By now the Giants and most fans have given up on Barry Zitoever fully living up to the lofty expectations that came with his 126-millioncontract. If Zito can be a serviceable starter and stick closer to his 3.72 ERAof 2012 than his 5.87 ERA of 2011, that will probably have to be enough.But that doesnt mean the price tag doesnt still hurt.Zito came in at a tie for 36th in Sports Illustrateds 2012list of the highest-earning American athletes. Zito is hauling in 20 millionthis year, 19 million from his contract with the Giants and another 1 millionin endorsements.Zitos income puts him even with fellow major leaguers CarlCrawford and Albert Pujols. As frustrating as Zitos high salary has been toGiants fans over the past six years, the Red Soxs expenditures on Crawfordhave equally wasted this season. Wrist surgery has limited the outfielder tojust two games so far this year.Pujols, a three-time MVP and nine-time All-Star, willcertainly pass Zito in future earnings lists as his salary with the Angelsgrows over the 10-year deal. The Angels owe Pujols 12 million this year, butthat number increases to 16 million by next year, 23 million by 2014 and 30million by the final year of the deal.Zitos contract has similarly become increasingly expensivefor the Giants, growing from 10 million in 2007 to 20 million dollars nextyear, the final guaranteed year on the deal.Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. topped all American athletes withan income of 85 million. Two high-profile pay-per-view fights against VictorOrtiz and Miguel Cotto brought in 40 million and 45 million, respectively,for Mayweather.Mayweather dethroned Tiger Woods as ruler of the financialkingdom. Woods had led SIs list for every year since the magazine beganpublishing it in 2004.
Zito among 50 highest-earning American athletes
July 18, 2012, 7:35 pm