By Joe Kukura

It seemed like such a great idea prior to last season – take the best free agent leftie out there, and sign him to the biggest contract ever for a pitcher ("TWO Barrys! What could possibly go wrong?"). But the Giants' Barry Zito is currently 0-6 with a 7.83 ERA, and opposing batters have been scoring like drunks on Capp Street with a pocketful of hundred dollar bills. Now Barry’s been yanked from the starting rotation and will instead serve as $126 million middle reliever.

That’s right -- $126 million for a guy who now occupies one of the more useless spots on your pitching staff. That's like buying a brand new custom Rolls-Royce, then gluing Happy Meal toys all over it and taking it to Burning Man for a week. That’s like Danielle Steele buying you a pair of shoes, and you taking them to Crossroads to see if you can get eight bucks for them. That’s like taking your most brilliant, articulate City Supervisor and sticking him on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nade – oh… yeah, right.

Plenty of people are wondering aloud if this was the single worst free agent signing in the history of organized baseball. Is it? Or should he just borrow Lincecum's lucky beads?

Image: Wikicommons