WASHINGTON (FAF) — Political pundits, media analysts and historians of all stripe continue to be flabbergasted by the shockingest of revelations this week, one that has rocked the nation's capital to its core.
After what seemed an eternity, Victor Zambrano has been revealed to be a good pitcher by throwing deep — carrying a shutout into the ninth inning before giving way to Braden Looper — in the Mets' 2-1 win over Arizona at Shea Stadium Wednesday night.
“I waited a long time, but I can wait no longer,” said self-confessed Deep Throat W. Mark Felt. “I have to say that Zambrano threw quite a game.”
Felt, whose role as the key source in the Watergate scandal received some attention before the Zambrano bombshell took over every news cycle, indicated the moment was right to reveal the right-handed pitcher's status.
“He was pretty good Wednesday night against the Diamondbacks,” the 91-year-old Felt admitted. “No, he was very good. Is he a hero? I'd have to say he was.”
It has been a parlor game of sorts in Washington and other interested precincts to guess when or even if Victor Zambrano would be considered a good pitcher. Estimates ranged from “never” to “when hell freezes over” to “what are you, drunk?”. Few Zambrano experts guessed the answer would be “yes” and arrive as soon as June 1, 2005.
“The thing that made me think there was no connection between good pitching and Zambrano,” said Felt, “was the fact that the guy pitched like he was pitching in a dark, deserted garage. You can't get batters out that way. Now, it turns out, that maybe you can.
“I don't know what to believe anymore.”
“A lot of investigation went into this,” explained Bob Woodward, co-author of the groundbreaking All the President's Men. “Carl [Bernstein, Woodward's co-author] and I thought we might have to carry this to our graves, but in the end, Victor Zambrano outed himself. He scooped the whole lot of us.”
The Zambrano identification had eluded experts because those who sleuthed for clues saw few if any hints that this story would break so unexpectedly. Theories like “walks too many”; “has that one bad inning”; “throws balls away”; and the popular “Zambrano for Kazmir? What are you, drunk?” seemed to eliminate the possibility that Victor Zambrano could be good, let alone excellent.
But now one of history's great riddles has been solved. While there is immense satisfaction among Washington's chattering classes knowing that Victor Zambrano is a good pitcher, there are still some loose ends in need of tying up:
* What took him so long?
* How did he keep his identity a secret?
* And will it be completely corroborated by his next start?
“Whoa,” cautioned longtime Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. “One mystery at a time.”