The media was ready Wednesday morning. It was the day, had to be, when they'd finally get their hands on Tim Lincecum.
Everyone hopped into the clubhouse when it opened at 7:30 a.m. and then moved within close proximity of his locker as soon as his nameplate was put above one.
An hour passed, and no Lincecum. The media was ushered out of the clubhouse with empty notepads. The Texas Rangers took the field, and Lincecum wasn't with them.
Word was shortly relayed that, well, the Rangers had a whoopsie. Somehow, word that the Lincecum deal was official and that it was OK for him to join the team for a workout was never relayed to Lincecum.
He doesn't follow any of the local beat writers on Twitter yet, apparently.
But he showed up and took time to talk to the media, and their day was made.
Except for that drive to and from Salt River Fields.
Here's the Surprise Five from Wednesday.
1. The only remaining member from the Rangers' 2010 American League championship team is shortstop Elvis Andrus. Were it not for Michael Young's cameo appearance this week in camp, Andrus would be the only one who could provide a first-handed account on how good Lincecum was in the title-clinching Game 5.
"He was nasty," Andrus said. "That's when he was the best pitcher in the league, probably baseball."
Lincecum allowed one run, a Nelson Cruz solo homer, on three hits in eight innings as the Giants beat the Rangers 3-1 and celebrated at Globe Life Park. Lincecum struck out 10 and walked two after allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings in picking up the win in Game 1.
He and Rangers ace Cliff Lee took a shutout in seventh in Game 5 before Edgar Renteria connected for a three-run homer. And Lincecum and Brian Wilson did the rest after Madison Bumgarner tossed eight scoreless innings in a Game 4 win.
"I remember Game 1, we both had our aces on the mound, and they were probably off their A games," Young said. "At the time, with Cliff and Timmy, their C games were probably better than everybody else's A games. But we didn't get to him and lost Game 1.
"When you lose in five, it seems like a beatdown, and they beat us convincingly. But we won Game 3, and I remember thinking, 'Alright, we've got a rookie lefty tomorrow and we've got Cliff going in Game 5.' Well, that rookie was Bumgarner, and he shoves. We we're like, 'Who is this guy?' And he kills us.
"So, in Game 5 we had to win the game and move it back to San Francisco. I could tell in my first at-bat it was a different Timmy. We needed Cliff to go out and we had to scratch and claw to get a couple. Timmy went eight. You could see the look in his eye in Game 5 he was kind of smelling the series win. It was a pretty impressive start. He was one of the best in the game in that stretch."
Lincecum acknowledges his part in the Giants title, the first of three he would win with them, and said that each one is special. But, yeah, he remembers 2010, and even sheepishly offered an apology to general manager Jon Daniels about it.
"It wasn't a very sincere apology," Daniels said.
The first thing out of Lincecum's mouth when asked about the series was Lee.
"I just remember Cliff Lee. I remember Edgar Renteria's three-run home run," he said. "Obviously, I was a big part of that with Game 1 and Game 5, but I think just a lot of special moments for people. It feels like it's so long ago, but we had a couple after that, so it's just kind of mixed in there. It was fun to be a big part of it."
2. The ugly side of baseball, the side that is a constant in the game, tapped Brett Nicholas on the shoulder Wednesday morning and escorted him into the manager's office to hear the news that he had been designated for assignment.
The Rangers needed a spot on the 40-man roster for Lincecum, and Nicholas drew the short straw despite being a left-handed hitter with power at a thin position where that trait is coveted. Oh, yeah, he has also been in the organization since forever and knows all the young pitchers the Rangers are trying to groom.
Alas, Nicholas had never been DFA'd, so if he were to clear waivers, he could stay in the organization and remain in the mix to be the backup to Robinson Chirinos.
Fellow backup candidate Juan Centeno, also on the 40 and also a lefty bat, can elect free agency if DFA'd, and the Rangers weren't going to expose defensive-whiz Jose Trevino to the waiver process.
So, it was Nicholas, and he isn't sure what to expect. He lives in the Phoenix area, so he's going to go home and wait for his phone to ring. If it doesn't, he said he would be thrilled to return to the Rangers.
"There are no hard feelings," said Nicholas, who was drafted by the Rangers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. "I think there are opportunities if that happens."
But as someone in the organization said, "We're going to lose him."
3. Some of the shine came off Clayton Blackburn on Wednesday, as he allowed five runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings in his third Cactus League start. He hadn't allowed any runs his first two times.
The problem was not enough strikes and too much plate when he did throw one, and his old nemesis got to hit a second time.
Blackburn caught Charlie Blackmon looking in the first inning, but then the All-Star did what he always seems to do.
"I think Charlie Blackmon, the last three springs, has hit a home run off me," Blackburn said. "It felt great to strike him out. The home run, it wasn't a bad pitch. It was a first-pitch changeup and he just took a good swing at it. Good hitter."
Blackburn's woes won't alter his chances at the roster. He's still been impressive this spring, but still is a long shot. With the addition of Lincecum, the bullpen might be all filled up.
Lincecum, Alex Claudio, Jake Diekman, Chris Martin, Tony Barnette and Keone Kela are on the 40-man roster and feel like roster locks. Jesse Chavez, though his deal isn't guaranteed, and Jose Leclerc could be vying for the last spot.
If spring training counts for anything, it's Leclerc's spot to lose.
"Leclerc's been plus-plus," pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "He's got great stuff. I see a good attitude. I see a guy on the attack."
The most important thing with Leclerc is throwing strikes. His fastball and cut changeup are good enough to get swings-and-misses when thrown in the strike zone, Brocail said, and they are more effective when Leclerc throws is curveballs.
He's working on that pitch this spring.
The thing working for Chavez is the need for a long man. Lincecum can do that, but the Rangers don't envision using him as a mop-up guy. If Matt Bush and Mike Minor are in the rotation, the Rangers will need multiple multiple-innings arms, and Chavez has flourished in that role.
Only 20 more days to hash that one out, but it appears as if there is only one bullpen spot available at this point.
4. Carlos Tocci is in a tough spot, and he knows it.
He was drilled in the bean Tuesday during a B game by a pitch thrown so hard that it cracked his helmet. Repeating: It cracked his helmet.
Yet, Tocci wanted to play Wednesday even though the admits that he was "a little dizzy" after the ball smacked his helmet and caromed into his left cheek.
He's a Rule 5 pick, and the more he can show his worth, the better the chances are that he convinces the Rangers to put him on the 25-man roster and carry him throughout the season rather than putting him through the Rule 5 protocol for players who don't make the roster.
The training staff made him take the day off, though he worked out and hit in the cage. But days off aren't what he's seeking.
"Not in this business," he said.
Tocci has shown his fine glove work, which is his calling card, but has looked overmatched at times at the plate. That was the knock against him and one reason he has barely played above Double A.
He can cover all three outfield spots, which is something the Rangers will need if they go with six starters and only a three-man bench. Those bench players will be a backup catchers, Jurickson Profar as the utility infielder and an extra outfielder.
It would be nice if that outfielder is a right-handed hitter, which Tocci is. The decision could come down to if the Rangers can afford to not have a more proven bat on the bench.
5. A follower on the Twitter asked last week why everyone makes such a big deal about the distance of Joey Gallo home runs. They all count the same, he said.
That's true. It's just one run, and not even Gallo seems that impressed by the shots he hits.
But he regularly hits balls where few can. That's why his homers are a big deal. It's actually a bigger deal when he doesn't hit one 430-plus feet.
Gallo connected for the second time this spring, poking one about three-quarters up the large grass hit beyond the 390-feet sign at Salt River Fields. The ball landed only a few feet away from a man who was laying down catching some rays, even though it was mostly cloudy.
The Statcast in my head says it went about 440 feet. Whatever. It was another long shot by Gallo, who is hitting homers earlier than he did last spring and seems to have a better feel at this point than he did a year ago.
That can't be a bad thing, right?