Barry Zito is selling his house for $11.5 million

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Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the money professional athletes make because their contracts are usually viewed within the context of team payrolls and free agency and everything else that also includes ridiculous amounts of money.

But then one of them puts his house on the market and my brain finally realizes, “wow, this guy has an insane amount of money.”

Barry Zito is the latest example, as the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Giants left-hander is selling his home in California for $11.5 million. And why wouldn’t a 34-year-old with more than $100 million in lifetime earnings have an $11.5 million home?

Zito apparently bought the 7,100-square foot home five years ago for $8.9 million, but now wants to move closer to his office (which is also known as the Giants’ ballpark) for a shorter commute. He’s making $19 million this season and will get $20 million next season, plus $18 million or a $7 million buyout in 2014.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.