I watched some portions of last night’s Giants-Diamondbacks game despite the fact that there were no mullets to be seen. At least there was one hell of an interesting pitching matchup. Otherwise watching the Giants is absolutely brutal.
What we had last night was Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb against Giants “ace” Barry Zito. I mean, Zito’s paid like an ace, so I have to still call him that right? I’d put him as San Fran’s No. 3 pitcher…at best. But I digress.
Also of note, when writing about Barry Zito you are obligated to post a photo of one of his former lady friends. Which is nice.
To insert a fitting cliche: It was a duel of opposites.
Zito is (or was):
-A winless (0-5) former Cy Young Award winner that makes a ridiculous $14.5 million this year.
-A soft-tossing, fly-ball-getting lefty with a 5.61 ERA, with more walks than strikeouts (12-10), and all that comes in 25 2/3 innings of work over five starts. You can do the math on how many innings the Giants are getting per start from this guy.
-A “surfer guy,” whatever that means, that’s been known to carouse with the likes of Alyssa Milano and Hillary Duff.
-A decidedly mediocre pitcher since he won the Cy Young in 2002. Since then he is 66-64. Sure, Giants, that’s worth $14.5 mil. If you’re looking for another lefty with a loopy curve that is more often a ball than a strike, there’s one writing this post.
-A once-great college prospect, first round pick and three-time All Star from USC that had one great year and was inexplicably rewarded for it four years later. Still, this makes no fucking sense.
Brandon Webb is (or was):
-A win-full (sure, it’s not a word, but I like it anyway) former Cy Young Award winner (5-0) that makes a paltry $5.5 million. I think, given the market, one could easily argue this cat is underpaid.
-A hard(er)-throwing, ground ball-inducing righty with a 2.31 ERA, more strikeouts than walks (29-10) and all that comes in 35 innings over five starts. That is how you do it, Mr. Zito.
-A regular guy from Ashland, Ky., where he and his wife, Alicia, still live. He is married, so we’ll assume he does not carouse. If he did, I doubt it’d be with Hillary Duff.
-A consistent winner since he won the Cy in 2006. Granted, it’s only been one season and a couple months, but he followed up a Cy win by finishing second in the voting in 2007 and at 5-0 is off to his best start ever in 2008. That is not mediocre.
-A decent college prospect, eighth-round draft pick and two-time All Star from the University of Kentucky that will someday cash a very nice paycheck for his consistent winning and might actually deliver the goods once he gets paid.
Pitching is far and away the most volatile commodity in sports. And time and again clubs overpay for it (see, Darren Dreifort). All I’m saying is it’s amazing one of these guys has a contract worth over $100 million and the other doesn’t given the production.
But, such is life in Major League Baseball, where contracts are guaranteed and Zito will suck the life out of the Giants for years to come. Because, seriously, who in the name of Barry Bonds is gonna want this guy?
Probably about the same number of people that have lined up to sign Bonds this season.