"Oh, and I [stunk] and we lost. So it pretty much [stunk] all the way around."
Electricity shouldn't be a problem Monday night at Oakland's McAfee Coliseum. The opener has been sold out for weeks, it's set for a 7:05 p.m. PT start, and it features the opposing team and player -- former Athletic Jason Giambi -- that A's fans most like to get after.
"It's gonna be nuts in there," Zito said. "I mean, Opening Night at home is cool as it is, but that it's against what some people are saying is going to be the best team in baseball definitely makes it more exciting."
As does the individual pitching matchup. Both hurlers are former Cy Young winners, and Johnson is virtually a lock for a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I really try not to think about who I'm pitching against, but I'm a fan of the game, too, and any time Randy pitches it's kind of an event," Zito says. "He's one of the best lefties of all time."
Zito isn't putting much thought into the notion that this likely will be his last Opening Day with Oakland, either. His contract is up at the end of the year, and the A's have all but annnounced that they won't be able to offer Zito what he'll be worth on the free-agent market next winter.
"Furthest thing from my mind," he says. "I'm thinking about April 3, and when that's over, I'll start thinking about my next start after that, and so on and so on. My focus is strictly on pitching well for the Oakland A's and trying to bring our fans the championship they deserve."
OAK: LHP Barry Zito
14-13, 3.86 ERA in 2005
0-1, 7.59 ERA in 2005 vs. NYY
2-7, 4.64 ERA lifetime vs. NYY
LHP Randy Johnson
17-8, 3.79 ERA in 2005
1-0, 4.50 ERA in 2005 vs. OAK
12-7, 2.83 ERA lifetime vs. OAK
On the Internet
Athletics probable lineup|
Official game notes
OAK: KICU-36/Cable 6
NYY: YES Network
OAK: KYCY 1550-AM
NYY: WCBS 880-AM
Tuesday: Yankees at A's, 7:05 p.m. PT
Wednesday: Yankees at A's, 7:05 p.m. PT
Thursday: A's at Mariners, 7:05 p.m. PT