SEATTLE — Barry Zito is getting the hang of this "potential free agent" thing.

In a 48-hour stretch in spring training, Zito told a writer from a New York newspaper that he could see himself pitching in New York before his career is over, and a writer from a Los Angeles newspaper that he could see himself pitching in Los Angeles before his career is over.

A few days later, it was suggested to Zito that he should say the same thing in every American League city this year. Zito laughed and said, "That's not a bad idea."

This weekend in Seattle, a cab driver said he picked up Zito and asked him about pitching in Seattle next year. The cab driver said Zito told him, "You never know. Maybe."

After six shutout innings Saturday, Zito was asked by a Seattle radio station about pitching at Safeco Field and Zito responded, "It's always been one of my favorite parks. I love the town, the fans and the park."

After getting shelled by the Yankees on opening night, there was still buzz in the New York papers about Zito coming to New York, including debate on if it should be Queens or the Bronx.

Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi weighed in, saying their former A's teammate would thrive on the Yankee Stadium stage.

ONE-HOPPERS: Second baseman Mark Ellis, who was hit in the wrist Friday and didn't play Saturday to keep the hot Marco Scutaro in the lineup, had a wrap on the wrist before Sunday's game but said it was fine and had three hits.


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... Bobby Crosby will continue swinging with his left index finger off the bat until it heals completely, but said it doesn't affect his swing. ... When Joe Blanton pitched eight shutout innings Friday, he didn't shake off catcher Jason Kendall once, and Zito did it only a couple times Saturday. ... Before Saturday's game, Ken Macha was asked about Milton Bradley's patience at the plate, and the manager noted, "he lays off a lot of close pitches" — since then, Bradley has struck out looking four times. ... A group of Rich Harden's friends from British Columbia made it an all-Canada sports heroes Sunday by watching Harden in the afternoon, then Steve Nash and the NBA's Suns on Sunday night against the Seattle Sonics. ... Outfielder Bobby Kielty is eligible to be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday, but it's not a guarantee that will happen, as it will depend on the state of the A's bullpen.