July 11, 2007

IS DURABILITY A FEATURE WHEN YOU'RE DECLINING RAPIDLY?:

Zito's Deal May Rank Among the All-Time Worst (TIM MARCHMAN, July 11, 2007, NY Sun)


For San Francisco Giants fans, last night's All-Star Game should have been a wonderful event, a chance to show off their beautiful ballpark and shower love on the twin pillars of their franchise — Barry Bonds, their unaccountably beloved left fielder, and Barry Zito, their $126 million ace. Events, though, take their own course. The Giants are in last place, and Zito is a bust. His 6–9 record and 4.90 ERA are bad enough, but the man simply doesn't have a fastball anymore, and never having been much of a control pitcher, he doesn't look to have much of a chance of making this deal look even tolerable by becoming a classic crafty lefty.

When Zito was a free agent last fall, there were two schools of thought on his future. The first, with which I agreed, was that his tremendous durability and persistent ability to induce bad contact made him a risk worth taking. The second was that his mediocre stuff and mediocre command would catch up with him. Some people looked at him and saw Tom Glavine, others saw Mike Hampton; on early returns, it looks as though the skeptics were right.


Making it look even worse is that they could have had the comparable Ted Lilly for four years/$40 million.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2007 9:54 AM
Comments

I thinks it's wise to be skeptical about any A's pitcher on the free agent market. The massive foul territory at the Colosseum makes them all seem much better then they are. What would Haren's era be, eg, if he didn't get to pitch there 1/2 his starts? He looked decidedly mediocre against the Yanks last week.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 11, 2007 5:27 PM
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