Tim Lincecum’s mysterious hat causes stir on social media


May 20, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

With the second coming of Tim Lincecum in full-swing, San Francisco Giants fans are pretty jazzed these days. Their pint-sized hero has returned to dominant form, and the team is starting to play like a serious contender for the NL West title.

But you didn’t think that would keep people from complaining on Twitter, did you?

Aside from his improved command, some observers have noticed something different about Lincecum this season. It has nothing to do with his performance on the mound, yet a few baseball purists insist that it negatively impacts his integrity.

Don’t notice the difference? Take another look:

It’s subtle, but Lincecum’s hat looks both crooked and slightly too large for his head. Many have speculated that he’s wearing a do-rag underneath his hat, which gives it the appearance of being a little bulky.

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This isn’t the first time Lincecum has experimented with his aesthetic when taking the mound. Eagle-eyed fans might remember his various facial-hair experiments (he’s currently settled on a lone pencil mustache) and the bizarre striped socks he wore during desperate times a couple years ago. He’s also switched between long and short hair, seemingly all in an attempt to find the right mojo during his recent career turbulence. 

Personally, I suggest that Timmy never remove this mythical do-rag ever again. Don’t even wash it. The garment clearly provides him some psychological edge, regardless of whether the rest of us understand the nature of its power. Some have suggested that Lincecum purposefully tilts his cap so base runners can’t see him looking to first. But in spite of his numbers with the rag, some fans aren’t pleased with this unconventional hat-trick: 

Admittedly, the 8-Mile jab was pretty funny. That being said, perhaps some of these people are disgruntled because of the age-old argument about respecting the game of baseball. This is the same line of reasoning that pundits drag out when dismissing Yasiel Puig’s bat flips, Alex Rodriguez trotting over the pitchers mound, or Pablo Sandoval hopping around for 20 minutes before every at-bat. It concerns some romantic notion of baseball which is less about fun and more about tradition.

I have healthy respect for the nuances of how to conduct yourself on a baseball field, but that respect is vastly outweighed by Lincecum’s 2.08 ERA. As long as he doesn’t try to engage Adrian Gonzalez in a freestyle rap battle after a 3-1 walk, I don’t care what he wears under his hat. In fact, this could become a fashion trend if Lincecum can improbably make it back to the All-Star game this year.

My now-crooked hat is off to you, Timmy. Brush away the haters and keep doing your thing.