Presumably a big fan of “The Best Show On WFMU’s “The First Rock Band On Mount Everest”, Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (above) is also enamored with Ernest Hemmingway’s, “The Snows Of Kilimanjaro”. At least that’s one of the ways Dickey’s plans to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro are rationalized by the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa, who reports Dickey’s paymasters are none too keen on his vacation choice, even if the charitable goals are noble.
A few months ago, the Mets sent a letter to Dickey’s agent warning him that they reserve the right to void the remaining year on his contract if he is injured on the mountain. They can’t stop him from going, but they clearly would prefer he did not.
“If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn’t have sent the letter,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Beyond that, have we tried to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless.”
Dickey, a 37-year-old knuckleballer, has more than $4.5 million in guaranteed money left on the two-year, $7.8 million deal he signed in January. For a man who toiled for 14 years without a guaranteed contract, it is no small thing to risk. But Dickey downplayed the potential dangers of the trip.
“I don’t think there’s really any lethal risk to doing it,” Dickey said.
“If I were by myself, I would probably try to push through headache and push through nausea and maybe get some kind of altitude pulmonary enema and croak,” Dickey said. “But I’ve got guys that I can count on that are going to keep me grounded.”