Baseball: San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum facing marijuana charges
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum faces misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession after he turned over a small amount of the substance during a traffic stop near the Washington-Oregon border on Oct. 30, Washington State police said.
The 2008 Cy Young Award winner also was cited for driving his 2006 Mercedes 74 mph along a 60 mph stretch of Interstate 5 near Hazel Dell, Wash., police said.
After an officer detected the smell of marijuana, the two-time All-Star complied with a request to turn over 3.3 grams of the substance and a pipe from the car’s center console. Because the officer did not judge Lincecum to be impaired, he cited him and allowed him to continue.
Lincecum, 25, entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney Monday, according to court records obtained by the Associated Press. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 22 and faces fines of $622 for the misdemeanor charges, police said.
Lincecum, a Seattle native, did not return a text message seeking comment. His agent, Rick Thurman, was in contact with Giants officials but also did not return text and phone messages. Giants spokesman Jim Moorehead said the team was “still gathering information and has no comment at this time.”
Lincecum’s bust is unlikely to impact his career. Recreational drug use is not punishable under Major League Baseball’s current testing policy, although any type of drug conviction can lead to more frequent testing for performance
The charges are expected to have minimal to no impact in determining Lincecum’s salary; he made $650,000 last season but stands to receive at least a tenfold raise, perhaps as much as $10 million, through the arbitration process.
Lincecum won the National League Cy Young Award last year, becoming the first Giant to claim the top pitching honor since Mike McCormick in 1967. Lincecum is expected to be among the leading vote getters when the award is announced Nov. 19, although the St. Louis Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter might be the favorite this time.
A free spirit who wears his skater-boy knit cap even in formal surroundings, Lincecum has a reputation among teammates as someone who likes to have a good time away from the field.
His lifestyle hasn’t appeared to affect him on the mound. He led the NL in strikeouts for the second consecutive year while improving most of his statistics from last year’s Cy Young-winning season.
But when he was a first-time All-Star in 2008, Lincecum raised eyebrows when he did not appear at Yankee Stadium for the game. He was treated at a Manhattan hospital because of dehydration attributed to flu symptoms.