Astros owner Jim Crane does Barry Zito a favor, makes a call

Update: February 11, 2015 @ 11:30 am PT

I stand corrected. Well somewhat. Houston Astros owner Jim Crane may have lost his mind or he has sympathy for the 37-year-old left hander.

To be clear even if the Astros ask Zito to spring training, as a favor to their obviously generous owner, GM Jeff Lunhow is far from guaranteeing Zito a spot on the big league club.

If asked as a non-roster invitee Barry Zito will be signed to a minor league contract as every player at camp must be under some kind of contract. This protects the club from liability if the player were to be injured.

Photo Credit: Michael Macor/The Chronicle
Tim Hudson & Barry Zito. Michael Macor/The Chronicle

Now, whether or not Zito would actually play on a minor league club, when as I am predicting he doesn’t make the Astros’ big league club, is not known but highly unlikely.

Most player’s, those who have played previously for a long period of time in the Majors, egos won’t let them stoop to that lowly a position after being hearalded during their careers.

If Zito wants to play simply for the love of the game he might take a spot on a minor league club. I don’t like to assume I know how people are when I have only met them a handful of times, but from what I do know of Barry Zito he’s likely attempting to make this “comeback” in order to somehow return to his former glory.

For all I know, he may even reject an offer of coming to spring training as a non-roster invitee! I hope I’m wrong, if he really wants to play baseball and loves the game he should just take what is offered to him and be grateful.

Stay tuned … you know I’ll have something more to say about this IF Zito gets a non-roster invitee to the Houston Astros big league spring training camp or not … IF Zito actually makes the Astros for the season then I will nicely admit I was wrong, while still believing the Astros’ executives and coaches to be a bunch of crazy people.

Original Text: February 11, 2015 @ 6:00 am PT: Zito should just stay home and keep surfing

Barry Zito. Zito, Zito, Zito …. SMH. What is he doing?! This whole thing makes me kind of feel ill. It’s embarrassing for him and it’s embarrassing to watch!

Hell, out of the four or five teams that watched Zito’s showcase Tuesday, only the Houston Astros admitted to the baseball world that they actually were there. They don’t even need or really want him so I’m pretty sure that means that the other teams don’t either.


The Astros already have a pretty good rotation on their roster with Dallas Keuchel and Scott Feldman leading the way for Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer, Dan Straily and Brad Peacock, once he’s healthy. That’s six viable starters right there. You could even add prospect Mark Appel into the mix at somepoint during the season. They don’t need Zito.

Sure, he could add a veteran presence to the pitching staff and be another left-hander but is that really necessary with seven potential pitchers for the Astro’s rotation? Nope, not in the slightest.

Zito’s fastball is still at a reported 83 mph. One could argue that it’s always been slow, which is true but it was in the high 80’s when he won his Cy Young Award over a decade ago.

Plus, there’s the ERA factor that should deter any team from Zito. The last time he had an ERA under 4.00 was in 2006 in his last season with the Oakland Athletics. In his seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants his ERA was over 5.00 three times.


Still, some people argue that he was a Cy Young winner and a three-time All-Star but his last All-Star appearance was nine years ago and the last time he had an ERA under 3.00 was in his Cy Young Season in 2002.

So there shouldn’t even be a Cy Young argument when it comes to Zito. He had a couple good seasons but in 2002 especially, look at the A’s team he had behind him! Yes, he won a league high 23 games that year but the A’s also went on a 20-game win streAk!

He had Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis and Miguel Tejada, all in their primes, behind him. Jermaine Dye, David Justice and Terrence Long were manning the outfield for Oakland. Everyone was hitting, runs were being scored. It wasn’t like it was hard for Zito to win games.

My dislike of Barry Zito has been well documented in this blog, I know. It’s just that anyone who thinks that signing him, even to a minor league deal, is a good idea is completely out of their mind.

In 2006 when he made his final All-Star appearance and was able to keep his ERA under 4.00, he probably had the best A’s team in this decade behind him. The A’s went all the way (yes, past the ALDS) to the American League Championship Series that year. Zito had help yet again.

Barry  Zito. Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.
Barry Zito. Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

He is inconsistent. You’ll know in the first inning if the game will be won or lost. If he isn’t on with his curveball then the game is already over no matter how good the bullpen is. It’s fact. I watched it happen first hand for seven seasons before the Giants stupidly signed him to that monster contract.

Good thing for A’s fans everywhere that the Giants and the media in the Bay Area don’t pay attention to the A’s all that much because all the Giants thought was “Cy Young.”

They hadn’t seen his inconsistency and they had to deal with him for another seven long seasons (my dislike of the Giants is also well documented on this blog so you shouldn’t be shocked by what I am saying here).

Going back to my original point. No one knows who was even at Zito’s showcase. Teams are too embarrassed to admit it. The Astros did and even they know they do not need him. So as I have said at least a few times before …. BARRY ZITO SHOULD NOT COMEBACK TO BASEBALL EVER!

I just want to walk up to him and say,

“Go home bro, go surfing, go play with your pretty wife but whatever you do DO NOT embarrass yourself anymore. Baseball is done with you and you should be done with baseball. Stop embarrassing yourself.”

Harsh? Maybe.

It’s reality though. Go home, Zito. Just GO HOME.


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