December 21, 2006

Zito talks about his hype

Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle, writes about Barry Zito and what he thinks about all the rumor swirling around him:

"Everyone wants to talk about how I'm not a No. 1 starter or how I'm getting worse, just so they can save some money," Zito said with a laugh, in response to reports out of New York the past several months. "I'd expect all that. I wouldn't be surprised if teams are putting this out to their media to create a collective consciousness, saying why should he get this or that? Everyone wants to buy low and sell high. But all we want is market value, and that's been set the past six-eight weeks.

"When you look at value, what's more valuable -- keeping another $20 million in the bank when you already have hundreds of millions of dollars, or getting a player of value? But let people panic, let them talk about me, say I suck. We'll see where the chips land."

He says he has one priority that trumps the others: He wants to win titles. More than one.

"They're all good teams and they're all good locations, but what I'm looking for is an owner who sees eye-to-eye with me in my goal to lead a team to multiple World Series championships," Zito said. "I want to raise the bar. It's great to get to the playoffs, but I think this year, we were too satisfied with getting past the first round, myself included. I was so fired up to face (Johan) Santana at Minnesota that coming back against Detroit, I don't think I had that same fire.

"So I'm working on some mental stuff. I'm not going to be satisfied with anything else except getting a ring at this point in my career. I'm trying to lead a team like Sandy Koufax did, and I need an owner who shares that desire."

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