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Barry Zito's Greatest Enemy: Inertia

On Friday night, the San Francisco Giants hosted the Texas Rangers. The less said about the game and the resulting outcome, the better. Barry Zito made the start for the Giants and made one of his rare -- for this year -- bad starts. (Any other year, this would be a perfectly textbook Barry Zito start. But the possible turning point in the game came in the bottom of the third inning, when Zito was done in by his mass being put in motion, then steadfastly refusing to arrest that motion.

There is an acronym for a baserunning blunder that is well-known in baseball nerd circles. The shorthand is TOOTBLAN, which stands for "Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop." It's a great acronym, it's fun to say and it's stunningly accurate, especially in this case:

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via @gidget

To his credit, Zito was visibly quite upset at himself for allowing such a silly and unfortunate thing to happen to him. Traditionally, second base isn't really a base you run through. Even less common is running through the base, falling on your bottom and doing a sad freestyle crawl to the base as your opponent implores you to smell the glove.

We can commiserate, Barry. arresting your momentum is difficult and scary. That's why we leave the "abruptly changing direction" to the professionals. Like ... uh ... like you, I guess. Silly nincompoop.

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