It seems like scouts, writers, and other GMs all love this trade for the Mets. A 38 year old journeyman pitcher, coming off his career year, dealt for the best young talent available and filling a hole at the catching position (which is the hardest hole to fill). I get all that and can’t argue with the logic and sensibility of the move on those merits. But I am still depressed about losing my favorite Met and can come up with Five Reasons The Mets Should Have Kept R.A. Dickey:
5. Cash Money
Aren’t the Wilpons supposed to be broke? Aren’t they trying to sell $63 nosebleeds? Did they consider the merchandising opportunity behind their Cy Young winner? Maybe they should have consulted The 7 Line about how to sell some t-shirts before shipping the golden goose to the American League.
Dickey not only led the team in wins, he also led the team in innings. Who will make up those innings in 2013? Mets fans deserve to see progress after yet another 4th place finish, don’t we? Shouldn’t, in the 3rd year of the Alderson Era, there at least be optimism for a winning season even if it’s not until 2014 when the plan is supposed to really come together? How does this deal make the Mets better in the short term? It doesn’t.
From what I understand, Dickey wanted a 2 year deal worth $26MM after being paid $5MM in 2013. If I were the Mets I would have made that deal but would have spread the money out so Dickey would have made $10MM annually from 2013-2015. Look around the league, there are a lot of bad pitchers making $10MM. Andy Pettite missed half of 2012 and the Yankees are still paying him $13MM next year. Even if you think Dickey will be on the downswing in 2014, $10MM is not a crazy salary. And if 2014 is when it all comes together, what a great weapon a knuckleballer would be to have in the playoffs, and to anchor a staff of young studs to get us there.
2. R.A. Dickey is Awesome
R.A. Dickey was my favorite Met and when your favorite Met becomes the team’s best player and wins 20 games and the Cy Young, it allows you to forget that your team has no outfielders and no bullpen and no catcher. Travis d’Arnaud doncha know may be an all star catcher someday, but I don’t think anyone’s projecting him to be Mike Piazza, not that anyone is Mike Piazza, but I just mean the kind of guy that transcends his game and energizes a fanbase. R.A. is that guy and that kind of guy is hard to find. The New York Mets should be able to afford to keep those kinds of guys and find other ways to build their roster.
1. Fandom is Illogical and Irrational
Sunday night I calmly broke the news to my 5 year old son that the Mets had traded R.A. Dickey. He sobbed as much as he did when his fish died a few months ago. We had a talk, and he wanted to know what the Blue Jays uniform looked like, and if we could still root for Dickey, and if the Mets could get him back since it was just a trade and not “for keeps.” He eventually went back to his Hot Wheels and seemed to be OK. I wondered why I ever wanted him to be a Mets fan. Rooting for a sports team is a ridiculous waste of energy. Putting your heart into the outcome of the performances of millionaire athletes who don’t care about you is silly. It’s an emotional, irrational decision we make about which team to root for and with which players to bond. We do it without thinking about it and that’s what makes it fun, a pastime. But when two years in a row the Mets let go of their fanbase’s favorite assets, they just may also be causing their fans to examine their passion objectively and rationally. If we do that, many of us may realize we should get on the floor and play Hot Wheels with our kid instead of reading blogs in December or screaming at the T.V. next April.