The San Francisco Giants home season opener is today. Need some conversation points while at the game? Act like you know what you’re talking about with this quick round up of a few key players you should know.
Tim Lincecum – Tim is considered a hippie or “The Freak” (due to his sinewy body’s ability to throw ridiculously fast fastballs) so it’s only natural that he plays for San Francisco. One of the Giant’s elite pitchers, Timmy’s got quite the following here as a result of his impressive 2010 season, subsequent World Series Championship, and his alleged penchant for marijuana. Lincecum can throw a 95 mph fastball, but most of his strikeouts result from his changeup, a pitch that appears to be a fastball, but breaks down and in as it approaches the plate. This really throws the batters off, especially the right-handed. Other reasons to keep your eye on affable Timmy – his contagious, genuine smile, his free-flowing, long, hippy hair, and his seemingly endless transition out of adolescence. It’s like we’re watching our lil’ boy grow up right before our eyes. Fun fact – Timmy has some Filipino blood flowing inside.
Buster Posey – Formerly a shortstop in college, the 2010 Rookie of the Year is the Giants starting catcher. Fresh-faced Posey is quite the slugger with a notable batting average of .305 for the 2010 season with 18 home runs. His quick throw to second base foils nearly 40% of runner’s plans to steal successfully. Not so fun fact – Ladies…Buster Posey is off the market – he married his high school sweetheart (do people still do that?)
Photo courtesy of babble
Brian Wilson – “The Beard” is the Giants closing pitcher and secured the 2010 World Series Championship for the Giants in Game 5 against the Texas Rangers. Considered a power pitcher, Wilson is fearless on the mound and his strikeout pitches tend to favor inside and outside corners. His fastball can reach close to 100 mph. Sporting a mohawk hairdo, Wilson grew a thick beard (possibly tinted with shoe polish?) towards the end of the 2010 season, and thus the moniker “the Beard” was born. The Beard’s often odd behavior makes him beloved by San Franciscans. Fun fact – Wilson has been spotted frequently at establishments in the Marina district (did nobody tell the guy otherwise?) as well as the Westfield Mall shopping with Panda.
Panda – a.k.a Pablo Sandoval –Originally from Venezuela, Sandoval is a power switch hitter and infielder for the Giants. After an impressive record early on in his career, “Panda,” (short for Kung Fu Panda) as he’s lovingly known by locals in the Bay, had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2010 and was threatened with a return to the minor leagues if he didn’t clean up his act (read = lay off the Doritos). Panda hired trainers in Tempe, AZ and reportedly lost 38 pounds in the off season. Many locals wear Panda hats to the Giants game. Fun fact – Sandoval was dubbed “Kung Fu Panda” by catcher Barry Zito after he scored against the Dodgers by leaping over the catcher’s tag.
Photo courtesy of SFist