If I were making $126 million over seven years for a team that invested its future in me assuming I would be the one to anchor its pitching staff, I think I would probably focus on being a good pitcher.
But if it’s Barry Zito in that position — which it is — apparently none of that is important.
Dear readers, welcome to Zito’s World: a super hip fantasyland where losing 30 games in two seasons with a 4.84 ERA is worth every penny of that $126 million; a place where winning games in April is never a priority; an imaginative mirage where baseball meets Hollywood starlet meets aspiring rock star meets absolute shock that people would be just a wee bit vocal about his seemingly laissez faire attitude.
Look, there is no question that I have been a staunch critic of Mr. Zito. Yes, I suggested his 2007 and 2008 pitching woes were rooted in his unprofessional preoccupation with movie star female companionship. Yes, I coined the phrase “Zito Happens”. Yes, I poked fun at his childish, uncensored Tweets which made him look foolish — pining for “cab cakes”.
But none of that seems to warrant the fact that Barry Zito — the millionaire pitcher who up to this point hasn’t done a very good job of making good on that Scott Boras super-contract — blocked me from his Twitter account.
Juvenile as his actions are, I still cannot help but chuckle. I mean, here I am lowly Joe Six-Pack, unpaid aspiring writer, committed MLBlogger and informed baseball fanatic, trying to get seen, be heard, find a voice…. and Barry Zito does me the grandiose favor of reading what I write and hating it enough to block me from his 10,000 plus following.
Now, I understand that being a multi-millionaire, playing the greatest game on earth for a living and personifying the American dream is probably really hard on the soul, Barry, but come on, don’t you think you deserve it? Just a little bit maybe? Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Man up, Barry. Get over yourself. Do your job and people like me will have no choice but to shut up.
Until then, you will remain back-page fodder for the masses.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Barry may have blocked me from following him on Twitter, but I can still access his Tweets and laugh because they look like they’re written by a 12 year old as they tend to focus on the importance of Radiohead, farting in the shower and men layering with scarves. Nice work, Barry. Nice work.
P.S.S. Despite the aforementioned aggravation I am experiencing from Zito’s actions, I am still living a good life, visiting Washington D.C., hanging out with one of my best friends and co-author Allen, ready to see the Cardinals play the Nats tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Heading over to the White House now. Pics/Story to follow.
During the past week we watched the opening of two new multi-million
dollar stadiums in New York City and during this time MLB and the major
sports channels more or less ignored everything else going on around
the league. Was the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
really such important news or was Heath Bell accurate in saying that
ESPN and other providers are completely focused on a few teams to the
detriment of the rest of the league?
Pardon me for being a-holishly frank, dear readers, but I think it is pretty damn sad that it took Heath Bell (of all reinvented people) to bring the media’s obvious love affair with New York and Boston into the public domain. Nothing against, Heath, who has now become my own personal savior for his ESPN remarks, but we here at RSBS as well as myriad Joe Six-Packs in sports bars galore all across Anytowns, US America, have been harping on this oh-so-blatant injustice for years now.
Heath Bell said:
“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and
Yankees and Mets – and nobody else. That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m
really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’ When Jake Peavy threw
8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning
and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”
True story, Heath. True story.
Just for the record, regarding the two new ballparks in New York (one of which cost $1.5 billion) let me just say that I don’t remember there being such a fuss over the new Busch Stadium or PNC Park or even Nationals Park for that matter.
Yet all week long I have been bombarded with information I could care less about:
- The first homerun in new Yankee Stadium.
- The first multi-RBI game at CITI Field.
- The first blab-hole jerkazoid kicked out of new Yankee Stadium for using foul language and fists to explain his innermost self-loathing while watching the Indians score 14 runs in one inning.
I don’t care.
And I ain’t alone.
The good news is, Heath Bell’s voice was heard and ESPN reacted quickly by having him on Baseball Tonight. Shortly after that, the once monopolizing baseball program introduced it’s 30 Team Ticker, which offers tidbits of information on all 30 teams at the bottom of the screen while the analysts blab on about how much they love the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.
But just like the leaderless GOP of 2008 desperately trying to reinvent its image after devastating the public by dropping the ball in New Orleans and Iraq while allowing the economy to collapse over and over again… it was just too little, too late.
Folks, we have a choice. Join Al and I; heed Heath Bell’s call.
Switch to the MLB Network. Enjoy equal coverage. Play the RSBS Harold Reynolds drinking game.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The level of ineptitude at the Washington Nationals franchise astounds both lifelong and casual fans. I’m not just talking about the players and their approximately 45 errors in one inning on Tuesday night. I’m not just talking about hitting the lead-off batter with the third pitch of the game. No, it gets even worse. On top of having a totally horrifically terrible team, the Nats also have possibly the worst grounds crew in baseball. I had the opportunity to see this first hand on Tuesday night.
I had settled in to my seats in right field and prepared to eat the wonderful hotdog and chili cheese fries sitting in front of me when I noticed the biggest, darkest cloud I had ever seen rolling in. The umps decided to start the game anyway but soon the rain came in and I watched the first three innings from underneath an umbrella. Finally, the umps realized that the puddles on the field were impeding play and the lightning was getting dangerously close so they called a rain delay. I sat tight, hoping the rain would pass but it eventually got to be too much:
So, I migrated to a new perch underneath an overhang and watched as the comedy of errors unfolded.
First, it took way too long to get the tarp down. Then, they didn’t lay it out correctly. But the real fun was when they tried to get it back up after the delay finished. As the Cardinals’ starter, Kyle Lohse, said, “I don’t want to get down on the grounds crew but maybe they could tighten up a little bit next time.” Yeah, it was that bad. Somehow the process involved flipping the tarp, flipping it in another direction, flipping it once again and then folding it up. At one point the tarp was upside down in right field and it appeared that a hippie colony might be using it as a tent.
However, the crew finally got it together and made it off the field as the game started back up….which lasted about another inning until it started raining again. And the grounds crew came back out. At that point, it just wasn’t worth it anymore so I headed home.
The coda to this story is that a friend of mine was on the DC Metro a couple days later and was standing near a person who works on the grounds crew. This was particularly funny because the game was already in progress and they were just then heading in. But anyway, this person was explaining that no one ever shows up on time, if they even show up at all. They then went on to explain how they were coming in the next day to sell some homemade food to other members of the crew but they weren’t actually going to be working. I have a feeling I know what that food is. Brownies anyone?
Sunday afternoon I had my first opportunity to hit the ballpark, soak up some rays, drink a few beers and enjoy watching the Nats as they entertained the visiting Cubs. However, as they say, sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men…..
Turns out that after a week of ridiculous heat and asthma inducing humidity, the weather gods decided to turn things on their head a little bit and go more for the mid-50’s with mist sort of atmosphere. And I’m not going to lie. When you’re sitting in the upper upper deck, way out in left field and that wind starts to blow off the Potomac, it ain’t pretty. And it wasn’t. But, I’m a trooper so I got decked out in my Sunday finest and headed for Nationals Park.
What can I say? It’s a new-fangled ballpark. They serve mixed drinks, they have Ben’s Chili Bowl and the seats aren’t too nasty yet. The game was a close-fought contest and the Nats prevailed. There were a couple of spectacular plays by Reed Johnson of the Cubs in centerfield and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nats at third.
But in the end, although I love visiting new parks, there’s really only one place that I consider home when it comes to watching baseball: Comerica Park. And yes, I know it’s new and I know it replaced Tiger’s Stadium which was a classic old ballpark. But you know what? When it comes to the Tigers, I don’t think they can do any wrong. This is a team that made me accept Gary Sheffield as one of our own despite the fact that I still picture him in Yankee pinstripes. And I just don’t have anything close to that affinity for either the Cubs or the Nats. The closest thing I could come up with is that the enemy of the enemy of my friend is my friend. But, that’s a pretty tenuous connection.
So, as it stands, I’m just going to have to sit tight and enjoy baseball as I can. But don’t worry. The Tigers come to Baltimore in July and I haven’t been to Camden Yards yet. The Olde English “D” will be flying free in the Chesapeake Bay breezes. Of that you can be sure.