It's time for the Giants to end the Barry Zito charade and cut him loose over the winter. Do it for his sake, for crying out loud. With the possible exception of Alex Smith, there isn't an athlete anywhere who so desperately needs a change of scene. Not that he'd suddenly become a world-beater, but can you imagine Zito's sense of relief if he donned a new uniform next spring?

-- "Oh, but you can't just eat that salary." Of course you can. What, you'd rather keep that black cloud over the organization for two more years? The money's gone, anyway. Can't get it back. Do the man - and yourselves - a favor.

-- The Giants have a home showdown against Arizona from Sept. 2-4, and there's a chance they'll see the most talked-about pitcher in the minor leagues. Trevor Bauer, the Diamondbacks' No. 1 draft pick out of UCLA, dominated hitters in three California League starts at Visalia, and he struck out eight in five shutout innings Sunday in his first Double-A start. Arizona is checking the waiver wire in the wake of Jason Marquis' injury, but Bauer could be called up to pitch relief.