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Barry Zito’s “gesture of appreciation” is $126 million

Sep 6, 2013, 10:47 AM EST

Barry Zito Getty Images

Barry Zito has been terrible this season, going 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA, but the Giants have repeatedly stuck with him in the rotation until finally deciding this week that they’ve seen enough.

And then I read this from Chris Haft of MLB.com:

While reiterating his respect for Barry Zito, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that no plans have been made to assign the left-hander a ceremonial final start at AT&T Park as a gesture of appreciation.

Look, the Giants have done a lot of winning with Zito in the rotation and I’m sure Zito is a perfectly good person and well-liked teammate, but the “gesture of appreciation” he gets is the $126 million San Francisco will end up paying him for what is right now 1,134 innings of a 4.63 ERA and a 63-80 record. That includes a $7 million buyout the Giants will give him after the season to avoid keeping him for 2014 at $18 million.

If anything Zito ought to be giving the Giants a gesture of appreciation.

  1. kopy - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    • prmallon5600 - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Best comment ever

    • historiophiliac - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      You beat me to it!

  2. Caught Looking - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    There are a lot of gestures Giants fans would like to give Zito. Appreciation isn’t one of them.

  3. daveitsgood - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    not to defend zito because his contract was horrible, but $126 million wasn’t a gesture of appreciation, it was a contractual obligation. that’s like saying yours or my salary is a gesture of appreciation as well. Well if that’s the case, some days where I have to work 10-12 hours, i don’t feel that appreciated.

    • paperlions - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Yes, but if “appreciation” is shown to everyone just for fulfilling their contractual obligation (which is also all that Zito is doing), then the gesture doesn’t mean anything. What has Zito done above and beyond his contractual obligation that deserves some sort of appreciation on the part of the Giants? He sure hasn’t performed at a level warranted appreciation from the fans or the baseball side of the operation.

    • benjamincharlesparho - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      It is a contractual agreement with risks on both sides, one that didn’t work out for the Giants. If a player feels he is getting paid too little he tries to work out a new deal and even sits out. If a team feels it is paying a player too much, too bad. That’s just how it is, not saying it’s fair or not.

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      See the video above.

  4. aceshigh11 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    What do we have for him, Johnny?

    $126 million!!

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    look he did “ok” for one year of the 7 year contract and he helped win a couple of playoff games including the WS. So it kind of makes up for some of that horrid deal. Still my brother being s giants fan he’s jumping for joy knowing it’s almost over.

  6. imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Zito pitched very well for years for “peanuts” (compared to other MLB salaries) 23-5 2.75 for the A’s in 2004 and he made $295,000.

    He helped beat the Cards and Tigers and the Giants could add a another Championship

    Get over it

  7. dcarroll73 - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I’m a Giants fan, and I am glad that Zito was there in good form when it counted most. How many baseball fans wouldn’t trade $126 million for a WS championship? He is by all reports a good guy and teammate, and most relevant is the fact he has pitched well at home. Frankly giving him a final start at home could not cost the team a thing this year unless he does well as his home record would indicate and that one win costs them one position of a better draft. If they want to think that way, how about tanking every game the rest of the way? No, I would rather see Zito given a nice gesture, and I would hope the SF fans would be decent to him that day.

    • paperlions - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I wouldn’t trade $1,000 for the Cardinals to win a WS; I don’t even have $126M. I am a fan, but baseball is entertainment, and the feelings of winning are transient (thus the continual drive to feel it again rather than being satisfied with having the experience once). I think most baseball fans would just keep their own money.

    • granted42 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      I agree that $126 was almost worth the clutch performances last year, but the Giants probably could have spent less to get the same thing. I, however, disagree that giving him one more start, even at home, would put them in a lower drafting position. More likely, it will improve their position in next years draft. If they really wanted to tank the rest of the season, they would give Zito more starts.

  8. pxeeks - Sep 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    We need a list of worst contracts in the history of sports. He’s on it so ill start the list!

  9. mpzz - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    The fact is, he proved last season that he could have done a lot better. Plus, he has admitted he has trouble staying motivated. So there’s no need to feel sorry for him or feel he is owed anything, much less the money he got paid.

  10. granted42 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    If the Giants wanted to show him some kind of gesture of appreciation, they would give offer him a job after his playing days are over, which will more than likely be right after they write out that $7 million check.

  11. barel74 - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I’m no Zito fan, but to put things in perspective, if they don’t blow it by signing Zito, they don’t lose enough games to draft Buster Posey. You don’t draft Posey, you probably don’t win 2 WS rings….. sooooo, that crazy Zito contract sort of won them 2 WS rings.

  12. Carl Hancock - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Speaking of bad contracts… just imagine all the appreciaion Pujols is going to receive in Anaheim at the end of his deal. Ouch.

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