Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Take A Chance on Me: Why Lincecum and Guthrie Deserve A Shot

Danville, Kentucky - Good jobs are hard to come by these days, with TPP killing jobs across the country and immigrants stealing the rest. Even worse, hard-work and success are no longer a reliable predictor of employment. The MLB is no exception. Undeserving losers like Jeff Samardzija (11-13) have been handed mega-contracts while proven winners like Alfredo Simon (13-12) wait in line for Obamacare unemployment benefits, like misfit toys without a home.

You'd figure the last two World Series Champions would have a better eye for undervalued talent, but even the World Champion Kansas City Royals™ and San Francisco Giants are foolishly letting two of the best arms in the game walk away from their teams like Uncle Joe Biden walked away from a shot at the democratic nomination.

When fans reflect on the 2014 and 2015 World Series, they'll inevitably remember the transcendent feats of heroism: Madison Bumgarner's utter domination, Alex Gordon's moon-shots, and Wade Davis' ruthless termination of multiple Mets hitters. Yet, equally important were the silent workhorses who got their teams there in the first place. Two of these workhorses are withering on the vine of free agency: Tim Lincecum and Jeremy Guthrie, the true heroes of the 2014 World Series.

There would not have been a Giants victory in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series if Tim Lincecum didn't save the bullpen by selflessly pitching in relief during Game 2. And it is doubtful that the Royals would've snuck into the playoffs via the Wild Card in 2014 without Guthrie's 13-11 win/loss record and steady veteran leadership.

Guthrie, delivering veteran presence in his natural habitat.
Both of these men have impressive resumes. They eat innings like Ted Cruz eats poutine and Canadian Bacon. Guthrie is a 12-year veteran of the big leagues, who won 28 games between 2013 and 2014, while also providing invaluable clubhouse presence to the young-guns in the KC locker-room. When Game 7 of the 2014 World Series rolled around, Ned Yost trusted J-Guts with the ball. Jeremy is a great guy off the field too, who does what he can to give back to the Kansas City community. Jeremy has been with the Royals through good times and bad times -- the franchise owes him their loyalty.

Tim Lincecum, still only 31 years old, is the face of the San Francisco Giants franchise; the common denominator between their World Series victories in 2010, 2012, and 2014. He's a tosser of multiple no-hitters, a 4x All Star, 3x World Series Champion, and a 2x Cy Young award winner. In 2014, after throwing a no-hitter, Tim consented to pitch out of the bullpen during the post-season -- because that was where the team needed him most. Tim has been willing to do whatever it takes to help his team -- his team should be willing to do whatever it takes to help him. If the Giants want to win in 2016, they'll need to keep Timmy the Freak around.

What MLB team could look me in the eyes and say that these good men would not improve their rotation?

Signing one of these fine arms won't give your team a boost in the PECOTA ratings. It won't endear you to Eno Sarris. But the star-power, added depth, and innings-eating reliability they provide might just give your rotation a shot to pitch in October. It's time to let these workhorses out of the stable.
Jeremy also doubles as a ball boy.

Guthrie bombed.