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.