"Now, I'm working as hard as they are, not because I feel I have to keep up with them, but because I know the game and I need to. The game calls upon you to do that. In 2010 in August ... it wasn't about me, it was the bigger picture. I'm a big believer in karma and things happen for a reason, and that August for me was a big wakeup call. I think this is a different animal."
Lincecum's fastball tops out these days at 92-93 mph but is often 90-91, a significant difference from his former 94 mph average. Whether he will regain some of his velocity with more weight on, nobody is sure.
"I want to feel I'm at a comfortable weight but I know I fluctuate so easily," Lincecum said. "I know I'm a picky eater, so that's even harder. When you come into a room and there's nothing but vegetables, you go, 'I'll just have a shake' or something like that. It's just holding yourself accountable and remembering to do stuff.
"Last year I'd eat anything I wanted and I didn't even care. I was like, 'I don't care, I'm fat, I'm thicker than I'm used to being and I'm doing fine.' Then my body started feeling different. My legs started feeling the effects of the 30-plus pounds I'd put on. Anybody putting on 30-plus pounds is going to feel the effect.
"What happened is then I just completely changed it. I don't think that's a smart move either and I don't think the way I got rid of it was smart. I got rid of it way too fast, drastically. My focus became more getting back to my normal weight than pitching, throwing."
And, just because he is beginning to feel his age, that doesn't mean The Freak will start icing his arm — or any other body part for that matter — any time soon.
"I don't know," he said. "I don't think my dad would agree with that."
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