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.
PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.
“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”
It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.
“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said.
Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A.
Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher.
“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.
After batting fourth on Sunday in Los Angeles, Hunter Pence is back in the leadoff spot in the series opener against Arizona.
Additionally, Denard Span, Joe Panik and Jarrett Parker return after sitting against Clayton Kershaw.
San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P
1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Kristopher Negron (R) SS
3. Brandon Drury (R) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Rey Fuentes (L) CF
6. Adam Rosales (R) 3B
7. Jeremy Hazelbaker (L) RF
8. John Ryan Murphy (R) C
9. Zack Godley (R) P