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SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Barry Zito #75 of the San Francisco Giants stretches with teammates prior to practice at Scottsdale Stadium on February 19, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The spring training experience for Barry Zito has become more like that a non-roster invitee than an ace lefty worth $128 million.
The San Francisco Giants left-hander is not only falling out with management, overall, he may not make the no. 5 starter slot.
The Gate's take is that the club may consider buying out Zito's contract so as to "say farewell." Zito is owed $57.5 million over the next three seasons.
His first spring start was as unreliable as all of last season. And the Bleacher Report rightly cites that "the fans are tired of this guy."
It's not just the money, though, it's combining the dough with the moribund numbers. Sources called the situation "exasperating."
Also during his first start, Zito dropped a four-pitch walk on the Milwaukee Brewers Prince Fielder. Fielder was plunked last spring for his bowling-ball celebration after beating the Giants in late innings.
On his way to first, Fielder shouted at Zito, exchanging "pleasantries."
Zito told MLB.com, "Yeah, we talked a little bit. ... Asked him how his offseason was. No new tattoos."
Fielder, perhaps one to overreact to normal baseball situations, said it was more about which steakhouse to visit, Houston's or Fleming's.
Either way, their shared agent Scott Boras should pick up the tab.
(Below: Prince Fielder loses control after a brushback.)
(Below: Fielder after a strikeout -- something he did 138 times in 2010.)