Gosh, baseball is a screwy game. You can watch it for more than fifty years, pour over box scores in all that time, read experts until the cows come home, pour over projections and even seek out roto-experts for what players should perform and STILL be amazed by what happens. This writer has accumulated over 2,700 posts on baseball on this site and others. Never in a million years would a thought be considered that at this point in his career, Barry Zito would throw a complete game shutout at Coors Field no less. That was the Giants' fourth game. The great Tim Lincecum pitched the first game and lost. Matt Cain pitched the second, was ineffective and the team lost. The great phenom, Madison Bumgarner, pitched the third, was not good and lost. Who would win the Giants' first game of the season? Barry Zito. Huh!?
There have been thousands upon thousands of words written about Barry Zito's contract with the Giants. It is the contract that eclipses all others in criticism (Soriano's is a close second). He was so bad last year that the Giants invented injuries to place him on the DL. He might have been one of the last pitchers selected in any fantasy baseball league. And before you can say boom-lacka-lacka, he pitched nine innings at Coors Field and gave up only four hits (three singles and a double), didn't walk anyone and pitched a complete game shutout. Who saw that coming? If you did, please stand up because you, sir or madam, are a genius.
Before Zito did what he just did, here are some things that this long-time observer would have predicted before ever considering predicting Zito would so such a thing:
- Mark Reynolds would win a Gold Glove at third.
- Ozzie Guillen would consider his words before he spoke.
- Derek Jeter would be considered a rangy shortstop.
- The Tampa Bay Rays would be a rich ball club.
- The Oakland A's would lead the league in attendance.
- C.C. Sabathia would be skinny.
- Jose Canseco would be back in the major leagues.
- Mark McGwire would be elected to the Hall of Fame.
- Cardinal fans would stop supporting the team after Pujols left.
- Phillies fans would be considered gracious.
- Carlos Zambrano would be considered mild and thoughtful.
- Juan Pierre would be a power hitter.
- Vlad Guerrero would lead the league in walks.
- Ron Washington would go an entire season without calling for a sacrifice bunt.
- Jeffrey Loria would be considered a good baseball owner.
- The Houston Astros would be considered to have great prospects.
- Joe Torre would be given credit for all those Yankee wins.
- Rick Ankiel would throw the ball like Johnny Damon.
- Saltalamacchia would be spelled correctly the first time by most sportswriters.
- Jose Valverde would show no emotion after a successful save.
- Brian Wilson would be known for not having a beard.
- Jon Rauch would have laser surgery to remove all his tattoos.
- Sergio Mitre would be embraced by Yankee fans.
- Alfonso Soriano would be considered to have soft hands in the field.
- Dave Cameron would be considered stupid in the statistical world.
- Joe Maddon would use the same exact lineup for ten straight games.
- Big Papi would not spit into his hands during an at bat the entire season.
- Robinson Cano would not walk around the catcher and umpire once all season after a swing and miss.
- Kevin Youkilis would not consider any inside pitch a personal affront.
- Petco Park would be considered a good place for a home run hitter.
- Albert Pujols would run hard on every ground ball.
- Dustin Pedroia would have the cleanest uniform in baseball.
- Miguel Cabrera would get fooled by a pitch twice in a row.
- Joey Votto would stop hitting line drives.
- Tommy Hutton would be voted baseball's best color man.
- Hawk Harrelson would never root for the White Sox.
- James Loney would be considered the Dodgers' best long-term bet at first base.
- Jonny Venters would be considered a fly ball pitcher.
- Kyle Davies would be welcomed with open arms as a Royals' starting pitcher.
- Grady Sizemore would stay healthy.
- People would consider the Jayson Werth signing by the Nationals a good idea.
- Robert Andino would be loved by Boston Red Sox fans.
- Twins' fans would clamor to get Bill Smith back as general manager.
Those are just a few of the things that would have been predicted before ever considering that Barry Zito would pitch a complete game shutout at Coors Field. Ain't baseball great?
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