R.A. Dickey is too much a gentleman, has too much class to do things differently than he did yesterday, when he played an elf at the Mets’ annual Christmas party. There is was, putting on a good face to help the charities of the team applying the screws to him.
This is a team trying to lowball him, and yet he helps them, because it was in the best interests of the kids at the event. No Scrooge is Dickey; he’s forever giving and thinking of others. He’s a rare breed in today’s spoiled, me-first, self-congratulatory athlete. He’s what we want our sports heroes to be.
It’s a shame he likely won’t be here after next season. He might not even make it to July if the Mets can swing a trade. Hey, if I were him I might thinking of giving the Mets a week to get it done or demand a trade on the spot. But, he’s not an ultimatum type of guy.
The Mets are playing hardball over a reported $6 million, which is chump change in today’s market. That is, of course, if you’re not behaving as a chump as is Sandy Alderson and the Mets are during the holiday season.
Dickey says he won’t negotiate during the season, and yesterday told reporters if a deal isn’t done this winter he’ll likely be gone. Too bad, as he’s one of the good ones.
“If that’s the decision they feel like is best for the club, and that’s the decision that they make, I feel like it would be unfortunate, because it probably is going to mean I’m not going to be back,’’ Dickey said, ever serious despite the elf ears.
Dickey believes he’s being fair, and if he was arbitration eligible, based on the system he’d make a lot more than his $5 million option. Then again, timing has been everything during Dickey’s career, which peaked last year with a Cy Young Award season at 38.
Dickey believes, and rightfully so, the Mets are pinching pennies with him, and that he’s already given them a discount peace offering. Dickey is making the overtures only to have the Mets behave like Gary Bettman.
To date, everything has been in the Mets’ favor. Dickey worked at a discount brought on by his undeserving past. But, this time he outperformed not only his contract, but his floundering team. He did it with guile, grit, class and determination, even pitching while injured.
Dickey not only was a feel good story of 2012, buy one of the few positives for the Mets since their 2007 collapse. With all else around him falling, he was reason to watch every fifth day or whenever he was needed.
Dickey always put team first, but this time he needs to look out for himself. Either way, Dickey will be set for life, but that doesn’t mean the one time he has the numbers in his favor he should short-change himself.
The Mets have already done that to not only him, but their players and fans, also.
The season hasn’t even started and it looks as if it will be a long one.