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Barry Zito is taking a sabbatical

Feb 18, 2014, 7:24 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

I was unemployed for a month and a half a few years back. It wasn’t voluntary. I just got laid off and it took me a bit longer than I thought it would to find another job. Thanks, financial crisis of 2008. Anyway, I called it a sabbatical because that sounded fancier than saying I was unemployed, so let’s say the same for Barry Zito. Who, as Jon Heyman reports, has the benefit of some extra free time right now:

Barry Zito┬áplans to take some time off, but he isn’t retiring.┬áCuriously, almost nothing was written about Zito this winter, and the reason for that is there’s no evidence he actively sought a job. Just the same, Zito isn’t ready to call it quits, either, according to people in the know.

I wonder if he’ll do what I did during my sabbatical: read the entirety of “Y: The Last Man” and have coffee with neighborhood moms while I killed time as the kids were in preschool. It was actually pretty fun, if you set aside all of the crippling anxiety about not being able to feed your family if you can’t find a job eventually. It ended up working out for me. It’ll end up working out for Zito too.

  1. bfunk1978 - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Zito can probably feed his family for a while, though.

  2. seanb20124 - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Sabbaticals are more fun with 100 million in the bank.

  3. historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    “Sabbatical” is French for time off without anxiety — not to be confused with time off without anxiety but with social ostracism, which is “welfare.” Time off *with* anxiety is “democracy,” which leads to French Revolutions and the like and should be avoided at all costs.

  4. chacochicken - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Sabbatical = Couldn’t find anything better than a minor league offer with invite to spring training.

  5. shanabartels - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Obviously, Barry Zito never needs to work another day in his life — he could easily afford to put his future children and every other kid in his neighborhood through college and still have plenty left over. And we all know he’s a zen guy who is probably having a great time surfing and doing yoga. So considering just how financially secure he is, I really can’t imagine him deciding to fight like hell for the right to take a league-minimum wage deal somewhere just to continue the exhausting grind at his age. But if he isn’t ready to say that out loud yet, it’s okay. He’ll figure it out in time.

  6. dcarroll73 - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    And yet Jimenez and Santana get c. $12 million a year. Except for the age difference, just looking at career stats, Barry isn’t that different a pitcher. Our view of him is forever warped by “The Contract” (and I say this as a Giants fan.) Bottom line is that he would eat up innings and keep you in most games (I guess that’s worth $12 million now?)

  7. yahmule - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    The creator of Y: The Last Man looks like a younger, more handsome version of Craig.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/3.15.12BrianKVaughanByLuigiNovi24.jpg

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Would be a excellent fit for the bluejays, he would come cheap and for a 1 year deal

  9. thedoubleentandres - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    “You don’t need a million dollars to do nothing…I got a cousin who’s broke and don’t do $h1t”

  10. humanexcrement - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    I smell a contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

  11. genericcommenter - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    It’s not like defending Tom Noe didn’t pay well enough to cover some time off. It’s not like getting laid off from a local plant. Zito’s in a whole other income strata, but neither were seriously in the “my kids are gonna starve” situation.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      I wasn’t a partner in that firm. I didn’t get a cut of the fees for that.

  12. sw19womble - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Why put yourself through all that crapola and see-saw praise/complaints about every single innings he pitches?
    Plus the risk of breaking down/long-term injury/destroyed tendons…

    Zito got that World Series ring, and a whole bunch of decent investments (hopefully).

    And I agree with the other comments: money isn’t everything … when you’ve already got it!

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