On Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks eked past the San Diego Padres 3-2, helping ace pitcher Brandon Webb climb to 6-0. He's the first pitcher this season to reach six wins, and the first pitcher since 2002 to win his first six starts. The last pitcher to do that was Randy Johnson in 2002 with the Diamondbacks. And before that… well, Randy Johnson, again, in 2000.
That very same afternoon, the San Francisco Giants hosted the Cincinnati Reds and got Skylined 10-1. Barry Zito's 12-to-6 curve was clocked for eight runs in three innings, swelling his ERA to an un-swell 7.53 ERA and putting him at 0-6. He's the first pitcher to lose six in April since Mike Maroth in 2003, who went on to lose 20 games. In all fairness, Dave Stewart also lost six in April once, and he went on to tell many great stories.
But neither Maroth nor Stewart were the second comfiest-paid pitchers in the game at the time. Zito is. The cool $18 million he's making this year is just a fraction of the $126 million San Francisco handed to him over a year ago. (Comparatively, the Sedona red-hot Brandon Webb is only making $5.5 million. "Only.")
Most news sites are headlining Webb's sixth win over, say, the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang improving to 5-0, and deservedly so. But Zito's sixth loss is curiously absent. Moreover, the MLB news page skyboxed the Red Sox getting swept in Tampa and Wang's aforementioned win. Where the hell is Webb's win even in the "more headlines" news roll?
Then again, Phoenix and San Francisco are three hours behind New York and Boston. This isn't any kind of East coast bias, conspiracy, or freemason new media project. It's just how it is. Daily newspapers from Newark, New Jersey to Newark, Ohio can't wait around past deadline for box scores on the Pacific side of the Rockies. Now granted, this was a Sunday, where most games were in the afternoon, so they have time to fit the game stories within their precious column inches. But unless the teams are on an East coast trip, their daily accomplishments are oftentimes pushed to the footnotes, or when they win the Cy Young — which has gone to the National League West the last two years.
So let's pretend that Webb and Zito pitched in the Big Apple — for argument's sake, Zito with the Mets and Webb with the Yankees. (Thread your own specifics, if you must.) Think of the headlines. Or, better yet, the New York Post's back page:
"FROM L TO Z"
"WORLD WIDE WEBB"
"THE BRONX IS BRANDON"
Well, it helps if you picture those slogans in 400-point font.
Even though it's early, there aren't a lot — if any — San Franciscans clamoring for Zito to be traded. It's not a logical move, but it'd certainly make for some impassioned pleas were he in New York. Hypothetically, by now we'd hear at least 73 New York and national columnists talk about Zito's cancerous clubhouse personality, and how a trade is imminent to the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, or — just to be über-meta here — Giants.
Also, Webb would probably get a 6-year, $130 million extension right about now, and there would be numerous rumors that he was cheating on his wife with a country singer. Or that she was cheating. Either way, Page Six would dedicate one 'graf to him per issue. At least until he lost a game to Boston 12-1. Then we'd hear trade demands.