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.
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.