Skip to main content

You Think They'd Know Better

My first encounter with Barry Zito pitching in New York took place, albeit in indirect fashion, on August 8, 2000.

I don't recall the occasion, but I was in the city, visiting my family that day. I took a New Jersey Transit train back towards my then-home in Yardley, Pa. (right on the NJ border, near Trenton) sometime around 10:30pm. At some point, either on the train, or just before bording, I saw a group of folks who were obviously Yankees fans, based on their attire. I asked them who won the game that they had clearly attended, between the Yankees and Oakland Athletics.

"I don't know," one said. "We left in the 9th inning and they were losing. But when we were leaving, we heard the crowd get real loud, twice, so I'm thinking the Yankees might have won, and we missed it."

If you've read this blog before, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is people who leave baseball games early. Would you depart a Broadway show before viewing the ending? Of course not. Unless your circumstances for departing are extremely significant, you have an obligation to your team and your fellow fans to remain in the ballpark.

In fact, the Yankees had won, and here's how. Leading 3-2 in the last of the ninth, Oakland manager Art Howe gave the ball to Jason Isringhausen. On Izzy's first pitch, Bernie Williams homered. On Izzy's second pitch, Dave Justice homered (Izzy, where were you in the 2006 NLCS when we needed you???????). The Yankees had a 4-3 victory, which would explain the screaming that those fans had heard after departing (and likely the screaming that followed when they found out what they missed).

The occasion of this game happened to be Barry Zito's first career road start and fourth big-league appearance overall. Zito pitched well, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) in 6 1/3 innings but was rendered with a no-decision due to some misfortune beyond his control. That's the way this game works more often than not. Rarely is one person solely responsible for a victory these days.

In fact, Zito hasn't had the best of success pitching in New York (one good postseason start notwithstanding). In nine trips to the Bronx in the regular season, Zito has just two wins and a
4.24 ERA. In 13 innings there in 2006, he walked 11 batters. Admittedly, Zito has shown plenty of evidence that he can be a great pitcher, and I'm just citing one clearly-biased piece of evidence, but his stock right now is in an overvalued state.

There are rumors that Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks has decided to approach Zito's free agency with an open checkbook. If that's the case, Omar Minaya should halt his pursuit and find another avenue to explore. In this case, unlike the tale of baseball lament previously cited, leaving early is an acceptable option.

True Metos know...In Barry Zito's final regular-season home start for the Athletics, Oakland got a walk-off win. The Athletics beat the Angels 5-4 and ex-Met Marco Scutaro got the game-winning hit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for