Barry Zito
American baseball pitcher
Barry Zito
Barry William Zito is an American left-handed pitcher for Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. He previously played seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics. During his time with the Athletics, he won the 2002 American League Cy Young Award and made three All-Star teams. He also didn't miss a scheduled start in his career during that time, and led the American League in starts four times.
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Lefty pitcher Barry Zito retiring from baseball as planned
Fox News - over 1 year
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Left-hander Barry Zito is retiring just as he planned.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Barry Zito Heads to the Minors
NYTimes - almost 2 years
Zito is accepting an assignment to Class AAA Nashville.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
A's notebook: Barry Zito should stick with A's, scout says
Inside Bay Area - almost 2 years
Barry Zito could generate outside interest, but he might be a great fit for the A's
Article Link:
Inside Bay Area article
Nightengale: What brought Barry Zito back to baseball
USA Today- Sports - almost 2 years
Barry Zito may not make the A's roster. But he had to try.          
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USA Today- Sports article
Sharks' Tommy Wingels steps up for gay athletes
San Francisco Chronicle - about 3 years
Burke, 21, was killed in a car crash several months after coming out nationally in an story, and in his honor, close friend Wingels, now a forward with the San Jose Sharks, became a founding benefactor of the You Can Play project, which is dedicated to ensuring respect and equality for all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation. Wingels and former Miami teammate Andy Miele, now with the Phoenix Coyotes, were the first pro athletes to support You Can Play, which was started by Brendan Burke's brother, Patrick; Burke's father, Brian, the acting president and general manager of the Calgary Flames; and Brian Kitts and Glenn Witman. Area athletes on boardYou Can Play has gone on to become one of the most high-profile campaigns in sports, with dozens of athletes, teams and well-known musicians filming videos to support the cause. In the Bay Area, Joe Thornton of the Sharks, Coco Crisp of the A's, Vernon Davis of the 49ers, Marcel Reece of the Raiders, Klay Thompson of the War ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Tim Hudson May Join San Francisco Giants
Huffington Post - over 3 years
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tim Hudson is headed back to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a $23 million, two-year contract with the free-agent pitcher, who began his career with Oakland. Hudson had a physical Monday, and the team said the deal is pending the results of that examination. Hudson made his major league debut with the Athletics in 1999 and went 92-39 in six seasons with Oakland, where the right-hander teamed with Mark Mulder and Barry Zito to form a successful "Big Three." The 38-year-old Hudson went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts this season for Atlanta. His season was cut short by a broken right ankle that required surgery. The Braves earlier this month declined to make a qualifying offer to Hudson, who won 49 games during the previous three seasons. "I'm pumped," Giants lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt said by text message. "Great signing for us. Competitor and innings eater. Knows how to win!" Hudson was hurt July 24 in New York when the Mets' Eric Y ...
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Huffington Post article
Giants decline option on Barry Zito
Fox News - over 3 years
San Francisco, CA ( - The San Francisco Giants and pitcher Barry Zito have parted ways almost seven years after the club signed him to a seven-year, $126 million deal.The Giants declined an $18 million team option for next season, buying Zito out for $7 million and making him a free agent
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Fox News article
Barry Zito, Andres Torres declared free agents
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
It’s not surprising, but is official. The Giants have declined the $18 million option on Barry Zito’s contract, making him a free agent. Zito and Andres Torres were added to the list of free agents today, according to a release by the Major League Baseball Players Association. (I’ll be honest. I didn’t even know the Giants had an option on Torres for 2014. I’m trying to find out how much it was. He earned $2 million in 2013.) Zito gets a $7 million buyout. With this paperwork, Zito’s seven-season tenure with the Giants officially ended. He had his farewell from the fans when he pitched to one batter in the Read More
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Dodgers Stay Alive, Force Game 6 in St. Louis
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Photo by Mercury News Los Angeles, CA -- An elimination game no more, the Dodgers force a game six in St. Louis. L.A. opened up their bats to dominate the Cardinals with a 6-4 win and stay alive in the National League Championship Series. The San Francisco Giants did the impossible last October and rallied back from being down 3-1 in the NLCS to beat St. Louis and win the World Series. The Dodgers are hoping to accomplish the same feat this Friday. "They were up, 3-1 last year and they lost it," said Adrian Gonzalez. "We're looking to do the same thing that happened last year." L.A. hit a total of four home runs, Gonzalez hit two and both Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis went yard as well. The Dodgers tied a franchise postseason record, set in the 1977 World Series and 1978 NLCS. They had gone homeless in the first four games in the series. "We need to think about it as a one-game Super Bowl," Ellis said. "We've got the best pitcher in baseball going Friday, but they've al ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Platitudes and Tautologies in Post-Season Baseball
Huffington Post - over 3 years
With eight teams still left in the playoffs, baseball's biggest post-season battle, the one between platitude and tautologies, can begin. For years, platitudes, untestable cliches aimed at making the speaker and audience feel good, have been the most popular way to explain who wins the World Series. The winning team is invariably described as having good chemistry and wanting it more. Similarly, no matter how many home runs are hit, there is always a consensus that pitching and defense are what matter in the post-season. The advantage of platitudes is that they do not have to be accurate, as they are generally untestable. Asserting the winning team has good chemistry might be true or it might not be. A fight in the locker room, for example, can be attributed to bad chemistry if the team goes on to lose, or just the right thing to motivate the team if they go on to win. The team that wins the World Series will likely have the right mix of veterans and young players because all teams ha ...
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Huffington Post article
A positive from a negative
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Kaepernick might be the first top athlete to rise above the Twitter babble by twisting its ugliness into a tool to use for added strength. Barry Zito, the Zen master, had to shut down his Twitter account. For Johnny Football Manziel, according to an ESPN The Magazine profile, "The Twitter negativity became a drug he both hated and couldn't kick, and he stayed on his phone, reading every response, firing back." If people are heaping flowery words of praise upon you, then you feel more exposed before your enemies. Brian WilsonLooks like B Wheezy finally slipped over the Dennis Rodman Line, which separates the bright, original, quirky sports personalities from the scary, self-delusional buffoons. Here's a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that Wilson might want to tattoo on the inside of his eyelids: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." In baseball's cyber age, many of the old stats have been devalued, but a .300 BA is still a beautiful thing. [. ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Brian Wilson didn't help himself with angry stunt
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Call up "Wilson Father's Day" on YouTube to watch a clean-shaven Wilson addressing the subject at length with Amy Gutierrez in 2008. Whatever persona he projected on the mound, Wilson was a beacon of good sense in the Giants' clubhouse in those days, always a source of perspective and well-meaning humor. The right wayThough the Giants had no idea how to properly handle a farewell start for Barry Zito, the Yankees honored Mariano Rivera's final home appearance in a manner beyond anyone's imagination. With one out to go in the ninth inning, nobody on, longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came out to make a pitching change, and a sobbing Rivera hugged both men. As he made his final walk to the dugout in tears, it became one of the most endearing moments in baseball history ... For decades now, MLB has made the idiotic mistake of rejecting an official award for relief pitchers. Naming it after Rivera, and forever eliminating the awkward possibility of a reliever stealing ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Zito Gets Win, Ends Tenure With Giants
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Photo by Josie Lepe, Bay Area News Group After seven years with the Giants, Barry Zito's time has come to an end. Manager Bruce Bochy surprised the pitcher with one last start and in his final curtain call, he earned the decision with the 6-4 victory over the Dodgers snapping an eight game losing streak. It's been a rocky road for Zito who recorded his first win since May 30th. He made his first start since September 2nd in San Diego. The southpaw has been pulled twice from the starting rotation this season. Coming out of the bullpen as a relief pitcher, Barry never gave up hope that he'd get one more start. "It was very unexpected to come in yesterday and be asked if I could go tomorrow," he said. "I said definitely, I'm always ready. So to get this win against the Dodgers and do it at home, come out and see the fans one last time was special." The Giants have decided to not pick up the $18 million option on his seven-year, $126 million deal, instead will pay a $7 mil ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Barry Zito
  • 2015
    On October 19, 2015, Zito announced his retirement from baseball in an article for The Players' Tribune.
    More Details Hide Details Zito's fastball has hovered between and. He augments it with a circle changeup and a curveball that he uses as a strikeout pitch. His curveball was voted the best in the Major Leagues in a player poll conducted by Sports Illustrated in 2005. Alex Rodriguez once stated that he had never seen anything like Zito's curveball, commenting: "It's such a high one, and it drops three to four feet. You might as well not even look for it because you're not going to hit it." Since mid-2004, Zito has added a two-seam fastball and a cutter - slider hybrid to his arsenal. In the 2009 season, this cutter-slider became a prominent part of his repertoire, being used more frequently than his changeup. Zito's diminished velocity at the start of the 2007 season (his fastball velocity slowed to) and loss of command were the key mechanical reasons for his struggles that year, as he more often got behind in the count and had to rely more on his fastball. During the 2009 season, Zito made changes to his delivery, lowering his arm slot from an over the top angle to a three quarters delivery. This change helped his fastball velocity go back up to the range as well as sharpening the break of his curveball. However, in 2011, he was once again in the range with his fastball. In 2012, Zito relied mostly on his two-seam fastball and cutter, and reduced his reliance on the four-seamer, which was the slowest four-seamer in MLB among starting pitchers that year, at.
    On September 26, 2015, Zito started for the Athletics against Hudson and the Giants in a matchup that was arranged as a tribute to the A's "Big Three" of the early 2000s.
    More Details Hide Details Both pitchers received lengthy standing ovations from the sold-out Coliseum crowd (which included the third Big Three member, Mulder) upon leaving the game.
    On April 4, 2015, Zito accepted an assignment to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds.
    More Details Hide Details Zito's Nashville teammates lauded him for embracing the Triple-A lifestyle and for his commitment to the team: charting pitches between starts, coaching first base, and even buying dinner for the entire team on his birthday. Zito spent the entire season with Nashville, including about a month on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis. He was activated on the next-to-last day of the season on which he pitched one scoreless inning of relief. In a total of 24 appearances (22 starts), he accrued an 8–7 record with a 3.46 ERA and 91 strikeouts. Zito revealed in an interview that he had learned the Athletics would not be bringing him up to the major league club in September. However, following a season-ending injury to Jesse Chavez, Oakland purchased Zito's contract from Triple-A on September 16, placing him on the major league roster. Zito made his first major league appearance on September 20, pitching an inning in relief.
    After taking a year off from baseball, Zito signed a minor league contract to return to the Athletics on February 16, 2015.
    More Details Hide Details In spring training, Zito competed for a role on the Athletics' 25-man roster, possibly as a long reliever.
  • 2014
    Zito and wife Amber gave birth to their first child, a son, in July 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Zito is known for his idiosyncrasies and his offbeat personality. Early in his career, Zito dyed his hair blue. He earned the nicknames "Planet Zito" and "Captain Quirk" when with Oakland. Zito says he likes the way his uniform number 75 looks because the 7 and the 5 are like a "shelf" to hold the name "Zito" up. He surfs and practices yoga. He has done yoga poses in the outfield, and meditated before games. Zito practices Transcendental Meditation and supports the David Lynch Foundation. Zito has said, however, that he believes terms such as "flaky" or "hippie" have been applied to him by people who do not know him well enough to know better.
    The Giants declined Zito's 2014 option, buying it out for $7 million.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2013
    His father, Joe Zito, who died June 19, 2013, at the age of 84, composed and arranged music for Nat King Cole in the early 1960s (ca.1961–64) and arranged for the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra.
    More Details Hide Details Zito's mother Roberta was a musician who sang in a choral group known as The Merry Young Souls and with Nat King Cole and his band. Zito is also a musician. He plays guitar, and he co-wrote the song "Butterflies" that was used in the Eddie Murphy film A Thousand Words. Zito's uncle is television actor Patrick Duffy.
    He finished the 2013 season at 5–11 with a 5.74 ERA in 30 games, 25 of which were starts.
    More Details Hide Details Following the season, Zito took out a full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle thanking Giants fans for their support.
    On April 5, 2013, during the Giants' home opener, Zito held the Cardinals scoreless over seven shutout innings, earning the 1–0 win.
    More Details Hide Details He followed this performance with seven more shutout innings and some personal offensive contribution at the plate against the Rockies in a 10–0 win to complete a 3-game series sweep. It was the Giants' 16th straight victory in a row in games started by Zito (including the 2012 regular season and postseason), the longest such streak by a Giants pitcher since 1936 by Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher Carl Hubbell. However, Zito struggled for the rest of the season, going 2–10 with a 6.24 ERA after April 21 and losing his rotation spot a couple times late in the year. On September 25, manager Bruce Bochy decided to give Zito one final start with the Giants as a tribute to his tenure with the team. Zito responded by allowing two runs (one earned) over five innings and earning the win in a 7–4 victory over the Dodgers. However, because Zito was removed between innings during the Dodger game, Bochy sent him in to pitch in relief in the final game of the year so that Giants' fans could give him a standing ovation. Zito entered with two outs in the eighth inning on September 29 and struck out Mark Kotsay (playing his final game) as the Giants beat the Padres 7–6.
  • 2012
    On October 24, 2012, Zito pitched in the first World Series of his career.
    More Details Hide Details As the Game 1 starter, Zito earned the win, outpitching Detroit's Justin Verlander by tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Zito also added an RBI single en route to an 8–3 Giants win. The Giants went on to sweep the Tigers in the World Series, and Zito went 2–0 with a 1.69 earned run average in the postseason. Zito did not lose a single game after August 2 against the Mets, and San Francisco won his last 14 starts.
    On October 19, 2012, Zito rebounded and pitched arguably the best game of his career, tossing 7 shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), earning the win.
    More Details Hide Details It was his first postseason win since 2006 and according to Zito himself, was the biggest win of his career. That same day, Zito inspired the Twitter hashtag #rallyzito, which, behind the efforts of Giants fans, was trending worldwide on the social networking site. The Giants, after trailing 3–1 in the series, prevailed in seven games.
    After struggling mightily during spring training in which he threw with a new crouched delivery, Zito began the 2012 season with a start against the Rockies on April 9.
    More Details Hide Details He threw arguably one of the best games of his career, throwing a complete game shutout while giving up just 4 hits in the 7–0 Giants victory. It was his first shutout since 2003 when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. In a June 3 home game matchup with the Cubs, Zito pitched four-hit shutout ball into the ninth inning for a 2–0 Giants win and brought his season ERA below 3.00. In earning the win, Zito earned his 150th career win, becoming the 246th pitcher to hit the mark. Zito had a hand in the Giants' second road shutout win of the season when he pitched seven innings, allowing three hits and recording four strikeouts, in a July 17 game versus the Atlanta Braves. The win pushed his season record to 8–6. Zito would go on to finish the season with a 15–8 record, his most wins in a season with the Giants, while sporting a 4.15 ERA.
  • 2011
    Zito became engaged to former Miss Missouri Amber Seyer in April 2011, and they were married on December 3, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details
    Early in the 2011 season Zito experienced his first trip to the disabled list after an injury to his right foot during a fielding play.
    More Details Hide Details His replacement, Ryan Vogelsong, excelled, but Zito was able to rejoin the rotation when he returned in June because Sánchez was placed on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. Zito pitched well in his first few starts back, pitching well against the Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and Padres en route to three Giants wins, but later resumed his struggle, going 0–3 with a 10.91 ERA over his next three starts. He returned to the disabled list after aggravating his right foot injury; ironically, his trip to the DL made room for Sánchez to return to the rotation. On August 13, Zito injured his right ankle on another fielding play in a Triple-A rehab start, sidelining him for another month. Zito returned from the DL on September 11 but was used out of the bullpen for the rest of the year; he posted a 9.00 ERA over his final four games. In a career-low 13 games (nine starts), he had a 3–4 record, a career-high 5.87 ERA, 32 strikeouts, and 24 walks in a career-low innings.
  • 2010
    On June 12, 2010, Zito earned his first win against his former team, the Athletics, which gave him victories against every MLB team.
    More Details Hide Details Through June 12, Zito was 7–2 with a 3.10 ERA. After a strong start to the season, Zito regressed down the stretch, going 2–12 with a 4.97 ERA the rest of the way. He finished the season 9–14 with a 4.15 ERA, snapping a streak of nine straight seasons in which he had 10 or more wins. In a rotation featuring Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sánchez, and Madison Bumgarner, Zito was the odd man out for the playoffs. In fact, he was left completely off the Giants' 25-man active roster for the postseason. Zito worked out throughout the playoffs so that he would be ready to join the roster in case of an injury, but he was never needed and remained on the secondary squad. Nevertheless, he won his first World Series ring as a member of the full roster.
    Zito started the 2010 season by pitching six shutout innings against the Houston Astros to earn a win; it was the first time he had won his season opening start since 2003.
    More Details Hide Details On April 24, Zito stifled the St. Louis Cardinals, throwing eight shutout innings with ten strikeouts for his third victory of the season, en route to starting the season 5–0 for the first time in his career. It was the best start by a Giants' pitcher since 2004, when Lowry started 6–0.
    He posted double-digit wins in his first three seasons, and in 2010 he helped San Francisco win their first championship since 1954.
    More Details Hide Details However, he struggled the last month of the season and he was left off the postseason roster. After sitting out much of the 2011 season with a foot and ankle injury, he came back in 2012 and flourished, finishing with a 15–8 record, his best season in a Giants uniform. The same October, Zito helped lead the Giants to their second World Series title in San Francisco history by going 2–0 with a 1.69 ERA in three postseason starts. In his first career World Series start, he outdueled Tigers' ace Justin Verlander in Game 1, setting the stage for San Francisco's sweep to their seventh World Series title in franchise history. Zito struggled in 2013 but received a standing ovation from the fans in his final appearance as a Giant. Following the year, he became a free agent. Zito, a philanthropist, founded Strikeouts For Troops, a national non-profit that provides comforts of home and lifts the spirits and morale of injured troops as well as offering support to military families.
  • 2009
    The 2009 season seemed to mark a rebound in Zito's pitching performance.
    More Details Hide Details Though starting the season 0–2 with an ERA of 10, Zito ended the season with an ERA of 4.03. His ERA would have been 3.74 had it not been for his first two starts. Though going only 10–13 in the season, Zito's record was much more the fault of his spotty run support (the second-lowest in the major leagues) than his performance on the mound. On June 21, Zito pitched a no-hitter through six innings against Texas before giving up a home run to Andruw Jones in the seventh inning. He won the game, his fourth win of the season. On July 7, Zito pitched what could be considered his best game of the season. He pitched 8⅓ innings against the Florida Marlins, allowing one run on four hits, striking out six, and walking one. He won the game, his fifth win of the season.
  • 2008
    Zito was raised in a "spiritual, metaphysical type church" that was founded by his grandmother and that his mother, Roberta, who died in 2008, formerly preached at.
    More Details Hide Details In 2001, Zito espoused a universal life force that he credited with his midseason turnaround. He said that he discovered this force by reading Creative Mind by Ernest Holmes. However, in August 2011, Zito became a Christian, saying he "committed to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior." Zito explained that God got his attention through his being left off the 2010 Giants postseason roster and a car accident and freak foot injury in early 2011. He got a tattoo (his only one) of a golden calf on the inside of his right bicep as a reminder for him to "not worship false idols" and to remember that God comes first. Zito said that his wife is a Christian as well. Zito founded the charity Strikeouts For Troops. The charity provides comforts of home and works to lift the spirits and morale of injured US troops and offers support to military families. In 2010, Zito announced that he would donate $1,500 for every strikeout in the Giants–Padres game on September 11. There were a total of 14 strikeouts in the game.
    On May 23, Zito collected his first win of the 2008 season against the Florida Marlins.
    More Details Hide Details On June 13, Zito became the first pitcher to record 10 losses in the Major Leagues following a 5–1 loss to Oakland. His 5.1 walks per nine innings pitched for the season, 51.5% first-pitch-strike percentage, and 14 sacrifice flies allowed, were all the worst in the majors. Beginning June 25, Zito saw some improvement, as he posted an 8–6 record for the rest of the season to go along with a 4.33 ERA. He finished the year 10–17 with a career-high 5.15 ERA and 120 strikeouts. His 17 losses led the National League and were the second-worst total in San Francisco history (Ray Sadecki lost 18 games in 1968).
    Zito began the 2008 season as the oldest starter and the veteran presence in the Giants' starting rotation.
    More Details Hide Details In April, Zito went 0–6 with a 7.53 ERA and 11 strikeouts. He was the third pitcher in the last 52 years to go 0–6 before May 1. On April 28, the Giants moved him to the bullpen. Zito did not make an appearance out of the bullpen and returned to the rotation on May 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that game, Zito allowed five hits and two earned runs over five innings and took the loss, his seventh of the season.
  • 2007
    During spring training in 2007, he and Barry Bonds made shirts that read "Don't ask me, ask Barry" with an arrow pointing to the other Barry.
    More Details Hide Details By all accounts, Zito and Bonds got along well during their short time as teammates, and Zito made a point of saying he would stand by Bonds through onslaughts from the media. In his first start as a member of the Giants, Opening Day (April 3), Zito went five innings and allowed two earned runs against the San Diego Padres. He would take the loss. In his next start, Zito struggled. He went six innings but allowed eight earned runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Zito would earn his first win as a member of the Giants in his next start on April 16 when he went six innings, gave up three hits, and allowed no runs to the Colorado Rockies. "I've been trying to have a good game", Zito said. "You can't try to do anything. You either do or you don't. I tried to get too fine with my pitches. I wasn't aggressive." Rockies manager Clint Hurdle gave Zito credit by saying,"We faced a tough pitcher. We are not playing the way that we believe we can play. We have to continue to believe what we believe in, but you can't let your confidence get swayed."
  • 2006
    Zito's contract on December 29, 2006, became the highest for any pitcher in Major League history at the time.
    More Details Hide Details
    Zito was a focal point of the 2006 trade deadline, and was widely rumored to be headed to the Mets in a potential deal for prospect Lastings Milledge.
    More Details Hide Details Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that if the Mets were unwilling to trade Milledge, the Athletics might be interested in Aaron Heilman and John Maine. However, Athletics' general manager Billy Beane decided to keep Zito for the rest of the season. Following his seventh season with the Athletics, Zito signed a seven-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $126 million, plus $18 million option for 2014 with a $7 million buyout.
    Zito replaced his agent Arn Tellem with Scott Boras in July 2006.
    More Details Hide Details
    He was named to the 2006 All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details On August 25, Zito earned his 100th career win when he defeated the Rangers 9–3. He had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning, but Mark DeRosa singled to lead it off. In 35 starts (first in the league again), he had a 16–10 record, a 3.83 ERA, and 151 strikeouts. Zito was tied for eighth in the league in wins, he ranked tenth in ERA, and he was third in innings pitched (221). He had the eighth-lowest run support of AL pitchers (4.97) but had a 15–1 record if he received at least two runs of support. Zito helped the Athletics reach the postseason. In Game 1 of the ALDS, he allowed one run and four hits over eight innings, outdueling Johan Santana and earning the win in a 3–2 victory over the Twins and setting the stage for an Oakland sweep. Zito did not fare as well in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series (ALCS) against the Tigers, allowing five runs over innings in a 5–1 defeat. The Tigers went on to sweep the Athletics in four games.
    In 2006, Zito went 1.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs on Opening Day (April 3) against the Yankees.
    More Details Hide Details It was the shortest outing of his career. However, Zito quickly rebounded from that bad start. On June 1, he allowed four hits over seven innings in a 4–0 victory over the Twins. During the game, he recorded his 1,000th career strikeout by punching out Lew Ford. On July 2, Zito and Brandon Webb both allowed one run through eight innings before Zito gave up two unearned runs while only getting two outs in the ninth; Webb threw a complete game as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Athletics 3–1. When the All-Star Break rolled around, Zito was 8–6 with a 3.29 earned run average.
  • 2005
    In 2005, Zito again struggled in the month of April, going 0–4 with a 6.60 ERA.
    More Details Hide Details In his first 16 starts of the campaign, he was 3–8 with a 4.41 ERA. However, Zito pitched better the rest of the season. He had a streak of 14 consecutive starts from May 17 through July 25 (and 20 out of 21 through August 30) in which he gave up fewer hits than innings pitched. From June 28 through August 4, he earned the win in eight consecutive starts. On June 6, Zito allowed two runs in six innings in a 2–1 loss to the Washington Nationals. During the game, he collected his first major league hit, against Tony Armas, Jr.. Zito was named Pitcher of the Month in July, going 6–0 with a 2.51 ERA. In 35 starts, Zito went 14–13 with a 3.86 ERA. Zito's 35 starts were the most in Major League Baseball that season, demonstrating his durability as a pitcher. He also had 171 strikeouts, good for fifth in the league.
    Following the departure of Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder, Zito was given his first Opening Day assignment in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details He allowed four runs over six innings in a 4–0 loss to the Orioles on April 4.
  • 2004
    In 2004, Zito struggled and posted the worst numbers of his career at the time.
    More Details Hide Details Zito went 2–3 with a 6.83 ERA in the month of April. On May 28, facing Cliff Lee, he threw eight shutout innings but received a no-decision in a 1–0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He threw eight shutout innings of four-hit ball in a 5–0 victory over the Devil Rays on August 21. Oakland manager Ken Macha would have let him throw a complete game, but Zito said, "I was worrying about being fresh for the next game. I didn't want to end up throwing 115–120 pitches, so I took advantage of the situation and shut it down." On September 12, he threw seven shutout innings and had 10 strikeouts, earning the win in a 1–0 victory over the Indians. For the season, he went 11–11 with a 4.48 ERA. That was his only year with the Athletics that his ERA was more than 4.00. He still finished 10th in the league in strikeouts with 163.
  • 2003
    In 2003, Zito portrayed a United States Navy petty officer in an episode of JAG on CBS.
    More Details Hide Details Zito's character, a pitcher, faced assault charges after hitting a Marine with a ball during the annual Navy-Marine all-star baseball game.
    In 2003, Zito was seventh in the AL in ERA (3.30).
    More Details Hide Details He had a 14–12 record and 146 strikeouts over a career-high innings pitched. In Game 2 of the ALDS against the Red Sox, Zito went seven innings, striking out nine, walking two, allowing one earned run, and earning the win in Oakland's 5–1 triumph. In Game 5, Zito went six innings and allowed four earned runs, taking the loss as the Red Sox won the game and the series.
    In 2003, Zito started off with a win against the Mariners.
    More Details Hide Details He went 6 innings and allowed an earned run, an RBI single by Olerud in the first inning. In his next start, Zito went 7 innings, struck out 7, walked 4, and allowed one run against Texas. In the process, he became only the fifth A's pitcher to win 10 straight games, the first since Welch in 1990. On April 18, Zito went nine innings, allowing six hits and no runs in a start against the Rangers. Zito improved to 9–0 in his career against Texas. After the game, Texas manager Buck Showalter said, "I got the feeling he made it look pretty easy. When he has that kind of command, you can see what happens." Zito struggled in his second-to last start before the All-Star Break on July 8. He allowed seven earned runs and 15 hits against the Devil Rays. The 15 hits allowed were a career high. Devil Rays manager Piniella was stunned by Zito's bad start. He said, "If you'd have told me we'd get 15 hits off Zito in five or six innings, I would have looked at you a little funny." Nevertheless, Zito bounced back in his next start. He went eight innings without surrendering a run against the Baltimore Orioles. Zito was again named to the All Star team, the second time he has been named to the team.
  • 2002
    In 2002, Zito became one of the best pitchers in baseball.
    More Details Hide Details On June 22, Zito won his 10th game of the season. It was the earliest that an A's pitcher had reached the 10-win mark since Bob Welch got there on June 15, 1990. Zito was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career. On July 18, he went 7.1 innings while giving up no runs against the Angels. That win gave Zito a team-record 16th straight win at home. Zito again faced the Angels in his next start and produced similar results. He went 6.1 innings and gave up just one run. That win gave Zito the most wins by an AL pitcher (14). Zito would become the AL's first 15-game winner when he beat the Rangers. On August 23, Zito recorded his 18th win of the season, giving him one more than his previous career high of 17, in a game against the Detroit Tigers.
  • 2001
    After a great rookie season, Zito struggled through the early part of the 2001 season, posting a 6–7 record with a 5.01 ERA in his first 22 starts.
    More Details Hide Details However, he rebounded nicely and by August, he was putting up good pitching numbers. Zito was named Pitcher of the Month in August, going 5–1 with a 1.02 ERA. Zito won Pitcher of the Month again in September, going 6–0 with a 1.89 ERA. During those last two months of the season, Zito went a combined 11–1 with a 1.32 ERA, best in baseball. The Athletics made the postseason and again played the Yankees in the ALDS. Zito pitched in Game 3 against Mike Mussina. He went eight innings, striking out six, walking one, and allowing an earned run. But Zito took the loss as the Yankees won the game, 1–0. The Yankees would end up taking the series, 3–2.
    In 2001, Zito Switched his Uniform Number to 75 (which he would wear throughout the rest of his career) finished third in the American League (AL) in strikeouts per nine innings (8.61), fourth in strikeouts (205), sixth in wins (17), eighth in ERA (3.49), and tenth in winning percentage (.680).
    More Details Hide Details Zito became the sixth lefty aged 23 or younger since 1902 to strike out at least 200 batters in a season.
  • 2000
    Zito made his major league debut on July 22, 2000, against the Anaheim Angels wearing #53.
    More Details Hide Details He allowed one run in five innings, and got the win. In his next start, Zito went seven innings while giving up three runs to the Boston Red Sox. Zito continued to have great success early in his rookie season. In his third career start, he went seven innings and gave up one run against the Toronto Blue Jays. On September 10, Zito pitched his first complete game shutout against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He threw 110 pitches, struck out eight, and allowed five hits. During the month of September, he went 5–1 with a 1.73 ERA. Zito finished with a 7–4 record and a 2.72 earned run average in 14 starts. Despite his late start to the season, Zito still finished fifth in American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award voting. Zito made his postseason debut in Game 4 of the AL Division Series (ALDS) against the New York Yankees. He went 5.2 innings, struck out 5, walked 2, and allowed an earned run. Zito earned the win, outpitching Roger Clemens. However, the Yankees would win the series, 3–2, and would go on to win their third straight World Series.
    Zito began the 2000 season in AAA with the Sacramento River Cats (the Canadians franchise had moved to Sacramento).
    More Details Hide Details He pitched 101⅔ innings in 18 starts, going 8–5 with a 3.19 ERA, 91 strikeouts, and 41 walks.
  • 1999
    In 1999, Zito began his professional career with the Visalia Oaks, Oakland's A team.
    More Details Hide Details He went 3–0 with a 2.45 ERA in eight starts. He struck out 62 in 40⅓ innings. Zito was promoted to the Midland RockHounds, and went 2–1 with a 4.91 ERA to finish the AA schedule. He then got one start for the AAA Vancouver Canadians, allowing a lone run with six strikeouts in six innings.
    In the 1999 draft, he was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the ninth pick of the first round, and signed for a $1.59 million bonus.
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  • 1997
    Zito also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League, a summer wooden bat league which showcases the nation's top amateur prospects. He led the Wareham Gatemen to the league championship in 1997, and a runner-up finish in 1998.
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  • 1996
    Zito was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the 59th round (1,586th overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, and in the third round (83rd overall) by the Texas Rangers in 1998, but did not sign with either team.
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  • 1978
    Zito was born May 13, 1978, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    More Details Hide Details His family moved to San Diego, California, to help him concentrate on his baseball career. His father even stopped working to coach him. He transferred from El Cajon's Grossmont High School to University of San Diego High School, a Roman Catholic school. Zito then attended UC Santa Barbara where he earned Freshman All-America Honors with 125 strikeouts in 85⅓ innings. In his sophomore season, Zito transferred to Los Angeles Pierce College so that he could be eligible for the Major League Baseball draft. At Pierce, he posted a 2.62 earned run average (ERA), went 9–2 with 135 strikeouts in 103 innings, and was named to the all-state and all-conference teams. He then transferred to the University of Southern California (USC), where he was a first-team All-America selected by USA Today Baseball Weekly, Collegiate Baseball, and Baseball America. With a 12–3 record, a 3.28 ERA, and 154 strikeouts in 113⅔ innings, Zito was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year.
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