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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Barry Zito can write sequel to Alex Smith’s story

Could Barry Zito be preparing to stage “Alex Smith, the Sequel”?

The reaction to his shutout against the Rockies on Monday sounded eerily familiar. First baseman Aubrey Huff’s gloating on Zito’s behalf was almost identical to the told-you-sos from left tackle Joe Staley after his quarterback became a bona fide winner for the 49ers.

The bitter exasperation over their years of failure matched up pretty well, too. They made an unprecedented tandem in Bay Area sports, the twin albatrosses. They also maintained the same demeanor, consistently decent and professional under the most difficult circumstances.

They eventually shared a trait vital to rebuilding a crumbling sports career: greatly diminished expectations. Smith learned that he didn’t have to prove he was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. At the start of the 2011 football season, he had passed the point where he had to play like the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.

Zito should have reached the same point last year, after being left off the Giants’ postseason roster in 2010. There’s a strong possibility he hasn’t reached it yet. In his five seasons as a Giant, Zito has gone through some very promising stretches. Through May 5, 2010, he had a 5-0 record with a 1.49 ERA. That mastery evaporated over the summer….

Zito’s seven-year, $126 million contract no longer has to be viewed as an unbearable weight on his team, obstructing the Giants’ ability to retain the young pitchers who have been far more successful over the past five years. Zito doesn’t have to prove that he is The Man. He hasn’t had to prove that in a while. The Giants, after all, won a World Series without him.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: barry zito, bust, giants

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   1. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4104025)
For more on the zawesome zito AB in the gif above see: The most spectacular thing ever
   2. GregQ Posted: April 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4104069)
I seem to recall that during the broadcast the announcers said that Zito did always did well in Denver. I was only half awake so I might have been hallucinating that someone was praising Zito.
   3. Russ Posted: April 11, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4104078)
The post quoted in #1 is something that you just can't find in other sports. The way that baseball nests stories within stories ad infinitum (pitches within at bats within innings within games within seasons) is something that none of the other professional sports could ever hope to aspire to (except for maybe cricket). Baseball is like a perfect Matryoshka doll sport, where you can just keep going to finer and finer detail and still find tremendously interesting and entertaining things.

   4. gef the talking mongoose, amorphous lefty blob Posted: April 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4104079)
I could've sworn the headline said, "Zito can write sequel to H. Allen Smith's story" -- presumably Rhubarb.

That would've been so great.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 11, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4104083)
As Bill Simmons once said, "The law of averages is somebody eventually just has a year that’s much better than any other year they had. You just look through baseball history and that usually happens.”
   6. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 11, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4104120)
Presumably Barry Zito has been playing baseball his entire life. How can he have a swing like that?
   7. Russ Posted: April 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4104211)
Presumably Barry Zito has been playing baseball his entire life. How can he have a swing like that?


As with all things inconvenient and/or unexplainable, I blame the DH.
   8. Zach Posted: April 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4104284)
The swings you see in #1's link are amazing. It's as though he learned how to bat by studying a diagram in the on deck circle. How he stayed alive for 11 pitches, I'll never know.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4104290)
Sign him to an extension!
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 11, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4104300)
I'll go out on a limb and say that Zito's shutout of the Rox in Coors says more about the quality of the Rox lineup than it does a Zito comeback.
   11. Steve Treder Posted: April 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4104303)
Barry Zito = Piece of Work
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4104305)
Zito has an advantage against the Rockies because most of their lineup is guys he used to face in the AL 10-12 years ago.
   13. Benji Posted: April 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4104423)
I'll bet Giant fans have as much confidence in Zito that I, 49er fan, have in Smith. He had a horseshit year and the defense kept winning the games for him. I'm depressed by the thought of him as their QB for three more years.
   14. Floyd Thursby Posted: April 11, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4104426)
He had a horseshit year and the defense kept winning the games for him.


hahaha
   15. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4104436)
Actually Zito (in SF) isn't a terrible parallel with Smith. Smith has turned himself into the equivalent of a solid #4 starter in the universe of NFL QBs. Too bad you can really only play 1 QB at a time (WILDCAT FEVER!). The difference is that

1) Zito was good and became mediocre, while Smith was merely an overdraft put on a terrible team with rotating coaching staffs.
2) The Badness of Zito is less about his performance and more about his contract. Smith being a #1 pick was HIGHLY overpaid too, but thems the breaks, and football contracts are not mostly guaranteed.
   16. JMM Posted: April 11, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4104530)
Presumably Barry Zito has been playing baseball his entire life. How can he have a swing like that?

He's been pitching his entire life, but Zito stopped playing any other position around age 12.
   17. puck Posted: April 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4104534)
I seem to recall that during the broadcast the announcers said that Zito did always did well in Denver. I was only half awake so I might have been hallucinating that someone was praising Zito.


He does very well against the Rockies. Not typically in Denver--he had been much better in SF.

I'll go out on a limb and say that Zito's shutout of the Rox in Coors says more about the quality of the Rox lineup than it does a Zito comeback.


There's this, too. They didn't exactly light up the Astros, either.

Presumably Barry Zito has been playing baseball his entire life. How can he have a swing like that?


It was a pretty awesome AB. He started just sticking the bat out to make contact and kept fouling pitches off.
   18. Dan Posted: April 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4104655)
What's up with Lincecum?
   19. Flynn Posted: April 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM (#4104721)
He doesn't have the fastball to win games on its own and his off-speed and breaking pitches stank. His defense didn't help either.

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