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The Anti-Lin Slideshow: Top 10 Sports Busts Since 2000

By Joe Flaherty

Since “Linsanity” has swept the nation, his out-of-the-blue success has made his recent achievements unique. Jeremy Lin isn’t the first athlete to rise from obscurity into stardom, and he certainly won’t be the last. But it seems that for every Lin-like success story, there are a handful of athletes who do the opposite. Whether it’s injuries, poor play, or falling short of expectations of free agent deals, countless players are hailed as the “next best thing” and end up having insignificant careers. Here are 10 of the worst “busts” in sports since 2000.

ap080406042434

Picture 1 of 10

Barry Zito, Pitcher: Zito used a wicked curve ball to baffle hitters in the early 2000’s. He racked up 40 wins between 2001-02 and earned the 2002 AL Cy Young Award. After signing the largest free agent contract for a pitcher in MLB history in 2006 with the San Fransisco Giants (7 yrs/$126 mil), Zito has become a shell of his former self. He has a 43-61 record and a 4.55 ERA with the Giants and was left off of the postseason roster in 2010 when the Giants won the World Series.

Photo Credits:

AP Photo/John Bazemore

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

AP Photo/Chris Gardner

AP Photo/Darren Hauck

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

AP Photo/Jim Urquhart

ap080406042434

Picture 1 of 10

Barry Zito, Pitcher: Zito used a wicked curve ball to baffle hitters in the early 2000’s. He racked up 40 wins between 2001-02 and earned the 2002 AL Cy Young Award. After signing the largest free agent contract for a pitcher in MLB history in 2006 with the San Fransisco Giants (7 yrs/$126 mil), Zito has become a shell of his former self. He has a 43-61 record and a 4.55 ERA with the Giants and was left off of the postseason roster in 2010 when the Giants won the World Series.

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.