Giants fans are, pun intended, freaked out over Tim Lincecums stated preference to play things year-to-year while waiting out his final two season of arbitration eligibility before hitting the free-agent market.Words to the wise: Simmer down.The panic that surfaced after Lincecums comments on his contractual future are understandable. Wholly. The man is a god here. Nearly as big an icon as -- gasp! -- Joe Montana, after just four full seasons in San Francisco; two Cy Youngs and a ring have earned it.Of course you want him to stay. And of course you have every right to read into his stance that hes paving the road away from AT&T Park, in search of ungodly (Gotham?) riches and an offense that doesnt make him feel as though nothing short of a shutout is a recipe for an L next to his name in the next days box score.But theres another, more flattering and sensible way of looking at the whole deal.
Lincecum is a leader on the Giants. Not the traditional, fire-and-brimestone, give-an-impassioned-speech-when-the-chips-are-down type of leader, but a leader nonetheless. Whether they like it or not, the best players on every team are leaders.So consider that Lincecums public stance is a show of that leadership. Hey, if the big dog, no matter how small in stature, is barking, you damn well better listen. And what Lincecum is barking about isnt money. Hes not that guy. Hes barking about the aforementioned lack of offensive support, and in even remotely suggesting that hes open to moving on after the 2013 season, hes saying one thing and one thing only, and hes not saying it to fans or the media. Hes saying it to anyone and everyone in control of the Giants purse strings.Dudes. Seriously. We appreciate you telling everyone that keeping us pitchers is your priority. But for the love of Willie Mays, understand that we wont commit unless you prioritize putting a complete team on the field. Were sick of carrying the load, so get off your wallets -- yeah, we saw the 81 sellouts, guys -- and get us some bats!Hes not just sticking up for himself. Hes standing up for Matt Cain, for Ryan Vogelsong, and for the many relievers who entered about 150 one-run games over the past three years.Hey, Lincecums not going anywhere for a while. Hes under club control. But hes shrewd enough to realize that his status as an icon in this city means the club, to an extent, is under his control.Question is, is the club shrewd enough to read between the lines?