The Mets didn't think it through AGAIN, but R.A. is no saint this time

Hey we need some players for the holiday party.

Well, Ike said he’d do it.

What about Wright? We just paid him a zillion dollars.

He can’t make it. How about we call Franco?

Yeah I guess, but we need someone else from the current team.

Dickey is in town that day at the M&Ms store. Want me to ask him?

Sure. Invite the beat reporters too. It’s time we get some good vibes going. They’ll see Ike and Franco and Dickey and everyone will be in a festive mood. What could go wrong?

But wait…then there’s the other side of the coin. Mr. Dickey.

“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 (in 2014),” Dickey said. (via ESPN NY)

R.A. isn’t me. He doesn’t fly off the handle in rage. He speaks softly in very pensive measured tones. This was not an accidental thing to say. And he chose the holiday party to say it.

He could have said something like, “Hey guys, I’m here to celebrate the holiday party with the kids. When something develops you guys will be the first to know.”

But nope, he apparently got into it with the beat reporters.

The Mets should have seen this coming. On twitter yesterday I mentioned that I thought they’d have an announcement before the party about an RA deal. As Matt Cerrone said so well on MetsBlog

Ummm, did Dickey just walk in off the streets? Or, did the Mets invite him? I’m thinking the Mets invited him, right? Also, did Dickey just grab the mic and start spouting off about his contract, totally unprovoked? Or, was he asked questions by reporters, who usually cover these events in exchange for being allowed to ask baseball questions? I’m guessing the Mets invited them too.

So, what exactly did the Mets think was going to happen? Did they honestly think the topic of Dickey’s contract wouldn’t come up? Or, did they expect him to say, ‘Hey, guys, everything’s great,’ despite countless reports to the contrary over the last few weeks? (via MetsBlog)

Oh Mets…

And Mr. Dickey, here’s your own words from January 2011. The bold is mine.

My goal at this point is to be the best bargain in baseball for the next three years,” Dickey said on a conference call Monday afternoon. “To win championships, you really have to have an altruistic approach in that I wasn’t out to break the bank from the get-go. If I want to be part of the solution here — and I do — giving some things up might help the collective good. I was willing to do that for this organization, and still am.”

Dickey’s deal buys out his first year of free agency and gives the Mets an option to retain him for $5 million in 2013. From the team’s standpoint, the deal represents a risk — signing a 36-year-old pitcher with only one successful season usually is. But if Dickey comes even close to duplicating his successes of last year, he will be a bargain.

I included the second paragraph to remind everyone of the narrative. The Mets took a risk. R.A. had a career year. Maybe he has another, maybe not. The first year of their faith got them 8 wins. (Take the advanced stats argument over to Amazin’ Avenue, we’re old souls here.)

His goal was to be a bargain for three years. This is year three.

He can sign with the Mets or not after 2013. In the meantime it’s your walk year. Go be Cy Young not the 51-60 pitcher that seemed happy in January 2011. If he does that, the money will be there. Don’t be a downer at the party.

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10 comments
metslady
metslady

I expressed this exact sentiment on Mr. Cerrone's blog yesterday. I don't love RA like many fans do, but, both sides were wrong. The Mets had to know this was going to end badly and RA was very wrong to use this event as a platform to air his frustrations. Sometimes, you really do need to just keep quiet.

Brian Erni
Brian Erni

can't it just be that A) sandy alderson is trying to do his job (set the team up in the best position for next year, but also the next 15 years), B) r.a. dickey is trying to do right by his family (cash in on, what could be, his last huge pay day), and that those two things are currently at odds with one another? i mean, i love r.a. dickey. i also very much like the fact that we have a chance to improve a collection of position players that don't have much depth to them. the METS (and that's all what we ultimately care about here, right? the baseball team?) stand to benefit either way: get a very good starting pitcher at a fairly reasonable price or acquire young position players that have a chance to be all stars and get them on the right end of their career. here's a bigger issue that i find funny: people often complain that metsblog "spins" stuff, which is dumb if you knew the actual workings of metsblog. but these are now some of the same people who just ate up an obvious PR outing yesterday by r.a. dickey. he's trying to force the mets' hand, but drumming up fan outrage that the mets refuse to sign him. and there's nothing wrong with that. it's just a negotiating tactic. and it's one people are falling for hook, line, and sinker. the mets have done their fair share of it, too. there's a reason you hear A LOT more about dickey's contract negotiations in the press than you did about david wright's. but i just find it amusing no one wants to identify something that exists because it fits the narrative they wish to tell. anyway, again, i really don't see how this isn't win/win. either the mets hope r.a. dickey is at least as cost efficient as jeremy guthrie for the next three years, or they get a player (or two) with a high ceiling that could pencil into their lineup for years to come. shrug. just not seeing the outrage thing.

mookie_1
mookie_1

Agree with Shannon here. Both sides have merit. Both sides are at fault. The holiday party was not the proper place to complain about his contract. Yet, the Mets need to stop low balling him. What he's asking for is perfectly fair. Also, the Mets invited him to the party and should have anticipated the potential for such quotable material.

Patrick
Patrick

"We're old souls here..." Is a piss poor excuse for attempting to rationalize that Dickey did anything wrong here. He was asked questions, he answered them, not with vitriol, not via a "shadow" channel PR goon, with blatant honesty that highlighted the achilles heel of this front office and more over their ownership that has been persistent for moving on three decades now. That being dishonesty, vindictiveness and utter lack of class. No matter who helms the GM chair, the story line unfolds almost with precision in critical times. And what is the one linking common denominator? Thy name is Wilpon.

LongTimeFan1
LongTimeFan1

Sorry Shannon, the onus is on the Mets who created this mess and opted to talk about R.A. Dickey in public these past few weeks as if he's non-person. R.A. Dickey has given heart and soul to this team. What did the Mets expect,- that he wouldn't be upset with how they've treated him at center of public spectacle? Sandy Alderson is arrogant, and cold...a cold-blooded liar who yesterday declared the team in 2013 heading into spring training will look very much like the one that finished in 2012. This so-called GM is incompetent, a bull-sh_t artist since he arrived here, who's playing the same game with R.A. he did with Reyes, and even worse. It's time for Alderson to pack his suitcases and leave, go home, and for the Wilpons to find a GM who actually lives in the 21st century and leads accordingly.

Paul
Paul

A holiday party for kids who lost their homes thanks to Hurricane Sandy is not an appropriate time to fuss about whether you're going to make a lot of money or even more money... and R.A. Dickey should know that. The Mets have not handled the public aspect of these negotiations well, but I agree that they're not the only ones at fault today.

tomwatson
tomwatson

Yeah, this isn't on the player - the Mets look truly pathetic, especially the semi-alive Sandy Alderson. And btw, that 51-60 stat is awfully cherrypickerish when you look at ERA, WHIP etc. RA's the guy - he was asked questions and he answered 'em. Unlike a certain GM, he didn't descend to pathetic doublespeak.

TK41c
TK41c

I smell a steak sandwich coming.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

we're old souls here refers to my complete lack of interest in "adjacent" stats. Adding two numbers together to make a stat? Silly.

Patrick
Patrick

I understood exactly what you meant. Lacking interest in reality by calling them "adjacent" is just hiding your head in the sand. It is a touch more complex than adding two stats together. Particularly with a pitcher, we are not talking about OPS. Very lame to call real numbers "silly".

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