You know I like to keep track of the former Mets. The ones I like, and the ones I don’t. So this space is dedicated to one of the dearly departed. (Meaning he’s not a Met anymore … not that he died.) This update comes to us from the land of maple syrup and cheeseburger spring rolls, as it seems that R.A. Dickey might be pushed out of town by the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, if you had asked me what Dickey’s demise would be in Toronto if there was one, I would probably opine that either the rocket launcher of a ballpark would do him in, or maybe that his knuckler would become too unpredictable in the A.L. East, or maybe that he would just plain get old. I would have put all of those over the option that might actually get him expelled from Canada: being a negative clubhouse influence.
Da hell … you say? Yeah, me too. Ian Hunter of The Blue Jay Hunter excerpted some choice quotes from Blue Jays play-by-play man Jerry Horwath on “The Jeff Blair Show” podcast about Dickey. I’ll get the juicy one out of the way:
“I’ve been told a couple times John Gibbons and R.A Dickey got into it pretty heavily.”
Well that sounds … umm, I don’t know how that sounds. That could be loud yelling, or that could be something on Cinemax at 3AM. Oh, let’s just assume that this means they had “differences of opinion”, which sound like that just makes Dickey a true Blue Jay. Fighting with John Gibbons, who fought with Ted Lilly and Shea Hillenbrand, is just a rite of passage in Toronto. Like going to the CN Tower for the first time … or blowing a three goal lead in Game 7.
“R.A. is kind of a man unto himself on an island, and you don’t want that in your clubhouse. He gives you 200 innings, he goes out there and starts 30 games, that’s great; but you need more than that. You need someone who is right there with his team, communicates with his team, listens, gets involved with his team; I don’t see R.A. doing that. For me, I can already see the team moving in a different direction. You have to have people who are part of a 25 man roster, not a separate entity.”
So Dickey is the “one” in the 24-and-one dynamic? He’s A-Rod? What the hell is going on in this world? At least we know that Steve Phillips would have traded him by now.
The gist of this new narrative is that now that the Jays have signed Russell Martin to be the positive clubhouse guy with all of the intangibles, that loners are going to be summarily dispatched to the furthest reaches of baseball. Maybe a team on the moon. Or the Astros. Could be. But maybe Russell the White Knight can bring Dickey out of whatever shell he’s supposedly in and turn him back into Party Time Robert Allen. Who knows. All I know that this talk of R.A. being a curmudgeon makes me sad, especially where Hunter calls our attention to a Cathal Kelly article dubbing Dickey the “unloved ace“. (I thought that was Cole Hamels.) So he just likes to be alone and he fights with a manager known for fighting. Okay. Where’s the issue here?
Hunter also passes along this from the podcast:
Later on, Blair also said he sees Dickey as a “benign influence” on the team, and remarked the younger pitchers on the team like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez tended to gravitate towards Mark Buehrle rather than R.A. Dickey.
Still doesn’t mean anything bad about Dickey. Just speaks volumes about Buehrle. In fact, here’s what Dickey says about leadership:
So everything said about him, he fully admits. Still not seeing the problem here.
Maybe I just have blinders on, and will defend to the death one of the few bright spots about rooting for the Mets between 2010 and 2012. And the guy that brought us Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. Finding out Dickey is some sort of problem is like finding out Santa Claus isn’t real. Well Santa is real. And I will not be told otherwise
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Staff Writer
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