SF Giants Win One for the Freaks
The opening game of this year's World Series saw the San Francisco Giants, lead by their ace pitcher Tim "The Freak" Lincecum, squaring off with the Texas Rangers and their "sure win" pitcher Cliff Lee.
Lincecum, the 26-year-old two-time Cy Young winner, wears long hair and was busted for marijuana possession in his home state of Washington in the off season. Lee looks like a good old boy and says his favorite day of the year is the start of deer-hunting season.
After a rocky start, Lincecum outpitched Lee for a rousing 11-7 win, aided by able fielding and power hitting from a spirited team that likes to rally around its young ace. Lincecum, whose 14-strike-out playoff debut has been called "magnificent," continues to turn in steady performances in game after game. He's also stayed good natured even after being whistled at in Philadelphia for his long hair and given flack for his stoner-like exclamation, "F&*k yeah!" when asked if he wanted a champagne shower after his team won a playoff berth.
As one newscaster and a Texas outfielder found out, there may have been more than sportsmanship contributing to the Giants' team spirit. "Those aren't cigarettes they're smoking," Dallas TV news reporter Newy Scruggs said in a broadcast, looking towards some fans in the parking lot. "Right over there, there's some people smoking weed! Because it's coming this way! We are truly in San Francisco right now."
And the New York Post reported that Rangers center fielder Josh Howard "smelled the sweet smell [of marijuana] drifting out of AT&T's bleachers" during the game.
"I could smell weed in the outfield," Hamilton said. "It was crazy. I was looking at the cops a couple of times during the game." Hamilton also said he and his wife saw someone smoking a joint with a cop the day before on the streets of San Francisco.
Howard said he didn't get a contact high, but it opens the question as to whether right fielder Vladimir Guerero was a bit loopy when he made two fielding errors. (Most analysts noted that Guerrro is a designated hitter who had to play in the field under National League rules for the series, but that theory isn't as much fun.)
Meanwhile, Lincecum made light of the "Let Tim Smoke" T-shirts for sale outside AT&T stadium in an interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez. "It kinda is what it is," he said. "We've got a pretty open city here in San Francisco. I think it allows that, that free nature. You know, I think it's all in good fun."
In more parking lot action, some fans and Prop. 19 supporters borrowed Lincecum's image for posters that said, "Tim Is Not a Criminal: Vote Yes on Prop. 19 and "Tim Lincecum Smokes As Well As Many American Athletes."
In a nonpresidential election where a record $4 billion is being spent on campaign ads in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling unleashing secret corporate contributions, Proposition 19, a measure to legalize marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults, is still too close to call.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hitting hard with an ad that begins, "Imagine coming out of surgery and the nurse caring for you was high - or having to work harder on your job to make up for a co-worker who shows up high on pot. It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes." This absurd scenario seems to be scaring off independent voters, as well as the opposition's claims that California would stand to lose millions in federal grants if its voters approve the maverick proposal.
But at least for that night, the freaks posted a win against the straights. Perhaps an upcoming ad will begin, "Imagine your starting pitcher for the World Series couldn't score pot because it was illegal. Where would he get his inspiration?"
Ellen Komp edits the award-winning blog, VeryImportantPotheads.com.