Apparently, it's "stir up the pot by criticizing a beloved member of the A's" week in Nico-land, because following yesterday's condemnation (hey, that would make a great name for a sex blog!) of Billy Beane's 2006 Machinations, today I am compelled to rant about a recent comment made by that wacky southpaw, Barry Zito...
The latest wail (last Sunday's Chronicle) from the guy who wears "FITZ" on the bill of his cap but can't seem to remember to be FITZ until he's eating the post-game spread: "I feel like a free-lance photographer without a job. I'm preparing for a season and I don't know with who. I'll worry about what color shoes I'll wear later. I do need to take it all in, look at my locker with green and gold and savor it because you never know what will happen."
Barry, you poor thing.
Let's assume, because undoubtedly it is true, that Billy Beane highly values Zito both for his pitching ability and his durability, and would gladly sign Zito to a deal for about what he is actually worth--say, $10,000,000/year to anchor and lead a young rotation that looks up to him. The A's want Zito, but they know they simply can't afford him because several teams are lining up to try to overpay him, probably to the tune of about $15,000,000/year--a figure that is neither affordable, nor wise, for a team like the A's to consider.
Essentially, the A's want Zito, but he doesn't want the A's because they won't make the highest offer. In fact, Zito is so keen to find the big money that he has switched agents to Scott Boras--almost as if he was afraid the A's might actually try to negotiate with him under the mistaken impression that Zito would consider passing up the most money and glory possible in favor of "undervalued" commodities like loyalty, home, community, and roots.
This is not Tejada, wishing to stay but being told, "We refuse to insult you with an offer; go away." This is not Hudson, being traded in the middle of his contract. Barry Zito is not a victim, unless you can be a victim of your own desire for more money, more attention, more wins, and more more.
You don't get to actively cause your own uncertainty and then complain, "I feel so uncertain!" It's like reminding yourself not to nibble, nibbling too much again, asking, "Why did I nibble?" again, and expecting the world to take you in its arms because you are the sad multi-millionaire who might be in some self-made flux for a few weeks. Apparently, Barry, you know unemployment about as well as you know how to attack the strike zone.
GAK! I am so done with Barry Zito. Oh and by the way, Barry, it's not "I don't know with who," it's "I don't know with whom." Missed the corner on that one too, didn'tcha?