The roller coaster ride known as Barry Zito has reached the top of its last peak, and we’re on the final descent in San Francisco. Zito had been sent to the bullpen prior to the Rays Series this past weekend in Florida.
Bruce Bochy made the announcement mid-week that Zito would not be making his scheduled start against the Rays on Sunday. Zito essentially will finish the year in the pen and likely will never receive another start as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
This move comes with little to no surprise to most, Zito is a shell of 2012, in fact he is a broken shell of 2012. Zito is winless on the road this year, seemingly has lost touch with his consistency, and now has lost touch with his job.
Zito’s contract is essentially off the books next year with a team buyout option ($7 million) that will make him a free agent after this season, but is it time to cut him loose now? Designate him for assignment and see if another team claims Zeets for the playoff run.
My answer to this question is NO. You keep Zito around; you let him ride out his 2012 success. Without Zito we do not have our second parade in San Francisco. We also do not get past St. Louis in the NLCS or Cincinnati in the Divisional series. He’s a defending champion and has the right to play out that title for the rest of this season.
For fans the dismay of seeing 75 take the ball on the mound is nothing new, since he signed his deal with the Giants he has been lackluster and in ways pathetic at best. The thing is this guy doesn’t miss starts, he gives his best effort, and he puts in the work that fans should respect. He hasn’t quit on the team even when everyone seems to have quit on him.
Zito will take his role in the pen and will make the best of it. He will tip his hat to the fans and he’ll play out this year, pride will not consume Zito. He has seemingly been on the doorstep of doom for years, under the knife when it comes to the fans but he comes back and has won us over time after time.
The Zito experiment ends this year, so let’s ride it out. We’ve survived the Zito era and we’re ready to move on. Let him ride the wave of this season (since the giants won’t allow him to ride the waves in SF Bay). Then when it’s time, give Zito his final ovation at home, thank him for the highs points, let the lows go and move on.
Zito might not be the ace we wanted when he signed. He never lived up to the contract but whether you agree or not, he justified his contract last year being the pitcher we needed and wanted in the stretch run when the Giants needed him most.
With that being said, thank you Barry… It has been a roller coaster we are glad is over, but we are going to enjoy the ride. Only one team can call themselves defending champs and without Zito, that team would not be wearing the Orange and Black and call San Francisco home.
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