R.A. Dickey: Good guy or narcissist?

Saturday was surreal. It was weird enough to refresh Mets Blog and Twitter every 10 minutes for 12 hours but even stranger was the column posted by the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff, which to the average reader amounted to nothing more than a hatchet job on R.A. Dickey.

If on Friday you asked me to describe what I thought R.A. Dickey was like, there would have been no shortage of words and all of them would have been positive. Honest, articulate, intelligent, charitable, hard-working, and survivor would probably have been the first ones to jump to mind. Among the fan base, I don’t think it’s too far fetched to say he was beloved.

And now, Davidoff is painting a portrait of Dickey as an out of control narcissist.

The reaction has not been pretty. On the story itself, there are over 40 comments and just about all of them call the author to task for writing such an unflattering piece. In the blogosphere, Sam Page from Amazin’ Avenue opened a can of whoop ass on the article. About the only thing missing was support from his teammates.

The site Tweeting-Athletes shows 10 members of the 2012 Mets on Twitter, including Dickey. And not one of them said anything about Davidoff’s piece on Dickey. To be fair, it was a Saturday during the offseason and perhaps they had better things to do than be glued to a computer like the fans were. Still, I find it just a touch odd that a “beloved” player received no support.

Perhaps there will be an outpouring of support for Dickey in the coming days from his teammates – I’d almost be surprised if there wasn’t. But to me this just underscores something in the whole “chemistry” thing. Not only do we have no way of measuring the effects of chemistry, we don’t really know who provides good chemistry and who doesn’t.

To me, it would have been a no-brainer that Dickey was one of the team’s leaders, a glue guy who made for a good work environment. Yet here is a respected baseball columnist telling us that it was anything but that in reality. And who would know better – fans like us who have never been in the team’s locker room or Davidoff, who’s there every day?

It just seems so unreal. Davidoff has a reputation for being one of the better reporters out there. This would have made a lot more sense – and been a whole lot easier to dismiss – if it was somebody like Wallace Matthews, instead. It would have been easy to chalk up a Matthews column as a hatchet job done as a favor for a source – Jeff Wilpon, perhaps? But I’m just having a hard time writing this off as some quid pro quo on Davidoff’s end for some juicy tidbits later on down the road.

Mind you, I’m not dismissing that possibility. Rather I’m saying I have a hard time believing it. And for the love of everything good in the world – I don’t *want* to believe it.

So, let’s review what we do know. Assuming the deal with Toronto goes through, the 2013 Mets will have a hard time replacing Dickey’s 233.2 IP, his 140 ERA+ and his 1.053 WHIP. You just can’t find production like that very often. But on the flip side – maybe it will be really easy to replace him in the clubhouse.

Just another surreal day as a fan of the post-Madoff Mets.

9 comments for “R.A. Dickey: Good guy or narcissist?

  1. Hawkmwts
    December 16, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Kevin Burkhardt said it was a good article. To me, that adds credibility being he is in the clubhouse all the time.

  2. Acoustic567
    December 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

    One of the more level-headed posts out there on the subject. I would only point out that the title — “Good Guy or Narcissist” — aptly summarizes why so much of the online discussion of the Davidoff piece is so silly-sounding. Truly, you can be *both* good guy and narcissist. Dickey had a tough start in life. Given his experiences, it would not be surprising if he were someone who craved attention, adulation, love. That can express itself in some over-the-top self-involvement. But the very same person can at the same time be generous, thoughtful, affectionate — all things that Dickey appears to be.

    Evidently some Mets fans aren’t too happy with the image of a complex, many-sided Dickey. They want to hold to the idealized Dickey, and when you complicate it a bit, they interpret that as your saying that Dickey is “bad,” not “good.” I don’t think Davidoff was saying that.

    This reminds me of the situation with Kirby Puckett.

    • December 16, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Good post Acoustic567

      It’s funny that you brought up Puckett, as I thought a lot about putting him in the articles before deciding not to. Puckett was a guy who smiled a lot and was quotable but what we’ve learned since his death has been a lot of ugly stuff. If we had known about that stuff while he was active – I think our perception of him would be a lot different and I don’t think he would be in the Hall of Fame.

  3. Name
    December 16, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Most fans don’t even read the NY post, so why should the players? And how many actually actively use twitter? And like you said, it’s the middle of the offseason and a Saturday and they are probably busy spending it with their families. But we’ll get real answers from the players themselves.

    Gotta wonder what his motive for writing this piece was. I wonder if Alderson commissioned him to write this piece to protect him in advance of trading away Dickey.

  4. December 16, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I didn’t read the column but I do have to ask about the timing of it. If it was written duting or right after the season then that I would of given the “facts” and the author a little more credibility. But the timing? Hmm? Rather odd to write an article in the midst of all the trade rumors that are ongoing. So Mets fans forget about 2013 because once you trade R.A. you’re telling your fan base to skip next year and wait for 2014.

  5. Chris F
    December 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    It was an insane hatchet job. For balance, I suggest reading this.


    That burkhardt jumped on board with Davidoff is shameful.

    • Met fan
      December 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Hahaha good stuff. Obviously the wilpons are using the media to sway the met fans outlook on this trade. Which only makes me more angry. Not insanely pissed about losing dickey in fact I think we might benefit if it all goes as planned and these players produce but that just isn’t guaranteed. I’m sick of the wilpons and their bullshit. Burkhardt is a pushover doing a woman’s job for the mets and is clearly told which way to direct questions. In fact at the Christmas party it was him that was asking dickey about the extension. It’s clear as day that there was some scheme here to avoid a public relations mess. Just sad that after everything this guy has done for the fans who will probably have to suffer another losing season next year and would have been in last had it not been for dickey. Great guy just sad to see him go

  6. December 17, 2012 at 12:21 am

    The article is repulsive and disgusting. The writer is kissing Fred Wilpons you know what. I as a Met fan find it deplorable his character assassination and his speaking points are NOT FACTS but read as his opinion(Wilpons).Kevin Burkhardt works for a Met affiliation and doesn’t have the guts or the cojones to stand up and tell us the real truth. I lost all respect for him as an objective REPORTER. The outrage over his talking points should hopefully start the end to the Wilpons ownership here in New York. Who is this Mike Bates? He writes that R.A. is a family man who doesn’t go out drinking with the guys and chase tail. And for that you vilify him? He goes to a vigil and show support for sexually abused victims and that makes him a bad guy? He nods to Jason Bay and he’s a criminal? Met management was trying to emotionally destroy Jason Bay so that they could get out of his contract and no one from the players association or MLB is investigating? Is it Dickey’s fault that Josh Thole has a hard time catching a knuckleball? Did Mr. Bates forget that the hitters have a hard time hitting it too? What a bunch of crap and no one is holding this creep accountable? His top 5 reasons I thought he was being sarcastic and yet this is what we are led to believe is the down fall of R.A.. How sad it has come to this. One last thought.Is there a way you could post this article so that every potential free agent can read it and formulate their own opinion about playing for the Mets.

  7. December 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

    How much did the Wilpons pay this guy to write this crap?

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