more than in his terse after the game clubhouse sessions.

Mostly he talks about being in a good place, how he’s learned how to create a plan from talking to teammate Chad Gaudin, and learned how to live without his blazing fastball.

In some ways, he’s so positive in the interview he sounds like he’s on some 12-step plan. Good for the Giants or maybe some other team.

 

That’s the speculation now as Lincecum returns to PETCO Park today for the first time since he threw the no-hitter that is now proving to be the highlight of the 2013 season for the whole team.

Here’s an excerpt:

Lincecum: Oh, things are going well. I want to see things get better and I want to get better myself. I’m just going to worry about me in the offseason and just go on to help out a team that needs it. Right now, I’m just trying to make my tools better.

(EG: Was that a major league hint? That he’s ready to say goodbye, if that happens? Gaudin, his “mentor” is a journeyman who has been around the block, maybe that’s part of the “mental” aspect of the game he’s passed on–changing uniforms, towns, teams but staying focused on one’s native athletic skill).

 

MLB.com: What’s the difference for you right now on the mound?

Lincecum: I think it’s taking every start individually and at a larger level, not making any one game or any one month too big or overwhelming. It can be at times and I’ve gotten ahead of myself, worrying about the future, wondering whether the stuff I have on the mound I’m going to be able to carry forward with me. That kind of negative thinking just leads nowhere. You get negative feelings and negative results out of it. I’ve just tried to steer my mindset to a different kind of thinking by feeding off the positives, even if they’re just little ones — liking myself at the end of the day, giving myself the benefit of the doubt even if the day doesn’t go great.

MLB.com: How have you been able to accomplish that?

Lincecum: I’ve had the pleasure of having Chad Gaudin on the team, who steered me in the right direction, as far as studying hitters and exploiting them the way I would like to, at least. I’ve never had anyone sit me down and do that, nor have I asked. To see the game from that perspective, that’s the way I’ve gone about it for the last 12 starts or so. Things have gotten increasingly better for me. It has me going out there with a plan, knowing that execution is the key. When anything goes wrong outside of that, I can always go back to my plan.

MLB.com: So you’re saying a lot of your problems the last two seasons have been mental?

Lincecum: Yeah, a lot of it is completely mental, just grasping the fact that I’m not going to throw 95-96 [mph] by guys anymore. I probably have to spot my fastball a lot more. That goes back to trusting it, trusting the stuff you have that day, regardless how fast it is and regardless of the fact that you’re probably not going to throw that hard again. You just have to trust it and know that it’s good stuff.

MLB.com: So why, at your age, the decrease in velocity of your fastball? Have you ever figured that out?

Lincecum: No, I think it goes back to getting into a good rhythm and timing with your body and having as many games when you have good results, but you might not be feeling at your best. That obviously goes back to being a good pitcher, but I’ve always fallen back on how I felt and what my rhythm was like on that day. Lately that velocity hasn’t been there, so I’ve had another crutch to lean on and that has been my game plan and the execution of that.

MLB.com: So you can fall back on the plan.

Lincecum: It’s just knowing that I can execute a pitch and it doesn’t have to be nasty anymore. That alleviates any kind of stress on any given pitch. If I do my pre-game studying, I know that a guy is or isn’t going to swing at a certain pitch or in a certain situation. It’s not 100 percent accurate, but it gives you a gauge that you can trust.

MLB.com: So how long has this taken to evolve?

Lincecum: The mental side started last year and the preparation part of it started this year. As far as preparing is concerned, I just wanted to be on the same page with my catcher, going with what I wanted that day whether it means shaking to a fastball away when he calls a curveball down, or any sort of scenario like that. I’m going with what I know I want so when he finally puts a sign down, I know, click, I’ve got that one. There’s not a whole lot of running over signs or confusion about, “What do you want to do here?” We already know what we want to do and we have an idea.

The interview was conducted by an MLB.Com national writer, and was fairly long compared to the Lincelength comments one usually gets after the games. But it is a digest of things he’s said throughout the season after both good and bad games.

Lincecum says he hasn’t decided what to do, nor has there been any discussion with the Giants so far.

But he sounds ready for anything. Positive. Upbeat. Prepared.

His closing comments are telling:

MLB.com: How do you sum up this part of your career with the Giants?

Lincecum: I’m happy because I’m healthy and that’s the biggest thing anybody can say, as far as their career goes. Being able to last is the biggest thing and staying in the game is the hardest. I enjoy being able to work, come in and be part of a team like this. It’s been fun. I’ve faltered the last few years here. I think I have a lot of good years in me, as long as I turn it around and start believing in myself again like I should. I’m not going to try throwing 96 anymore. I’m going to try and sit on the edges, not necessarily call myself a nit-picker, but exploit guy’s weaknesses and have them swing at pitches that I want them to. I want to keep getting better.

Is it over at AT&T? Let’s hope not. He sounds like a better Lincecum. Besides, how will the Giants ever sell out TWO Filipino American Heritage Nights….

 

 

 

Linceblog: Some thoughts on sports life and Mother’s Day; The San Francisco Giants are up, the Golden State Warriors are down?; and more on Tim Lincecum’s mom and why he’s what I call a “hesitant” Filipino

There comes a time when life and sports collide. I was at a personal/family event on Friday night, when sports must be relegated to life’s backdrop. Like the weather, it’s there. You go about your business and know there are games going in some alternate universe. Every now and then you sneak a peak. The Giants knock out Hudson? How did they get those 4 runs?  Now 8?  And what about those Warriors? Down by 3 possessions? More?  In the first-half?

And then you get back to “playing in your own life” and hope your teams win without you.

One did. The other didn’t. The Giants behind Cain came back to avenge the opening Braves loss. And the Warriors? In game 3, the team seemed flat, stuck in some valley and never reached a mountain top. In fact, the ankle injury to Curry completes the metaphor. You try climbing a mountain on a banged up ankle. The Spurs played well, and fought off the Warriors every time they came close in the second-half.

Mother’s Day will be the next stop for the Warriors. The Giants after Saturday’s game, will play on Sunday too.  If your Mom is a sports fans, that’s great. Make sure there’s enough beer.

If not, one will be in “alternate universe”mode again.

Tim Lincecum will be pitching for the Giants in a 1pm game. The reason I write the Linceblog portion of my blog is because I have editors at Filipino outlets that allow me to follow the premier Filipino American player in Major League Baseball.

Lincecum is half-Filipino on his mom’s side. But he’s somewhat of what I call a “hesitant” Filipino and it’s mostly due to his relationship to his mom.

When I asked him about being Filipino earlier this season, he was pretty honest.

 

Lincecum’s relationship with his mom is his personal business and I chose not to press him on it in one of those post-game locker room scenarios usually reserved for answers like “He hit a  change-up high in the zone.”

But Timmy should know he has all sorts of Ninangs and Lolas in the Filipino community rooting for him and wishing he ate just a little more lumpia. And Ligo sardines.

“I like rice,” he told me with a smile one day in the dugout.  “I eat lots of rice.”

Ligo is the company that sponsored that Filipino scarf the Giants gave away recently on Filipino Night. The one with Lincecum’s #55 on it. 

Now if he wants to be a real half-Filipino, he should eat sardines the Filipino way. Open up a small can of Ligo sardines (they come in tomato sauce). Dump it in a fry pan of onions and garlic. When it heats up, use it to  top off your mound of rice. Now that’s what I’d call a pre-game meal. The garlic keeps hitters away.

It’s also something a Filipino mom would do for her son. My mom did something similar for me, while I watched games on TV, though I preferred “tapa.”

Lincecum’s comment on his mom makes you realize how much we are defined by that relationship with Mom and how lucky we are when it’s a special one.

If you are lucky to have your mom close, give her a hug, maybe some flowers, make her a meal (but no Ligo).

Just make sure she’s part of your game.

Linceblog: Metallica sets tone, but Giants acoustic until Posey rocks the yard; Another game that defines the Giant-Dodger rivalry;UPDATE: Game 2 of series–a Guillermo walk-off homer

 

It wasn’t just the Dodgers and Giants at AT&T Park on Friday. It was the Dodgers and Giants and Metallica, one of the world’s most famous rock and roll bands ever.

 

Heavy Metal Baseballers:Metallica

Metallica? Just the net worth of lead singer James Hetfield is estimated at $175 million, a not so quiet fortune. He and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett both hail from the Bay Area. And Hammett is a Filipino American to boot–from the city’s Mission district.

 “18th and South Van Ness,” he said to me. “I played Little League for St. Charles.”

St. Charles?  Oh ,yeah. I’m a few years older than Hammett. But I was a Dolores Park guy back then, and I remember those guys with the gray khakis and the red sweaters and our teams  (me and Marcelino Dumpit) used to whip up on all the St. Charles teams we played.

Except, clearly we would have been trounced if they had a CYO heavy metal team and we had to jam with  the likes of Hammett.

I mean how could I compete with  my effing clarinet.

 

Hammett, big league axe in hand, did a version of the Star Spangled Banner that had shades of Jimi .

It should have set the tone for one heck-of-a-rocking-game. Even the scoreboard had the Giants’ pictures in Metallica drag.

 

 

Metal drag: They don’t call him Buster for nothing

 

 

And it did set a tone,  but the  game was more like an acoustic fantasy for the Giants.

So did the park rock? Nope. The Giants bats were unplugged.

The Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw had the Giants stymied with a perfect game through the first third of the game, and a no-hitter until the Giants’ Marco Scutaro tripled in the 6th.

Kershaw would go from 74 mph to 94 mph and back in one sequence to show how it kept batters off balance all night.

The Giants Barry Zito was almost as good, but with more key defensive help. In the 3rd and 4th innings, Dodger rallies died because of timely variations of the Arias/Scutaro/Belt double play.

But it looked like Kershaw would beat them again with his arm and his bat when he doubled to lead off the 5th.  A sac bunt moved him to third where he should have stayed, but a ground ball to Arias was too deep to start a double play.  But that allowed Kershaw to score the only run he might need–he was going that well.

A better ground ball came from the next batter, the dangerous Kemp, and this time, the Giants turned a DP to end the inning and limit the damage to just one run.

One run down? That’s just the beginning of the game for the 2013 Giants, who came into the game tied with the Pirates for most comebacks in the National League (9).

In their half of the 6th, the Giants woke up with the Scutaro triple, and scored on a Buster Posey double. 

With the game tied, Hunter Pence singled to center. Posey, running on contact with two out, rounded third and was waved on home to get the go-ahead run.

For Posey, it was nearly a reverse déjà vu moment that produced that heartbreaking moment Giants fans never forget from 2011.  

Only this time Posey was the runner, not the catcher. Would Posey score? Would he barrel into Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis for the dramatic and courageous go-ahead?

Kemp’s throw to the plate was perfect and beat Posey without question. He slid sensibly into the tag and saved the big splash for later. He was instinctively saving the passion and the drama for later.

Posey had another scenario in mind.

In the bottom of the ninth, game tied, facing the Dodger’ reliever Ronald Belisario, and a 3-2 count,  Posey knew exactly where to put the exclamation point in this game.

You need a shot in the arm? There’s nothing like a walk-off home-run against your dreaded rivals.  

Metallica? On the very last play of the game, AT&T was finally plugged-in and rocking, another game that adds to the legend of the Giant-Dodger rivalry.

UPDATE: A GUILLERMO WINS ONE FOR THE GIANTS IN SECOND GAME OF THE SERIES

Another win for the Giants (five straight), all comebacks, and the second in-a-row with a walk-off home run.

This time the hero is Guillermo Quiroz, the third-string catcher and minor league careerist,  who lives for moments like the bottom of the 10th.  As a pinch-hitter, Quiroz was the last position player available to Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy.

No one expected what would happen next.

Quiroz hit a beleagurered Dodger reliever’s pitch into the left field bleachers,  just as Buster Posey did the night before, to give the Giants a 10-9 win.

It was another classic Giant/Dodger game, a highly offensive affair that featured 19 runs and 30 hits between the two teams.

The walk-off home run for the Giants was the 12th in the LA/SF series since the two teams moved west in 1958.

 

 

 

 

 

Linceblog: Filipino American fans see great game, but no San Francisco Giants victory on heritage night

The Giants should have taken a cue from the tinikling dancers.

You just can’t afford to make errors in the field when you’re a tinikling dancer.

Same goes for a baseball team.

Bowls, gloves, you can’t mess up–not on the field.

Playing the field, dancing with a bowl on your head, errors are costly.

 

The Giants made three deadly errors, that pretty much made the difference in the night’s 6-4 loss.

From the first play on a Parra groundball that led to the first run, to the last inning. The Giants made it exciting by tying the game in the 9th, 4-4. But in the 11th, a series of miscues gave the Diamondbacks the go-ahead runs. There was a misplayed ball by Torres in left that allowed a runner to second. Then a bad throw by Sandoval at third , dropped by Belt at first, followed by a wild pitch that scored a run.  For good measure, the Diamondback’s Parra doubled and another run scored.

A tough night considering the Giants staged a rally as if on Filipino Time, i.e., late.

Two-runs in the eighth, and two-more on a home run by Belt tied the game and thrilled the chilled crowd. But it wasn’t  enough to send fans home happy.

Those with theFilipino Night tickets got special scarves with the number of baseball’s premier Filipino American player, Tim Lincecum, No. 55.

Fan holds up scarf that features number of the premier Filipino American ball player in the majors

There may not be many Filipino American ball players in the “beeg leegs.”  And that makes diversity nights like this one at the Giants’ AT&T Park are important.  There was even a Filipino American ball dude–No. 6, Vince Gomez, retired music teacher.

 

Heritage nights bond the team and the game to the community, and makes a public event like a baseball game a special one. This is what sports does for us these days. It’s the reason the Boston Marathon bombs were so jarring, and why it was important for baseball as a game to respond the way it has to that tragedy.

 

When you include the fans in the stands, baseball really is a reflection of the country, even to how we’re somewhat stratified by where we sit and the ticket we can afford. But we’re all watching the same game, and cheering for the same team.

 

Better yet, though seasonal, it happens everyday, just like life.

 

When you win, you celebrate. And when you lose, you reflect, and get back up.  No time to get down. There’s another game today.

That’s baseball.

 

 

Where’s mom? New York Times Magazine tries to get to the heart of Tim Lincecum with no mention of his proud Filipino heritage from his mother’s side

The new New York Times Magazine article on Tim Lincecum was fine. And I’m glad to see no less than the French Huguenots mentioned in the comment section on line as an explanation for Lincecum’s fighting spirit.

But let’s not leave out the distaff side.

In fact, reporter Mahler’s story is typical of the Lincecum narrative seen in the mainstream media.

Lincecum’s mom, Rebecca, is always left out of the story.  She’s a full-blooded Filipino American, born in the Philippines,  surname Asis. It’s a fact that the ethnic media has long picked up on, making Tim arguably the best Asian American athlete in professional sports.

In this era of diversity, that’s no small feat.

Reportedly, Lincecum doesn’t like to talk about his mom because his parents divorced about 8 years ago.

But Lincecum does acknowledge his Filipino roots when the  Giants’ have their Filipino American nights.  Lincecum took  the first pitch from Manny Pacquiao two years ago before one of the heritage events.  Still, mainstream stories always neglect any mention of his bi-racial heritage.  Why leave out that fact?
What’s the relevance in the star’s story? It may help explain questions about his size and body type. But it may also provide insight on why he’s such a complex athlete/personality.

More than anything else, Lincecum is a tremendous source of pride for the Filipino American community, forever under-represented in American society.   Why should the French Huegonots be alone in their claim to Lincecum’s achievements?  the guy’s half-Filipino. And  there’s never been a Filipino American in sports, let alone baseball, like him. Certainily not since  Benny Agbayani had that great year for the Mets.

But now Tim has surpassed them all!  

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/little-big-man/

Mainstream media finally notices: Olympic champion diver Victoria Manalo Draves is still dead after 19 days

I first heard of Victoria  Manalo Draves’ death more than two weeks ago.  

Draves was an important, iconic figure in the Filipino American community. Born to a Filipino father and a Caucasian mother during a time when mixed-marriages were against the law, young Vicky Manalo  was shunned as a kid in San Francsico from swimming among whites. It didn’t stop Draves from becoming an Olympic champion in 1948.

Of course, that doesn’t mean she gets the respect she deserves on the day of her death.

Today’s obit in the New York Times shows just how far Filipinos, even half-white ones, can be in terms of real inclusion.  

It took the Times 19 days to report the death of an Olympic champion, excusing its tardiness by saying  Manalo’s  death “had not been widely reported.”  I heard about it through the ethnic media.

So the mainstream’s elite newspaper is just 19 days behind in reporting a significant death of a Filipino American. At least now we can measure how far behind the mainstream can be.

So much for diversity in journalism.  At least it wasn’t 19 years.