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Zito wrestles with mental toughness

Barry Zito's unquenchable desire to learn can take him to places you wouldn't expect a California surfer boy to go.

Originally Published: February 20, 2007
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Barry Zito, just your average self-improvement junkie, is always searching for new lessons to learn, brains to pick and alternate avenues to travel in the quest to upgrade his game. This is how a guy with nondescript radar gun readings signs a seven-year, $126 million contract and aspires to 300 victories.

In seven seasons with the Oakland A's, Zito wielded a bat every now and then with abysmal results (one hit and 15 strikeouts in 29 career at-bats). Mindful that an .034 ...

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