07/02/2009 12:04 PM ET
Lincecum: Pitching alongside a legend
Giants young star loves being teammates with Johnson
The first thing that went through my mind when I heard we signed Randy Johnson over the winter was that I would be playing with someone whom I watched growing up. I'm a Seattle boy, and Randy was a major fixture with the Mariners when I was a kid. He had a great career there.
I just kept thinking during the offseason how lucky I was that I was gong to be able to play with him and pick his brain. It's awesome to be his teammate now.
The first time I met him was when we filmed the MLB 2K9 commercial together. That's when we sort of came together. It was a surprise to me that he was going to be in the commercial, too. They told me when I got to the set. I asked if he was there and, boom, I turn around, and he's right there.
He just walked up to me and introduced himself. That was the first time I met him. I have to admit I was a little starstruck at the time, a little wide-eyed. It was really cool.
With what he's accomplished as a pitcher, and with how big he is, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who was initially intimidated by him, though. Someone with 20-plus years in the big leagues is going to be intimidating to everybody. He's the epitome of a veteran ballplayer. Not only is he 6-foot-10 but he's, you know, "been there and done that." To be able to share a season with him is awesome in my book.
I talk with him whenever I get the chance. If I'm sitting there on the bench with him, he'll talk to me about my approach, different techniques, pitches, how to get guys out, even your mentality out there. He's always willing to talk and willing to share. And if he's willing to talk, then it's always worthwhile to listen.
What couldn't I learn from him? Considering I'm just starting my career, and then looking at the wins and strikeouts that he's put up, it's incredible. Sometimes it's hard to grasp his stature in the game and all that he's accomplished. His credentials speak for themselves, though. He's Randy Johnson.
One of my highlights this season was watching him get his 300th win. Overall, like any pitcher, he's just trying to find some consistency. It's a little tougher when you're going up and down in starts. I'm sure he's been in a similar situation, so it's not like he doesn't know how to fix it. He knows how to pitch. He's still making people look silly in the batter's box.
Off the field, I enjoy the fact that he rides his bike to the field sometimes. That's one big bike.
Reigning National League Cy Young Award-winner Tim Lincecum is 20 years younger than his new Giants teammate Randy Johnson, who is a five-time Cy Young Award recipient. Lincecum is 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA and leads the NL with 132 strikeouts entering the weekend. Johnson won his 300th game on June 4 in Washington, D.C.