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Quotes of the Day: Barry Zito and Prince Fielder

Mar 1, 2011, 8:44 AM EDT

Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks

Yesterday the Giants faced the half of the Brewers squad that wasn’t facing the Cubs over at HoHoKam.  In that game, a nearly two-year old grudge continued to play out as Prince Fielder and Barry Zito jawed at one another after Zito walked Fielder.

The grudge, of course, is based on Fielder’s infamous “bowling ball” celebration after he hit a walkoff homer against the Giants in 2009. In response, Zito plunked Fielder in a spring training game last March.  Yesterday’s little back and forth came after Zito walked toward home plate following his walk to Fielder to ask the ump what was wrong with the pitch that was called ball four.

Like any rivalry, however, this one has gotten more refined and enjoyable over time.  For evidence, just look at what they said to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel about the incident after the game yesterday:

“I asked the umpire if it was a ball or a strike and Prince was letting me know it was a ball,” said Zito. “We talked a little bit. Asked how his off-season went. How’s the family? No new tats (tattoos).”

Fielder had a different recollection of the chat though equally fictional.

“We have the same agent (Scott Boras) so we were talking about going out to dinner. I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

After which they shared some tea.

  1. Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    The bottom line, Barry, is that Prince beat you. Deal with it.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      The real loser is the team paying his contract. Zito may be the most overpaid under-performing player in the league.

      • larryhockett - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        While all of that may be true, it doesn’t mean that Prince isn’t the @sshat in this situation.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        HELL-OOOO. Ollie Perez…. Duhhh.

        And I tend to enjoy this rivalry myself…

      • sayheykidwschamp - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        Yeah, they are so terrible, they won the WS. That albatross of a contract really hampered their success. Who know what they could have accomplished without that contract?

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

        Hey nozzle of the proverbial douche, no one said that. Zito didn’t even make the playoff roster so my statement is only more so fortified by truth. There’s other definitions of loser than not winning baseball games. The team has a ton of money sunk into Zito and they will never get a return on that investment. That makes them the loser in the equation. So yes I agree: who knows what they could have accomplished without that contract?

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        J5, Ollie is the best player in baseball. I think you misread his stat line and should look again. What’s that? You did and he sucks? Check again. Still sucks? Keep looking.

      • aronmantoo - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Zito is a tad ahead of Ollie (Walks are part of the game) Perez

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        My optical receptors ache and he still sucks. I don’t compute………

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Mr. Zito’s defense would like to respectfully submit Ollie Perez as refutation. The prosecution is obviously biased against Mt. Zito and his megabucks for his 4.15 ERA.

    • nickmiller63 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      The bottom line, wannabe, is that Prince did not beat Barry. Barry just tossed the soft reminder that Prince is a jerk.

      • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        Oh, that gamewinning dinger never happened???? Gee – can’t trust what you read, can ya?

        BTW, what do you think I wanna be? Betcha your education wouldn’t qualify you for whatever it is.

      • nickmiller63 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        Zito did not give up the homer to Fielder. He tossed the payback pitch.

  2. sportsdrenched - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I don’t care about the contracts or who is an a-hole. It’s good to see some jawing in spring training.

  3. hasbeen5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I kinda think Fielder deserves a beaning for each “pin” he knocked down.

  4. randomdigits - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Hard to believe that Prince would turn down an invitation to dinner no matter who it was from.

    • tomemos - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      FTW

  5. davidw7 - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    I know you’re “not meant to show up the opposing player/team” but the Bowling Pin celebration was pretty awesome I have to say. Just proves it’s not only pitches who get strikes :)

  6. lampdwellr - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    This is another of the silly unwritten rules of baseball. Obviously, they did not choreograph that celebration to show up Barry Zito. It was obviously rehearsed far, far in advance. Celebrating in this manner is not disrespectful of Barry Zito any more than crushing his 62-mph fastball was.

    All sports need more fun and less serious, at least until a happy medium is reached. The good old days involved a lot of clowning, let’s remember.

    • tomemos - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      “Obviously, they did not choreograph that celebration to show up Barry Zito. It was obviously rehearsed far, far in advance.”

      Well, yes; that’s the problem a lot of people had with it.

      “Celebrating in this manner is not disrespectful of Barry Zito any more than crushing his 62-mph fastball was.”

      Well, it wasn’t Zito (see below), but do you see the difference between an unchoreographed home run (and the unchoreographed, spontaneous celebration that follows) and a stunt that was planned well in advance.

      “All sports need more fun and less serious, at least until a happy medium is reached. The good old days involved a lot of clowning, let’s remember.”

      At other teams’ expense, though? What examples do you have in mind?

  7. tomemos - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Just for information, Fielder did not hit the walk-off against Barry Zito. The Giants aren’t in the habit of bringing in Zito in relief in the 12th inning. Zito was retaliating on behalf of a teammate, not his wounded pride.

  8. nickmiller63 - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Why do so many of you insist that Zito threw Fielder the pitch he hit out?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      Because they don’t watch the video.

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