He had a reputation for strangeness as well as for a curveball that defied description. It was this perfect, beautiful, singular thing, and people who saw it sometimes fell in love with it and the man who threw it. I was one of those people.
This is a great and very eloquent article re: Barry Zito. Over the years I've moved from being angry at Zito (for his huge contract with little to show for it) to just feeling sorry for the guy. Of course, the Giants winning the World Series despite Barry helps but he is truly a tragic figure. If he was a guy who was just in it for the money, I would have less sympathy for him but I genuinely feel that his lack of performance weighs heavily each and every time he pitches a bad game. Maybe he can be moved to another team where the expectations won't be as high and he can restart his career. However, I think he'll play out his contract and just slip into the sunset.