SURPRISE, Ariz. -- At some point during Tim Lincecum's negotiations with the Texas Rangers, the topic of Game 5 of the 2010 World Series came up.
Lincecum was the winning pitcher in Arlington that night, striking out 10 at his dominant best and propelling the Giants toward their first championship in San Francisco.
He also broke hearts in the Lone Star State.
"When I talked to him on the phone before we signed him, he actually apologized for it," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels joked Tuesday.
Daniels paused before adding: "It wasn't a very sincere apology."
The Rangers have The Freak on their side now, although they need more time to finish dotting the 'I's and crossing the 'T's. (That can take a while with a player nicknamed Big Tim Timmy Jim.)
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With the reported one-year, $1 million major-league contract not quite yet done, the team held back on formally introducing the two-time Cy Young Award winner on Tuesday.
But Daniels came to the media room at the team's spring training facility to feed quotes to the media beasts who had arrived in large numbers hoping to see Lincecum himself. The buzz at the ballpark alone was enough to get nostalgic for Lincecum's electrifying prime.
Daniels called him "one of the best pitchers of this generation," although Lincecum's role with the Rangers will begin as a middle reliever. Texas will not rule out Linecum starting some day, but for now the plan is to toss him into the bullpen mix and let him try to work his way toward a high-leverage, late-inning job.
Lincecum did not pitch at all in 2017 and lasted only nine rocky games (with a 9.16 ERA) for the Los Angeles Angels in 2016.