Barry Zito’s got a new delivery, a new locker and the same outlook on life. Call it mystical, philosophical, spacey even, but Zito has a way of looking at the world that’s unique among professional baseball players. From Andrew Baggarly:
Zito’s mentality has been written to death over the life of his Giants career. At least there’s a fresh angle on it now that he’s enjoying married life.
“It feels good. It feels the same,” he said. “It’s baseball as long as we go out and have fun things end up pretty good. It’s just about keeping it fun and light.”
How does he keep it fun when it’s often been the opposite?
“It’s an individual approach that I have,” he said, smiling a bit. “It’s more of something I just keep it balled up, keep the energy there. It’s a magic formula.”
A lot of people are extremely angry with Zito. They feel like he’s stealing money, that he’s keeping the San Francisco Giants from bettering their team via free agency. Many feel like he should step away from the game, or at least get a fresh start somewhere else after negotiating a settlement with the Giants that pays him less than what the Giants currently owe (even though due to the existence of the MLB Players Union, it’s a gesture that wouldn’t be allowed, let alone considered).
Zito’s going to get $46 million more from the Giants, no matter how well he performs with these new mechanics (Zito’s always got a new story every Spring, whether it’s new mechanics, a desire to have fun again or lengthy workouts and long-toss sessions with Brian Wilson across a canyon). But what about after he retires? Zito’s got enough money to stash it in a savings account and live comfortably off the interest, but he’s a man of many interests. Which ones will Zito pursue when it’s time to find his post-baseball bliss? Let’s check out the pros and cons of some logical career paths, with a chill rating system, bro.
1. Massage therapist
Pros: Zito seems like he probably gets a lot of massages, so he’s probably pretty close to an expert on the art of a good rubdown. He seems plenty mellow enough to provide a calm, tranquil mood, as well as a guy who already has a wide selection of therapeutic oils.
Cons: Massages usually last an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, and demand consistency throughout. Some of Zito’s massages would start out great and get really bad around the hour mark (or in a baseball sense, the 4th inning), while others might start out terribly and get marginally better for a while, until the clock mercifully ends the session.
Rating: 3 hacky sacks (scale: 1 to 5)
Pros: Zito already professed a desire to become a chef while fixing an avocado scramble on The Franchise, and this would give him a chance to spend his days concocting “magic formulas.”
Cons: The position generally requires at least a year or two of culinary school. Plus, most people who work in kitchens wear baggy pants and Crocs. Talk about cramping Zeets’ style. Total buzzkill.
Rating: 2 hacky sacks
3. Barista at a Bagel Cafe
Pros: It doesn’t get much more casual than this. Relaxed, almost lethargic service isn’t just expected at these types of coffee houses, it’s a trait that’s prized among employees.
Cons: Males employees at cafes specializing in bagelry generally should be prepared to grow copious quantities of facial hair, and Zito has a hard time committing to a moustache. Also, dreadlocks are a requirement in some such establishments, both for men and women working behind the counter. It would be interesting to see if Zito would be up to that kind of challenge.
Rating: 4 hacky sacks
4. Record Store Employee
Pros: Zito loves talking about music and his own guitar adventures, so this would be a perfect fit.
Cons: Record stores are kind of going away, aren’t they? Zito might have to start his own record store just so he could be an employee there. That’s a lot of work, man.
Rating: 3.5 hacky sacks (half a hacky sack’s a pretty messy scene, as you can probably imagine … beans everywhere)
Pros: From Webster’s definition of “psychic”: “sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding.” Forces, influences, energy. Deep stuff.
Cons: I’m trying to think of what Zito could possibly have a problem with, doing aura readings and rambling about how everything in the universe is connected. Nope, still haven’t thought of anything. I think we have a winner.
Rating: 5 hacky sacks