Tim Lincecum: Will he stay or will he go?

I had my second job interview of the day this afternoon and sure enough, for the second time today, baseball came up in conversation with a prospective employer.  As my interview was wrapping up with the general manager and human resources representative for an organic food company in San Mateo, our talk reached the stage for final questions.  I had exhausted all of my queries, but the HR rep had one, based on me talking about this site: She wanted to know if I thought the San Francisco Giants would be able to keep Tim Lincecum.  I’ll repeat now what, in essence, I told my interviewers.

I think Tim Lincecum will stay.  I think it will cost the Giants a small fortune (my guess is $22 million a season) but I think he’ll stay.  The thought of him in Yankee pinstripes a few years from now seems compelling, maybe even plausible, but something about it doesn’t feel right.  Lincecum is the Giants’ biggest draw since Barry Bonds and their best homegrown talent since Will Clark, arguably even Willie Mays.  They’d be foolish not to do what it takes to keep him around, even if a slight risk exists of Lincecum getting injured with his unorthodox and hard-throwing delivery.  (For his part, Lincecum would be foolish, as well, to go to the Yankees.  The Bronx is the place where pitchers go to die, and Lincecum’s quirkiness probably wouldn’t go over too well with the organization either.  Consider the case of Jason Giambi.)

As a disclaimer, I say all this as someone who argued passionately two years ago that the Giants should trade Lincecum to the Toronto Blue Jays for Alex Rios. San Francisco still needs just short of an airlift to fix its moribund offense, even with the additions of Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez this past season.  Nevertheless, I think any deal from 2007 involving Lincecum would probably have come out worse than Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd.

I didn’t get the job, but it’s always a pleasure to talk baseball, especially in an interview.  As an aside, this blog is helping tremendously in my job search.  I’ve been unemployed for a few weeks now, hitting Craig’s List and putting my name out there.  This site is the first thing that comes up in a Google search of my name, and I’ve even added the URL to my resume.  I feel fortunate to get to write here and thank everyone who reads, as well as everyone else who makes this possible.

Do you mention Frank Viola on your job interviews?

I had a job interview this morning, and my interviewer saw on my resume that I had gone to Cal Poly. She smiled and mentioned that she wished her children had gone there. She listed their colleges, saying her youngest had just made the baseball team for St. John’s University. I said I believed that Ron Artest went there, she said Chris Mullin was an alumni, and though I didn’t mention it, I know there’s a scene in Coming to America where Eddie Murphy goes to a St. John’s basketball game. Then I remembered Frank Viola.

Before winning 176 games in the majors, including 24 in his Cy Young award-winning season with the Minnesota Twins in 1988, Viola pitched at St. John’s with another future All Star, John Franco. They even helped the school make the College World Series in 1980. I didn’t bring all this up in the interview, of course, though I mentioned Viola’s name. I’m not sure if my interviewer knew who he was, but then again, St. John’s is really more of a basketball school.

I also brought up in the interview that I can name World Series winners from pretty much any year. I say this to a lot of people I meet, the kind of declaration that screams, Come on, I dare you to stump me. Some take the bait, some don’t. I should probably stop bringing it up with prospective employers, but with that said, it did help get me a job one time. It even used to be on my resume, under a “Fun Facts” section that has since been abandoned. That being said, my interviewer this morning didn’t take the challenge.