March 2, 2010
URBAN ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOMychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The executives at Showtime are surely pleased with Barry Zito.The Giants, according to a column in Wednesday's San Francisco Chronicle that cites only unnamed sources, are not. So, two days after drawing the ire of manager Bruce Bochy by walking five of the 13 batters he faced in his Cactus Legue debut, Zito spent a good portion of his afternoon trying to sort through the latest in a long line of unsavory episodes since he signed his massive free-agent contract with the Giants before the 2007 season."Crazy," is how Zito described it to CSNBayArea.com.
The column essentially claims that Zito has fallen completely out of favor within the organization, not only in danger of losing his spot in the starting rotation, but also in danger of losing his job. The Giants are so "exasperated" with Zito, the column asserts, that they might release him and eat the 64.5 million he's owed for the remainder of his contract. Oh, and they're said to be hacked off because he reported to camp out of shape.It's reality-TV gold, a nasty little melodrama certain to be part of Showtime's premier episode in the series that follows the world champions on their quest to defend the crown.But how much of it is reality?Nobody's quite sure. Zito, who was called into Bochy's office for a closed-door meeting upon his arrival at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday, certainly isn't."Obviously it was a shock," Zito told CSNBayArea.com of seeing the column. "I'd love to know who these sources are, but I know enough about the media to know that we'll probably never know who they are. It's a little frustrating, because I pride myself on being accountable. I have a bad game? I'll wear it. I deserve to. No excuses. Left off the playoff roster? I wore it. Kept working, didn't complain, was a good teammate. I had nobody to blame but myself. I'm not going to hide from anything I do, good or bad. Unfortunately, not everyone's as big on accountability as other people."So all I can go on is what people tell me face-to-face, and everybody I've spoken to with the Giants seems as surprised by all of this stuff as I am."Bochy told Zito that he'd never heard anyone bring up the possibility of releasing him, and before the Giants' night game against the Diamondbacks, Bochy shot down any suggestion that the team is concerned with Zito's physical condition."Not at all, not at all," Bochy said. "The guy's never missed a start in his career because of injury. We know how hard Barry works. That's not a question in my mind."Zito told CSNBayArea.com that the contention that he's out of shape was the most troubling aspect of the report. The rest, he said, is "out of my control.""All I can control is how I pitch, and I didn't pitch well the other day," Zito said that. "But it's what? March 2? I've been in the big leagues a long time now. I know what adjustments I need to make, how to get ready to make my 30, 32 starts during the regular season, and that's where my attention need to be. My spot in the rotation, all the other stuff, I told Boch, 'That's your call. I can't control those decisions. He basically told me he had no idea where this whole thing came from."Nobody does except these unnamed sources, I guess."