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Padres 8, A's 5, Zito More-of-the-same

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While listening to tonight's game it struck me, kind of for the first time, how ok I will be with it if the A's let Zito walk after 2006. Yes, tonight was a meaningless game, the ball was carrying, and Mike Winters seemed to have a small strike zone, so the results aren't all that significant. So what irritated me tonight?

I think it was when I had to turn the radio off for a little bit (to order the exercycle I really believe I will use during the season; isn't that the 8th one I've bought in the last 5 years?). I turned the radio back on and the first thing I heard was, "3-2 count...Zito into the motion..." Too many long counts, too many walks, too many 20-pitch innings. Zito is a very good pitcher, but I want more from the front-end of my rotation. I want a guy who has the stuff to challenge hitters, and knows it. Zito is a very good pitcher, but 11 million is also a lot of dollars, and even that figure is a "hometown discount" fantasy.

Do I want the A's to spend top dollar to keep Zito in Oakland? Well, if it's important to get a lot of pitches for your money, Zito's your man. Otherwise, the act is getting just old enough that I can deeply appreciate all Zito has brought to the A's and still be at peace if he moves on.