With the NHL and NBA in the thick of their playoffs and several thousand more baseball games to play during the long, slow summer, MLB doesn't get much attention around here unless a player gets beaten with a helmet or a bat. But Giants pitcher Barry Zito is that rare player who can suck so spectacularly with such a staggeringly rich contract that he can actually steal headlines from more exciting sports — simply by being awful.
Zito, whose 30th birthday is today, is 0-7 with a 6.58 ERA, and it's gotten to the point that he's heralded for notching no-decisions, as he did with six innings of seven-hit, three-run ball last night (the Giants still lost).
For Barry Zito, a no-decision became a positive thing—a sign of progress… Zito pitched scoreless ball into the fourth inning for the first time all season, and his signature curveball was effective once again in matching his longest outing of the year at six innings. He received a standing ovation— perhaps slightly sarcastic—after a 1-2-3 first inning in which he needed only 11 pitches.
Last year, I hated the Mariners for trotting out washed-up bag of shit Jeff Weaver to the mound every fifth day. The one good thing was that Weaver made $8 million off of a one-year contract. Zito's getting paid $126 million over seven years. Only five and a half more years to go, San Francisco. Savor this while it lasts.