Dec 13

Mets To Blame For Party Fallout With Dickey

The Mets remain peeved at R.A. Dickey for using their holiday party as his forum to discuss their contractual stalemate. Dickey is annoyed with the Mets for playing hardball with him, and wasn’t shy in bringing that up despite wearing elf ears. Cute or not, his true feelings emerged.

This isn’t a matter of sharing blame because this is all the Mets’ doing. It was their party and they knew how it work.

DICKEY: This impasse is ridiculous.

The Mets use their holiday party every year as a charity event, but to make it work they need player participation. It’s even further proof the sport is about those playing it, not those with the fortune to buy the shiny toy of a team.

If the Mets didn’t want Dickey talking bad about his situation, they should have either signed him or not invite him. Simple, actually.

When the Mets chose to have Dickey participate, they knew reporters would have access and ask the inevitable questions. They can’t be that naïve to believe otherwise.

The Mets couldn’t have seriously thought Dickey would clam up about his contract. If so, what planet are Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons from anyway?

They can’t have Dickey there to support their charities and not expect him to talk. They can’t have it both ways.

They also can’t have it both ways by demanding a lot for him in the trade market – after all, Cy Young Award winners don’t come cheap, they say  – yet lowball him in their negotiations.

It doesn’t work that way.

I understand the Mets’ apprehension about extending the 38-year-old Dickey, who has had only one stud season, and that with what the sport regards as a gimmick pitch. Even so, his two previous years were representative of a fifth starter, which is what they’ve always envisioned of him.

The Mets weren’t prepared when Dickey screwed up their thinking by winning 20 games.

Despite their concerns, Dickey is entrenched in the community and has a strong following. Even if he faltered in 2013, he wouldn’t be the clubhouse distraction turned pariah that was Oliver Perez or Frankie Rodriguez.

Those two came with high expectations. Not Dickey. The knuckleballer more than repaid the Mets for rescuing him from baseball’s scrap heap. Yes, they gave him an opportunity, but they did so with the idea of always trying to find somebody better.

Only they couldn’t. Dickey surprised them all in last year’s feel-good story. He more than repaid his debt to the team. Dickey owes the Mets nothing.

Dickey is a solid, stand-up guy who wouldn’t embarrass the organization. He supported the Mets in their charity function despite being at financial odds with them. That should say something about his character, as does everything he does off the field.

And, besides that, even if it turns out he is a one-year wonder, it would come a lot cheaper than what they paid out to Perez and Rodriguez.

It is stupid this has lasted this long.

Dec 13

Talk Of Mets Dealing Niese Absurd

Anybody who believes the Mets are serious about trading Jon Niese is either: a) nuts, b) misinformed, c) clueless, or d) all of the above.

I’ve heard reports the Mets will trade either R.A. Dickey or Niese in their effort to acquire a power-hitting outfielder.

NIESE: Not going anywhere. (AP)

They seem almost desperate in their attempts to trade Dickey, but Niese isn’t going anywhere for a multitude of reasons.

Although Niese’s career high is 13 victories, he’s more potential than production at age 26. He’s young, left-handed, throws hard, has had success on the major league level, but most importantly, is inexpensive considering the market.

Cheap, actually.

Niese, in one of the few smart contract moves we’ve seen from the Mets in recent years, is signed to a five-year, $21.5 million contract. In short, the total value of his deal is less than what the Mets are reportedly willing to pay Dickey.

If Niese were in the NFL or NBA, he’d be holding out this spring. As it is, he’s locked in through 2016 with club options for 2017 and 2018.

In looking at the big picture for the Mets, Niese has more value than Dickey, and assuming he stays healthy and continues to improve, he’ll be here longer than the three years Dickey originally sought. If things progress, the Mets will have won the first Niese contract.

For all their talk about pitching depth, the Mets have issues that seem to be ignored by GM Sandy Alderson that can’t be overshadowed no matter how big a bat they get.

Continue reading

Dec 12

Mets All But Showing Dickey The Door

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.

DICKEY (L): With Ike Davis. His last appearance in a Mets’ jersey? (Mets)

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.

Continue reading

Dec 12

Infuriating Alderson Dumps On Mets Fans

The words seared into my consciousness.

I previously defended Sandy Alderson, thinking as a hired gun his job was to pare payroll and ease the Mets’ financial strain, which he did.

ALDERSON: Playing Scrooge.

However, there is no defending what he said yesterday at the Mets’ Annual Christmas party, one where they asked R.A. Dickey to dress as an elf.

I usually applaud honesty, but this time it would have been better had Alderson kept his mouth shut. If you’re surrendering the season before Christmas, don’t come out and say it, not with good will in the air.

“I would expect the roster would look similar to what it did at the end of last season – with some exceptions,” Alderson said.

Ouch … that hurt, but deep down we expected that to be the case all along.

Yeah, and those exceptions will put the Mets over the top. Yeah, and I still believe Santa Claus and the M & M talking candies do exist.

Alderson doesn’t think much of the FA market and the Mets have precious little to trade. If he thinks that cupboard is bare, what does he think he has on his roster?

Even less.

Gone from last year’s train wreck will be Tim Byrdak, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, along with Jon Rauch, Mike Pelfrey, Ramon Ramirez, Kelly Shoppach, Andres Torres and Manny Acosta. Some could be missed, but all their roles still need to be filled.

Continue reading

Dec 11

Updating Dwindling Market For Dickey

The longer this drags on with R.A. Dickey, the better it is for the Mets in re-signing him. The Mets are holding out for big and shiny pieces in the trade market, saying that’s the value for a Cy Young Award winning pitcher.

DICKEY: Will he hear the cheers again in NY?

That’s the same argument Dickey’s agent is giving the Mets.

Reportedly, Dickey is seeking a two-year deal for $26 million on top of the 2013 option for $5 million. Supposedly, the Mets are countering with three years at $25 million.

That’s a $6 million difference, which Dickey can more than make up in bonuses and commercial endorsements if he stays around.

He’s an intelligent guy and I’m banking he’ll come around to that thinking. The Mets have the leverage in that Dickey has only done this for one year, and at 38, he’s not going to have another shot at a payday unless he stays on the option and has another monster year.

Continue reading