The Hanging Curve – Baseball Opinion Blog with MLB Analysis that won’t Bend or Break

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May. The time of the season when slumping hitters get “days off” they never wanted or needed. Hitting bad in April is a little slump. In May, it is the dreaded “slow start”.

Starting pictures have it no easier. We’ve already covered the trials and tribulations of Barry Zito and Matt Morris, and how the hell is Shawn Estes back in the majors?

But perhaps the most difficult job to keep in the majors is the closer position, which is ironic since it is the most fabricated job in baseball. It’s a pitcher who can only come in during the ninth inning (sometimes the eighth if they are particularly durable) when some magical contrivance of events creates a “save opportunity”.

This year, the list of chopped closer’s include Accardo (only filling in until BJ Ryan returned from Tommy John Surgery), Eric Gagne, and Jason Isringhausen, who punched a TV around the time he was yanked from the job and now sits on the DL as a result.

Now, Billy Wagner’s job hangs in the balance. The Mets’ clubhouse can be described perhaps as “cancerous” to their cause. The team lacks any real “clubhouse guy” and it appears there is quite a bit of friction between the young talent that carries the team and the ANCIENT veterans who are good enough to carry the team if they spent less than half the season on the DL.

Billy Wagner Badmouths Teammates While Making Important Phone Call

After Willie Randolph told his team to keep complaints in-house, Wagner torched his teammates (while also apparently ordering a pizza on his bluetooth headset) after a 1-0 loss to the Nationals in a game riddled with mistakes by asking the following: (obscenities extrapolated)

Someone tell me why the fuck you’re talking to the closer. I didn’t even play. They’re over there, not being interviewed [gestures to empty lockers of Beltran, Reyes, and Delgado].

I got it. They’re gone. Fucking shocker.

The Mets held a meeting yesterday to discuss situation. Willie Randolph needs to do something before it becomes obvious that he has no control over his players.

The Barry Zito Solution

Barry Zito, as pretty much everyone already knows, is terrible. His contract is for 7/126 and he can’t even make it to May of the 2nd year in the rotation since they have already demoted him to the bullpen. Now obviously Zito wants to collect his 126 million and isn’t going to retire and give up the money.

So here is my solution, make him earn it the hard way. Make him pitch every 5th day, make him start 35 games this year. The Giants aren’t going to be contending this year or in the near future, they are too poorly run at this point. The best solution is to make Zito embarassed, don’t send him to the bullpen, don’t pull him after 2 innings and 6 ER, don’t protect him from his own failure, make him throw 100 pitches at least. Every 5th day could be Barry Zito day in San Francisco, people could do the “Barry Zito Move” where you take off your cap and run your hands through your hair after he gives up a homerun or a bases clearing double or just can’t seem to find that pesky strike zone. He might be so bad that I can imagine more people coming to his starts than Lincecum just for the amusement of watching him fail in front of thousands night after night. If everything works as planned and you have fans out there cheering when he surrenders runs and he loses 24 games in a year, and he gets repeatedly shamed by the has beens, bench players, opposing pitchers, and Reggie Sanders of the world; maybe just maybe, he’ll retire.

Until then, let every baseball fan have his fun at Barry Zito’s expense. That way he can earn his 126 million dollars.

Barry showing us how to do his patented move

Zito to Bullpen

This year’s Hanging Curve Noose Award is looking more and more like Barry Zito every day. Yeah, yeah, I can’t imagine Barry will stay in the pen for very long. San Fran’s rotation isn’t deep, although Sanchez has performed admirably as a #3 starter, compiling 36 strikeouts in 28 innings. Zito has to be headed back though.

My theory is that management wants to send a “message” to Zito. This is pretty stupid considering Zito’s general lack of passion for anything, coupled with the fact that he can at any point call on his uncle Patrick Duffy for a new career in show-biz. No way Giants leave $126 million out there as a long reliever regardless of how much of a hittable Jamie Moyer he is turning into.

Fearless prediction: Zito ends season with at least 2 victories.

Read the full article or just stare deeply into the eyes of the new Fox police-comedy-action-drama duo. “D to the Z” stars Patrick Duffy and Barry Zito as two Wisconsin Park Rangers faced with a terrible choice; to serve, or be served.

Whatever that means, you’ll be sure to get a face-full of B and Z as they punch, kick, bite and throw low 80’s fastballs at a heart-pounding pace that will keep you on the edge of your division!

D to the Z coming at you!!