Pitcher faces misdemeanor charges

Updated: November 6, 2009, 2:03 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- San Francisco Giants star pitcher Tim Lincecum is facing misdemeanor marijuana charges following a traffic stop in his home state.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Steve Schatzel said Thursday that the 2008 Cy Young Award winner and former star at the University of Washington was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 5 in the town of Hazel Dell, about four miles north of the Oregon border, on Oct. 30.

Lincecum
Lincecum

An officer approached Lincecum's 2006 Mercedes and smelled marijuana as the pitcher rolled down his window. Schatzel said Lincecum immediately complied with a request to hand over the drug and a marijuana pipe from the car's center console.

The amount measured was 3.3 grams. Schatzel said police consider that a small amount for personal use, well below the maximum of 40 grams before possession is classified differently and carries a more severe penalty.

The incident was first reported by The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash.

"It's not really out of the ordinary. It happens every day," Schatzel said of the volume of marijuana Lincecum handed over. "It was about the size of a thumb, the whole thumb."

Lincecum could face potential fines totaling $622 for the misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia counts plus the citation for driving 74 mph in a 60 mph zone, Schatzel said.

The 25-year-old All-Star starter entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney on Monday, according to records in Clark County District Court. A hearing that had been scheduled for Friday morning was canceled, pending a pretrial conference between Lincecum's attorney and a county prosecutor on Nov. 23.

Lincecum is currently scheduled to appear before a judge on Dec. 22.

The Giants said they were aware of the situation but did not immediately have a comment.

The native of the Seattle suburb of Bellevue went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA in 32 starts and 225 1/3 innings in 2009, his third season in the major leagues. He is 40-17 with a 2.90 ERA in his career and could be getting a huge, multimillion-dollar raise from salary arbitration this offseason.

Teammates consider the smallish right-hander a quirky perfectionist. They also consider him the "Franchise," the nickname they gave him when he broke into the big leagues only a year out of college. Others see his boyish face, shaggy dark hair, diminutive frame -- and his dominance -- and call him "The Freak."

San Francisco chose him 10th overall in the 2006 draft out of Washington, and he instantly became the organization's top pitching prospect since Hall of Famer Juan Marichal signed with the New York Giants as an amateur free agent in 1957.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press