Tim Lincecum isn't like you and me. He's a back-to-back Cy Young winner that had an absolutely remarkable prime of his career with the San Francisco Giants, a 99-mph fastball and a penthouse in Seattle worth $2 million in a complex that was in "50 Shades of Grey.
Well, he no longer has that 99-mph heater or that fancy condo. What he does still have, appears to be a singular focus on getting back to being a great MLB pitcher.
Since Lincecum left baseball in 2016, he's reportedly stowed away to a more modest lifestyle. He sold that penthouse, according to SFGate.com. He now lives in a much less flashy home by a lake and, who say he's still a very popular figure in the neighborhood, he is focused on the comeback trail as "personal vendetta" to once again prove his doubters wrong.
Lincecum is in the midst of trying to reinvigorate his career after a disastrous 2016 half-season with the Angels and if hiswith Texas Rangers is completed as is expected, plus incentives. Compare that to his previous contracts -- a two-year, $45 million deal in 2011 and a two-year, $35 million contract in 2013 -- and his motivation would not appear to be the money.
"This has nothing to do with the money," Elliot Cribby, a longtime friend of Lincecum's, told Bleacher Report's Brandon Sneed recently. "It has everything to do with a personal vendetta against everybody who kinda wrote him off. 'You're just too small, Tim.' And now, 'You're not gonna hold up, Tim.' That drives him. That fuels his fire. This is all about him wanting to compete."
Perhaps that's also why Lincecum appears to have selected the Rangers over the Dodgers. According to reports, those were two of the teams offering him major league deals. Had he signed with the Dodgers, it's unlikely Lincecum would crack the rotation. He would be signing on with a World Series contender, and there would be serious expectations out of the gate.
With the Rangers, he joins a team that literally doesn't have a closer. He can come out of the bullpen and prove to teams that he can still deal. He doesn't have the added distractions. Even his workout was private. A small, reclusive event for 20 MLB scouts in Seattle on Feb. 15. Where some guys vying for a contract would try to make spectacles of the whole thing, Lincecum apparently wanted his showcase to be off the grid.
Lincecum's complete radio silence may attest to that. He hardly does media, he refuses media requests, and even his father harbors a distaste for the media. "I quit doing media a long time ago," Chris Lincecum told Sneed. "It's hard to know who to trust."
What we are seeing now is a far-cry from the superstar Lincecum of the late 2000s, but that doesn't mean this version of him late in his career should be an afterthought. If Lincecum can come out and deal for a Rangers team that doesn't have many expectations this year, he may find a new life in the league and seeing "The Freak" back out there having fun again would be a welcomed sight for many.