Had a family dinner at my mother’s last night, and no sooner had I walked in the door than I was greeted with, “Don’t you just love what happened to Zito?”
Full disclosure here. My mother is an East Coast transplant and adopted the A’s as her team when she moved out here in 1969. She has grown a bit disgusted with the modern game, with all the big money contracts, etc., and I think the constant migration of former A’s players to other teams has left her sour.
That said, I don’t get the whole, “Barry deserved it,” attitude that came out of Friday. The A’s made it perfectly clear they couldn’t afford (or wouldn’t choose) to sign him, and he shouldn’t have to apologize because the Giants chose to overpay him and give him $126 million over seven years.
Now, I will also say this. Getting $126 million means you better be pretty darned good in big games. It’s the neighborhood expectations when you get that kind of money. And for the most part, Zito stinks in big games. It was documented by columnist Cam Inman on Saturday morning, so there’s no use rehashing it. So if you choose to laugh at Zito, or jeer him, because he’s fallen on his face in another big game.
But rooting against him simply because he left the A’s and took all that money for the Giants is wholly unfair. There’s not a one of us out there who wouldn’t have done the same thing.
On a related note, by the way, is there anyone out there who would rather have Zito over Dan Haren these days?