Barry Zito unveiled a different delivery on his first day with the San Francisco Giants, making at least one of his new coaches a little nervous.
Pitching coach Dave Righetti went as far as to say the tweaks Zito made this winter -- seen by the team for the first time Thursday -- could cause him to lose his dominant curveball and wear down his body. Zito has never missed a start in his seven-year career.
"He's gone from one extreme to another from a pitching standpoint," Righetti said after San Francisco's pitchers and catchers finished their initial workout. "His ball flight is going to be different, no doubt about it."
But there's no need for alarm, Zito said. He has done this before.
The 28-year-old left-hander, given a $126-million, seven-year contract in late December, said he is trying to better use his improved lower-body strength. He added 10 pounds of muscle in his legs and core during the off-season.
"This is something I used to do, so it's just getting back to it," said Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young award winner. "I'm just trying to take my weight down the mound a little bit more, use my legs a little bit more. I wasn't using my legs the last couple of years. I'm just taking a step back to create momentum from the beginning of the delivery. Before I used to stop and then go and try to create momentum really from nothing. It's kind of more an old-school delivery."
As he used to with the Oakland Athletics, Zito had a video camera out to chronicle his bullpen session. He also used a tape measure to mark the spot where his front foot landed upon releasing the ball.
With his feet shoulder-width apart and legs bent, Zito now bounces slightly before taking a big step backward at the beginning of his delivery. He said that creates a longer stride, and his motion is more fluid.
"That'll wear him down. He's going to over-stride," Righetti said. "It's going to be tough on him. He's a good athlete and he got himself in shape for it. Maybe it's all tied in together and he felt he had to do something. To me, it'll be about making his pitches."
George Steinbrenner's son-in-law and designated successor to run the New York Yankees was arrested at St. Petersburg, Fla., on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Steve Swindal was weaving and driving 61 mph in a 35-mph zone when he was pulled over, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.
He refused to take a breathalyzer test and failed a field sobriety test, but was cooperative, Proffitt said.
"Mr. Swindal apologizes profusely for this distraction during the Yankees' spring training, and no further comment will be made until this is resolved," said Steinbrenner's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein.
If Major League Baseball decides to play a regular-season game in China, the Yankees would volunteer to go. A ballpark is being built in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.
"We'd be interested in going," said Yankees President Randy Levine, who led a team delegation to Beijing this month. "But not in 2009. It would have to be after that."
Barry Bonds finally signed his $15.8-million, one-year deal and it was approved by the commissioner's office, ending more than two months of wrangling between the slugger and the Giants over contract language.
With both sides satisfied, Bonds is scheduled to report Monday to spring training.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood is not expected to throw off the mound for a few days after he slipped this week getting out of a hot tub at home. Wood landed on his stomach and chest.
"It was just a little spill," Wood said. "I didn't think anything of it. Nothing's wrong. It's just going to be a few extra days. My arm feels great."