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Pick a theory, any theory, on cause of Lincecum's woes

So, Tim Lincecum had another poor start Friday. Of course it does nothing to alleviate the massive armchair psychology among Giants fans and others. Hey, I've got an armchair, and I took Psych 101 at Laney Junior College about a decade before little Timmy was born, and I'm a lifelong baseball fan who can hold his own in certain trivia categories and know less than nothing in terms of real-life, nuts-and-bolts major-league pitching.

So please, allow me to join the discussion.

As I see it, there are two sides to every theory on the profound puzzle of the Giants' season: What the heck's wrong with Lincecum?

Here they are:

The Pot Theory. This theory proposes Timmy may be taking one or two tokes over the line, naturally affecting his concentration. This theory has its origins in Lincecum getting caught with some marijuana in his car several offseasons ago. Plus, c'mon, he looks like a stoner, not that there's anything wrong with that and not that we should stereotype people based on one minor drug bust and a general impression of physical appearance. Pushers of the pot theory figure it this way: Clean up your act, Tim. Observe the No Smoking sign, and all will soon be right in the universe, or at least at the top of the Giants' rotation.

The Alternative Pot Theory. This theory states that Lincecum simply needs to change his drug of choice. Gimme an R, gimme an I, gimme a T, gimme an A, gimme an L, gimme an I, gimme an N. What's that spell? Ritalin. Are players not supposed to take Ritalin? Are they tested for it? Kindergartners deemed too rambunctious are prescribed Ritalin, why not an adult, major-league pitcher who needs to fine-tune his focus? This theory espouses the belief that if Lincecum gets on Ritalin (and off Maryjane) his pitching problems will be solved. Laser focus. Quick, painless innings. The Tim of old will be back, as good as new.

The Weight Theory. This theory is for those who obsess about Lincecum's relatively slender stature. Never a heavyweight, or even a cruiserweight, Tim decided this past offseason, astonishingly, that he needed to lose weight. Last year, perhaps hyper-sensitive to the descriptions of him as "slight," Lincecum ballooned from a super middleweight to a light heavyweight, although still shy of the division's limit. This year, he wanted to go back to super middleweight, and he did. This theory's advice to Lincecum: Drink a few milkshakes, kid. Put on a few pounds. Or, as my Italian grandmother used to say, "mangia." Translation: Eat.

The Alternative Weight Theory. Stay slim, young Tim, stay slim. This theory agrees with Lincecum's father, who says his son is like a gymnast, strong and lithe, and he needs to be, what with his gymnastic-like contortions while delivering a pitch. This theory says look for answers elsewhere. This theory says Tim's body is his own. Leave it be.

The Hair Theory. All that flying long hair when he pitched out of that gymnast-contortionist motion when he was so young he didn't know any better made for countless dazzling visuals, and the two Cy Young Awards didn't hurt, either, but Lincecum needs to leave his bohemian hairstyle behind and join the corporate/jock look. In other words, get a haircut, pal. And, no, that pseudo haircut he got a month or so ago doesn't count. It's still too darn long. Two words: Crew cut. This theory denies any connection to the Alternative Weight Theory. True, a nice, all-American Marine-style buzz might shed a few pounds, but let's be clear here: One theory has nothing to do with the other.

The Alternative Hair Theory. The haircut from a month or so ago is a disaster, both sartorially and statistically, what with the increased number of walks and rising earned-run average. The haircut, even the middling compromise of a haircut that it was, was too much. Unnecessary. Lincecum needs the hair. Read your Samson stories. Grow it, Tim, grow it long. For inspiration, dance around to the soundtrack of "Hair" in the clubhouse. Restore your strength.

The Money Theory. Sure, at $12 million or $13 million a year, or whatever amount The Man was exploiting him for, Lincecum had the motivation to transcend the working class, to excel and increase his value, to win those Cy Youngs. But ever since he signed that $41.5 million two-year extension, or whatever Monopoly dollars the new contract calls for, Tim has become less confident, feeling more pressure, apt to ask the existential question we've all asked ourselves at one time or another: Am I really worth $41.5 million?

The Alternative Money Theory. Lincecum is bound to snap out of his funk because he's a young successful American, and as a young successful American he is unafraid of wealth, unintimidated by mammoth sums of moolah. If anything, he wants more, he wants to deserve more. More, more, more. To get more, he must win. So he will win. Just be patient and work hard. The American Dream.

Robert Rubino can be reached at robert.rubino@pressdemocrat.com. His Old School blog is at http://oldschool.blogs.pressdemocrat.com