April 23, 2009
Big League Stew posts at least once a day, oft-times much more, nearly every day of the year. At such a volume that means, every once in a while, somebody's going to say something really, really stupid.
That's where MLB-a-Culpa comes in. After all, for the sake of transparency, honesty and credibility, when an egregious error is made, amends must be made.
Dear Mr. Zito,
I never thought I'd be saying this — at least not as long as your line still stands at 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA — but I'm sorry.
As you might know, I've made a cottage industry out of hailing your rotation-mate Tim Lincecum when not having a bit of fun with your troubles by the Bay. Thing is, I actually like you and remain hopeful that you can earn a bit of that monstrous contract. Everyone wants to show they're worth what they're paid, and you seem like a genuinely nice guy
But you know it, I know it and the American people know it: Your performances over your first two years in San Francisco have made it too easy for people to poke fun at your anguished and beleaguered mid-blowout faces.
And considering your start to this season, your scheduled turn in the Giants' rotation on Wednesday made it too easy for me to write this preview in News & Notes:
Does it even matter how much run support San Francisco gives Barry Zito and his ERA, which currently stands at an even 10.00?
Wouldn't you know it, though? You took that bloggy bulletin board material — originally inspired by Dan Haren's good-for-nothing teammates in Arizona — and used it as motivation. Against those Padres, you pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none for the first time since June of 2008. Unfortunately, your teammates also helped cook my crow, waiting until the 10th inning for Bengie Molina to pinch-hit a double for a 1-0 win, which was credited to closer Brian Wilson. After the game, you said you felt like your old self out there and that you have a plan for feeling that way more often.
"Get back to what I do best," you told the San Jose Mercury News. "Be aggressive and attack guys. It's something I did early in my career ... I was getting fed up with going out and pitching below my potential."
Now, I'm not saying that I'm done for good cracking jokes about your modeling career — let's see a few more starts like this first — but I apologize for suggesting you were beyond the help of your teammates. On Wednesday, you clearly proved the opposite true.
Your nay-sayin' nemesis,
PS — I'd talk with those AP photogs if I were you. After every bad start, they push those rocked faces on us. Yesterday? Nary a triumphant pose to be found. Tell 'em to put down those zoom lenses, because they owe you an apology, too.