I had to laugh tonight when I checked baseball box scores and saw two very contrasting, and thought-provoking things that have been produced by this young season:
"The Giants demoted Zito to the bullpen on Monday, the Associated Press reports."
A Frank Thomas (Oak-DH) line that read:
3/3, 2 RBI, 1 BB...with a triple??
My how the mighty have fallen in San Francisco. They lose Barry "The Hulk" Bonds, who is was their primary, perhaps ONLY, source of: national interest, talent (other than Tim Lincecum), offensive production, merchandise revenue, and of course, controversy. But now they also have the distinction of giving a contract the size of Bonds's head to the newest member of their bullpen, Barry Zito. You know, I love this guy because he reminds me that the Cardinals didn't wind up with the worst member of Oakland's Big Three...At least Mark Mulder is recovering from surgeries and wasting a minimal amount of money, not to mention NOT costing the RedBirds games, rather than posting a 0-6 record in 6 starts with a 7.53 ERA.
Meanwhile, The Young Hurt-Master Frank Thomas is still raking, despite what the Toronto Blue Jays thought. Oakland wanted The Old Man of the AL to return, and his Gary Sheffield-esque temper tantrum got him cut like a fish from the helpless Jays. Speaking of the Jays, aren't they trailing the Rays in their division right now? Wow, Rays before Jays. Is this another case of Oakland/Billy Beane/Moneyball-thinking overcoming the traditional view of baseball personnel management?
I'm not going to offer any deeper analysis that this, other than that ultimately, the guy who stole the 2002 Cy Young Award from Pedro Martinez has been a downward spiral of ability and trust on the mound, while a dude who was repped by my buddy J-Blunt (the guy who tried to eat a ping pong ball during a beer pong game at the 06 Little 5) , back in 5th grade, will look great in comparison.