CALL it a long shot or simply wishful thinking.
Yet, nothing’s gonna stop the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (Paba) from its bid to have San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum to shore up the team in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Chinese Taipei.
Paba external affairs chairman Hector Thomas Navasero said the association hopes to get in touch with Lincecum through Major League Baseball, so that he can be invited to join the team for the qualifiers set November 15 to 18 in New Taipei City.
Navasero admitted it will be very hard to convince the long-haired Filipino-American pitcher to play for the Philippines. But the Paba will nonetheless give it a try, according to the baseball official.
“I’m working closely with MLB. We can’t have direct communication with him (Lincecum) because he is an All-Star player but I’ve asked MLB to reach out to him,” said Navasero during Friday’s SCOOP sa Kamayan in Padre Faura Manila.
“If he is not selected for the All-Star team of the United States, we would like him to play for the Philippine team,” said Navasero, son of Paba president Hector Navasero.
Under tournament rules, Lincecum is eligible to play for the country because her mother has Filipino blood.
“He has parental relationship to the Philippines so he is qualified to play for the country in the World Baseball Classic,” said Navasero.
The chances of Lincecum wearing the Philippine colors are very slim, though.
Lincecum is a cinch for a place in the US lineup for next year's World Baseball Classic, being is a two-time Cy Young awardee, a four-time All-Star and a World Series champion in 2010 with the Giants.
However, a former member of the Giants system, Geno Espineli, has already expressed his desire to play for the country in the qualification tournament.
Navasero said Espineli, who visited the country in 2008, has gone back to school in Denver and negotiations are ongoing over his participation in the qualifying stage.
The Philippines is bracketed with Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and Thailand, where the winner of the double elimination tournament will join the best baseball-playing nations in next year's World Baseball Classic.