Monday, September 10, 2007

Great Moments in Expectation Modification

Ray Ratto cites David Wells as an acceptable best case scenario for Barry Zito:

[Wells] serves, therefore, as a nice reference point for Zito, who is going to have to take on more of Wells' pitching philosophy if he is to become more than the sum of his contract.

Let it be said that Zito is in favor of the idea in theory. The throwing strikes, the working hitters away, the economy of pitches, the longevity - Zito's all in with that.

The bald and round parts ... well, those might have to be photo-shopped in. Zito doesn't have the frame for Wells' stature. The personality, too, is pretty much a

But the Giants don't need Zito to be David Wells (a chilling notion, to be sure), but to pitch like him when he's 31, or 33, or 36, or even if he is truly lucky, 44. These second-half renaissances under cover of rebuilding satisfy only to a point.

David Wells at 31: Good when he pitched, but missed several starts due to arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow;

David Wells at 33: 11 wins, 14 losses, 5.14 ERA;

David Wells at 36: league average innings-eater with a deceivingly large number of wins due to a ton of run support;

David Wells at 44: ERA of 5.31, DFA'd during a pennant race.

Hey, having a career like David Wells' would be totally awesome for just about any pitcher out there, but something tells me that the Giants had visions of something more when they signed Zito to that contract.

Not that they should have reasonably expected more, really, but just because they're delusional doesn't mean they're easily pacified.

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