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Decision Day Looms for Zito

Somewhere down I-5 Barry Zito and Scott Boras will soon be sitting down with Omar Minaya to discuss whether or not Zito will be a New York Met.

There are various reports that the Mets claim that they will not go above five years for Zito. Something tells me that if a guy is willing to get on a plane and fly 3,000 miles that they might be a little more willing than you'd think.

But it really got me to thinking, and forgive me if I harp on this Zito thing he's been one of my favorites for a long time, should we be rooting for Zito to wind up in the National League? Or would you like to face him pitching for the Rangers in the division and see him on a regular basis?

Here is something that could play into the equation for me...

During his career, Zito has won an astounding 95.5 percent of the games in which Oakland scored at least four runs for him and was 15-0 last year in such games for the light-hitting A's (and 16-0 when they scored three or more runs).

The Rangers offense will often score more than four runs, so does that mean Zito would be headed for 35-0 if he signed with Texas? Not necessarily because you have to imagine that even though Zito's career stats are very good in Arlington, he would take a hit pitching in that ballpark even if some make the case that he could possibly be Kenny Rogers II: Electric Bugaloo.

Looking at this, I think Rangers management sees, in Zito, a younger, better version of the guy considered to be The Perfect TBIA Pitcher...the Gambler, Kenny Rogers. In 2005, 27.5% of balls in play against Rogers by righties were flies, and in 2004, the number was 28.2%...numbers that correspond neatly to Zito. Like Rogers, Zito walks more guys than you'd like, doesn't strike out as many as you'd like, but has shown a knack for knowing how to manage his performance, and when and how to pitch to contact.

It's a compelling case, and it could also explain why Zito had the success he did in Arlington.

Regardless, the truth is that I don't want Zito anywhere near our division. I don't see him wanting to go to Texas, but to me the main question is whether the Mets want Zito badly enough to extend their offer past five years. If they don't, I don't see Barry turning down the Rangers offer. And if he becomes Rogers reincarnated, imagine all the grumbling we're going to hear every time he beats the A's.

Omar, I have one wish this Christmas, please, please bring Barry back to New York with you. Cause I don't want to find out if Arlington is that favorable for crafty lefties.