After his latest loss yesterday, our fav'rit wordsmith did not have anything to hide in his post-game interview, saying:
“You try not to be too hard on yourself, but this game will really challenge your internal fortitude when you have outing after outing, and balls are finding holes, and you feel like you’re making pretty good pitches.”
Never mind that Dickey's balls are finding holes. That's something that can be corrected with a change in his grip. What we're more concerned with is his internal fortitude, as Dickey is admitting that he is feeling challenged in that department.
Anytime a man feels challenged, it's always best to let things out. One person who never backed away from a challenge was Victor Zambrano. He was the Mets' version of a Timex watch. He took a lickin' and kept on tickin'. Okay, so maybe he took more than just one lickin', but he did keep on tickin' until he tore a tendon in his right elbow, preventing him from tying Mets' legends Kevin Appier, Jerry DiPoto, Tom Gorman, Mike Torrez and Wally Whitehurst for 87th place on the franchise's all-time wins list.
Zambrano was challenged by the fans every time he stepped onto the mound at Shea Stadium. The Studious Metsimus staff felt that Zambrano would be a perfect subject to discuss fortitude with, so we tried to contact him via e-mail. When he responded that he was unsure what the word "fortitude" meant, we sent him another e-mail with the following definition:
- mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.
Unfortunately, we received one of those annoying "not deliverable" e-mails as soon as we clicked the send button, making us think that Zambrano changed his e-mail address, so we decided to move on and find another former Met to discuss fortitude with.
However, the following day, we were surprised to find an e-mail from Zambrano in our inbox. He claimed he never received our last e-mail, but felt bad that he used the "I don't know what 'fortitude' means defense", so he tried his best to discuss the topic with us in his e-mail. Perhaps it would been better served if he had received our second e-mail before answering, as Zambrano responded:
"It was tough when I was a member of the Mets from 2004 to 2006. But once I got booed for the fortitude time at Shea Stadium, I knew there was nothing I could do to win the hearts of the fans."
R.A. Dickey won more games for the Mets last year in three-quarters of a season than Victor Zambrano won from 2004 to 2006. Dickey has also been a beloved player ever since he first put on a Mets uniform. Zambrano was booed so much at Shea Stadium, even Phillies fans felt sorry for him.
Dickey and Zambrano couldn't be more different as Mets. But they both know what it feels like to have their balls squeeze their way into open holes. At least Dickey can correct his problem. Zambrano's entire Mets career was a stinker. I guess his fortitude was more of the intestinal variety.