Saying no to Zito

As far as I’m concerned, the Giants can have Barry Zito. Seven years?! $126 million!? Dude’s not Randy Johnson in ’98. He’s not even Nolan Ryan in ’88. He’s a curveball pitcher, a soft-throwing lefty with good control who benefits from a strong defense and pitch location. He’s Tom Glavine, minus 12 years, and the Mets already have one of those.

Zito would’ve benefitted from coming to Shea Stadium, from playing for a team on the verge of the World Series with a good, young core. He still gets the move to the National League, which will help, and he’s playing for a team in an even but weak — save the Dodgers — division that gives the Giants a chance at the postseason just for playing. But the Giants don’t have the supporting cast that the Mets do, and once the injuries start hitting the ancient bodies of Barry Bonds, Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel and even Pedro Feliz and Matt Morris, Zito and Matt Cain and others will be doing all they can just to keep San Francisco in games without giving up more than three or four runs, hoping the offense can manage to scratch out just one more run than the opposition.

Zito would’ve been a good fit for the Mets at their price — five years and $75 million, probably 80 — but not at his price, which is to say Scott Boras’ price. That prick can have his money, and Zito can too. Good for him for getting it, and if he’d rather be rich than have a ring, that’s his choice. But to think that the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history (at least according to one contract) is Barry Zito is astonishing when guys like Johnson, Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens (perhaps) are still pitching.

As for Zito and the Giants, we’ll see how it works out. It worked for Kevin Brown and the Dodgers and Mike Hampton and the Rockies, didn’t it?

Oh, wait …

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