The mating season for ducks and geese coincides nicely with A's spring baseball, and that makes perfect sense (see 12:42 p.m.). Consider Barry Zito: Opposing batters don't know what to make of his curveball. To the batter's eye, the pitch begins sixty feet and six inches away, follows a flight pattern screwier than the Treasure Island off-ramp, and then swoops back in for a strike. Wa-huh? But what the batters can't see -- but female oglers are acutely tuned into -- is that Zito's magnificence actually starts much further back than the pitcher's mound. Oh yes, his outer mastery actually comes from a place found deep within. The 25-year-old Athletic is a well-known practitioner of yoga and all things spiritual, so his success, he claims, is the residue of a sound mind and spirit. And what a success he's been. He's already a Cy Young Award winner, a multimillionaire, and famous beyond his own comfort. Dude has brains, too. Last season during the league's testy labor negotiations, he served as the team's union rep, both explaining the intricate contract negotiations to his teammates and then eloquently facing off for television cameras. Suffice to say, Zito's positive energy is difficult to miss, no matter which side of the plate you bat from.
Readers' Pick: Shawn Harris