And as I watched the game, inning after inning, the same thought rang through my head: What if they had traded for Ricky Nolasco sooner?
We'll never know. We'll never know.
Unfair? Eh, maybe. He was paid a lot of money, and he directly and indirectly led to two World Series teams, so I think everyone's happy. But I'm going to go out on a limb, provide you with fresh sports opinions and hot sports takes, and suggest that the thrill is gone with the Barry Zito signing. It was cool for a second, and before he threw a pitch for the Giants, it was nice to think of him as an Opening Day starter. But I'm wondering if it's just not as exciting these days to watch Barry Zito pitch.
Let's quantify this. He's now made 192 starts as a Giant. If you assume that Zito is on the mound for about five innings per start, you're up to about 350 hours. Divide that by two, and you have 175 hours. Mix in some between-innings breaks (about 15 minutes per start), and you have roughly 140 hours of Barry Zito on a mound. Looking in for a sign. Shaking it off. Throwing an 85-m.p.h. fastball up and away, 1-0. Looking in for a sign. Throwing a nice curve, 1-1. Looking in for a sign. Throwing an 84-m.p.h. fastball up and away, 2-1.
I don't know about you, but I've watched almost all of those starts. That's close to six days of my life. Imagine that consecutively, Clockwork Orange-style, toothpicks in the eyes, amphetamines to keep you awake. Right about … day six, you'd say, "Gee, I think that's probably my limit."
About now, then.
Thinking this is about my limit. This is countdown time.
A feller on Twitter asked who would say no first to a Michael Young-for-Barry Zito trade. Both are free agents on teams that aren't going anywhere, so it was a joke of an idea. I don't think you can underestimate just how bad Young's defense is. He's the .240 OBP of third-base defense. Exceptionally bad. He is the living argument for defensive statistics because they align perfectly with what your eyes are telling you. For years, I've wanted to take the time to write a column about how the 2010 World Series shifted on Young's awful defense. He's that bad.
Truthfully, though? Gimme Young. I've never experienced that kind of mixed blessing, that kind of good/kinda bad dichotomy. It would be a different flavor. Instead of pork gelato, it would be chicken gelato. I could use the variety.
This is all hypothetical, of course, because absolutely no one is interested in Zito, even as a jury-rigged replacement for a short-term injury. After almost seven seasons of great health and consistency, no one wants Barry Zito. Remember what we were all worried about when the seven-year contract was announced? Look at us now. Man, baseball is so wasted.
Homerless streaks since 2000:
Since the Giants moved to San Francisco:
In case you were wondering. Say, two of those were from the last two months! Never would have guessed. Never would have guessed.
They were playing highlights of the 2010 NLCS during this miserable game. Not sure how I feel about that.
But I enjoyed them. Every single one. We're the balding ex-high-school quarterback, talking about how we can throw a football over those mountains.
Except there are some teams that didn't even suit up for homecoming and hear the band play as you busted through and took the field, man alive, that was fun, won State, tell you what. It's a weak comfort right now. But it's still a pretty amazing comfort.
(Weak, though. Check back in November, when I'm watching all of those DVDs again.)