Tag:John Hirschbeck
Posted on: September 25, 2010 7:28 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 7:38 pm

The Giants, Lincecum and the humidor

DENVER -- No matter what happens to the Giants the next two days at Coors Field, it's not the humidor's fault.

Oh, and the humidor was absolutely no factor Friday night, either, no matter what you saw Tim Lincecum say on YouTube .

Lincecum, in the middle of a sixth inning where the Rockies scored their only run, was caught by Giants television tossing a ball back to home-plate umpire Laz Diaz, and mouthing the words "juiced balls," with a couple of expletives added in.

"Obviously, the speculation, I just verbalized it," Lincecum said today. "It's one of those things that's in the back of your mind, whether it has happened or not."

What did the Giants think, or speculate? Well, for the last few years, the Rockies have used a humidor to store baseballs, which keeps them from drying out and takes away some of the Coors Field effect that caused so many crazy games in the park's first few years. The speculation was that the Rockies might have mixed in some non-humidor balls, to use when their batters were at the plate.

This week, after the issue was raised twice in the San Francisco Chronicle , including a Scott Ostler column that flat-out said that "The Giants are about to get cheated in Denver," the Giants talked to MLB about it. Just before Friday's game began, MLB official Mike Port spoke with umpire John Hirschbeck, and asked him to keep a close eye on the balls.

Saturday, Hirschbeck planned to walk to the humidor and oversee the process of bringing the balls to the field. But even on Friday, when Hirschbeck was umpiring at second base, he kept an eye on the ball bag during the game.

"There's nothing going on," Hirschbeck said. "I'll [watch] so MLB has their mind at ease, so the people at [MLB headquarters] can sleep easy."

Lincecum, of course, allowed the Rockies just two hits (and no home runs) in a 2-1 Giants win. The Giants seemed to understand today that raising the humidor issue didn't really suit them in the middle of a pennant race.

"We're not thinking about balls or anything," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're trying to win games."

One side note: Lincecum said he ran into Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the weight room this afternoon.

"He said, 'Good game, we couldn't even get you with our juiced balls,'" Lincecum said with a smile.

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