Tonight is likely the last start for Barry Zito as a San Francisco Giants. The end of one what is probably one of the top 10 worst contracts in baseball history.
One would be very, very hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that Zito has been worth the contract he was given.
But I do want to say that it’s been a frustrating pleasure. Zito came over from the Oakland A’s following the 2006 season. Brian Sabean wanted to make a splash. He made an expensive one. Giving what was, at the time, the largest contract in baseball history for a pitcher.
“Z” never lived up to the hype.
Yoga, meditation, surfing, modeling, rocking out with Train (before becoming a Christian who got into guns/hunting), but never being worth more than 2 wins (FWAR) in a season, Zito has been the definition of a frustration. This post is one that’s troubling, as Z has always been a favorite of mine despite his disasterous contract and total lack of value on the field.
His otherwise replacement level career with the Giants has one pure highlight: his finest moment of course, the 2012 World postseason where he helped lead the Giants through the Reds, Cardinals and the Tigers.
Looking back, it was an awful deal in terms of management, but we won’t blame you for taking the money Zito, I would have.
Z, thanks for everything.
For more on Zito, please read “The Mystery of Barry Zito” at the NY Times.