Barry Zito, My Libido (A Denial, A Denial) 

After last week's brush fire, Barry Zito said over the weekend he's not really overhauling his pitching motion. It was all overblown. It was all taken out of context. He blames the media.

"It's all a work in progress," Zito said. "The plan is to do things a certain way and reincorporate them into the original look and feel. What happened was, a cross-section of that got blown out of proportion without (everyone) seeing the entire project."

Welcome to $126 Millionville, Barry. You are the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history. Like it or not, that changes the focus. There was apparently a "negative ESPN report," which I didn't see because I don't have ESPN, but it points out another thing to which Zito must acclimate: Being a Giant. The national media now looks askance at everything that emanates from Our Fair Ballclub, thanks to years of BALCOmania chipping away at the organization's credibility.

Add that to the nation's perception that if it's weird, it happens in San Francisco. Gay-marriage mayor boozes and bangs best friend's wife? That would be us. It's not necessarily a fair perception, sock-puppet campaign ads notwithstanding, because...um...because...hell, what's the use? Whatever I say will be overwhelmed by the evidence, and next week's papers will bring news of Gavin and Barry Z. double-dating with Brittanie Mountz and Hilary Duff at the International Bear Rendezvous.

Any hope for an adult discussion about the finer points of pitching mechanics are right out the window, folks, when you have Zany Left-Handed Pitcher + Biggest Contract Ever + America's Shadiest Team in America's Weirdest City. God save Zito if he tries to demonstate Virabhadrasana II to Murray Chass. (Although the New York Times and its cadre of Jurassic sports scribes surprised me last week with a mostly snark-free piece about pitchers doing yoga.)

To lend an air of suspect sophistication to this otherwise potty-minded blog, El Kinesthesiologist Malo will be following the Zito Project as it unfolds. I'll post some commentary later this week from a minor-league pitcher about some of the changes Zito seems to be incorporating into his delivery. All you pitching geeks be sure to tune in, as we'll get fairly technical.

Meanwhile, here's the antidote to all the swirling gusts of blather (including mine) that overwhelm us when games aren't being played: Spring training photos! Like the pink blossoms on the ornamental fruit trees up and down my block this week, Giants Jottings has returned to warm the heart and soothe the pineal gland with photos from Arizona. "Giantfan9" publishes new stuff nearly every day, so visit him regularly between now and April 3.


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