Oct 19, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (75) reacts as he walks off the field after the seventh inning of game five of the 2012 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Bay Area Buzz 9/25: Farewell Start for Zito, Griffin and the Long-Ball, Shaqramento Arrives

Zito Gets Farewell Start

Giants fans should appreciate what they got from Zito. He may not have been what the organization paid for, but his contribution to the Giants’ second World Series title in three years was invaluable. Zito will surely receive a shower of applause and acclamation from the patrons of 24 Willie Mays Plaza come Saturday afternoon.

Even if he pitches like the player has been for the majority of his Giant career, he will leave the mound with a standing ovation — a righteous reward for a World Series hero.

– Ron Gleeson, Rant Sports

Can A’s Trust Griffin in the Playoffs?

Griffin gave up three runs on five hits Tuesday and was lifted after five innings and 95 pitches. Had the A’s mustered even a slight portion of the offense they’d generated in recent games, Griffin might have ended up with his 15th victory.

But the hotter topic involving Griffin right now is whether he belongs in Oakland’s postseason rotation.

His durability, his 14-10 record and his 3.83 ERA are his leading credentials. What hurts are the homers.

He served up his major league-leading 36th long ball to Howie Kendrick in the second inning. It was also his 21st on the road, which also leads the majors. And considering his first postseason start assuredly would come on the road if the A’s hold their seeding position, a degree of concern among the Oakland faithful is justifiable.

– Joe Stiglich, CSN Bay Area

Sacramento Becomes “Shaqramento”

Shaquille O’Neal spent the first part of the century smashing Sacramento’s dreams of an NBA championship. Now he wants to spend the next part doing anything he can to build the Kings into a winner.

Declaring the new name of the city “Shaqramento,” O’Neal began by taking steps in his size 22 shoes Tuesday to make amends to Kings fans for his past verbal swipes. The new minority owner of the Kings said he just wanted to rile up people and market the game when he called the franchise the “Sacramento Queens” while winning three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Antonio Gonzalez, Associated Press

Tags: Oakland Athletics Sacramento Kings San Francisco Giants

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