Tim Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants’ star pitcher and recently outed stoner, has won the 2009 Cy Young Award. Lincecum was the reigning Cy Young Award winner and has proven to be the most dominant pitcher in the National League over the past two years.
Last month, Lincecum was stopped for speeding and got busted with 3.3 grams of pot and a pipe. The pending plea agreement (which will be presented to a judge December 22) would drop the possession charge and cost the pitcher $372 in fines.
After receiving the prestigious award, the pitcher did not take questions about his marijuana charges. However, according to MercuryNews, the pitcher read the following statement via conference call:
“I made a mistake and regret my actions earlier this month in Washington. I want to apologize to the Giants organization and to the fans. I know that as a professional athlete I have a responsibility to conduct myself appropriately both on and off the field. I certainly have learned a valuable lesson through all of this and I promise to do better in the future. In the meantime, I am focused on preparing for the 2010 season.”
Much like another phenomenally successful athlete, Michael Phelps, Tim Lincecum had an opportunity to address marijuana as a safe and enjoyable substance that in no way infringed on his ability to compete at the highest level. However, much like Phelps, Lincecum refrained from becoming pot’s poster boy.
Of course, the situations are quite different – Phelps was at a party and Lincecum was caught in his car. Still, both instances occurred during periods in which the athletes were in the off-season from competition. Additionally, officers at the scene indicated that Lincecum was not under the influence at the time of the traffic stop.
Here’s a look back at the statement Phelps gave Matt Lauer regarding his run-in with a bong at a college party earlier this year:
“It was an awful judgment. And, really, the people I hurt is my family, clearly, my friends, the close people around me and most importantly, the fans. And I realize that that hurt a lot of people … It was a bad mistake. I mean, we all know what you and I are talking about. It's a stupid mistake. You know, bad judgment. And it's something that I have to, and I want to teach other people not to make that mistake.”
Perhaps someday a successful sports figure will have the courage to stand up for recreational marijuana use. Too bad it couldn’t have been one of the two most dominant athletes in their respective sports.