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R.A. Dickey was “appreciated but far from beloved” by his teammates

Dec 15, 2012, 10:27 AM EDT

R.A. Dickey AP AP

Earlier this week R.A. Dickey spoke with reporters about his contract situation at the Mets’ holiday party. The team wasn’t thrilled about how he handled the situation and we suddenly heard a report that the Mets were concerned that Dickey was becoming “too absorbed by his new celebrity.” That’s small potatoes compared to what Ken Davidoff of the New York Post is slinging in his column this morning.

And, in an underappreciated part of this saga that soared into visibility this week, Dickey can be a handful. He clearly has enjoyed his rise from the ashes into a Flushing folk hero, and while he deserves praise and riches, there’s also the matter of him having to coexist peacefully in a workplace. His gift for self-promotion and his love of attention don’t endear himself to most teammates. Instead, his durability and outstanding results led him to be appreciated but far from beloved.

If Dickey can’t control his verbiage at a holiday party — “Folks, not today, not with the kids here” was all he had to say to reporters — then how would a full season of uncertainty feel? How many times would Dickey spout off publicly? Or work behind the scenes to make the Mets look bad and boost his own brand?

Oh boy. The amazing part about the sudden character assassination of Dickey is that we didn’t hear a peep about any sort of issue during his three seasons with the team. In a huge media market like New York, you’d think it would come up at some point. We certainly weren’t hearing any complaints when he was providing great material on a regular basis. Now he’s getting hammered on the way out the door. Curious timing.

It’s fair to say Dickey should have handled the holiday party differently, as it was an event for school children affected by Hurricane Sandy, but the Mets were under no obligation to invite him and should have been prepared for the possibility that he would discuss his contract. Both sides were at fault. However, this one event shouldn’t overshadow the fact that Dickey has consistently represented the organization in a dignified manner. The decision to trade him is a baseball move, not one motivated by his personality or ego. And it would make sense whether he complained about his contract situation or not. So let it go.

  1. Brian Donohue - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Mutts mgt. is complaining about someone else’s behavior in a financial negotiation?

    I’m sure I’ll have something to say about that, I just have to stop laughing and get up off the floor first.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Did the Mets hire the Red Sox front office for this? Or did they sign up for their “Character Assassination 101” Class?

    • aceshigh11 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • forsch31 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Funny, but I think Kevin Davidoff works for the New York Post, not the Mets. It’s a column of his opinion.

      • forsch31 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        It should also be noted that Davidoff is not a Dickey fan. Here’s a column he wrote about him back in July about Dickey’s reaction to not starting in the All-Star game:

      • stex52 - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        I don’t know; what’s his history with Mets’ management? He would hardly be the first sportswriter to find that the easiest way to do his job is to be in the bag for management.

    • stex52 - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      How many of you guys are “beloved by your co-workers”? That’s about the silliest criterion I ever heard anyway.

      • anxovies - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        I guess this quashes any hopes for a trade with the Mets involving ARod?

  3. bearfan34 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    It’s the New York Post. Who even reads that rag?

    • aceshigh11 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Way too many people, unfortunately.

      Not enough to make them profitable, of course, but the scum Murdoch has deep enough pockets to annually subsidize his failing rag of rage and hate.

      • pandaaa69 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Apparently you bearsfan jackass

    • abaird2012 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      “Don’t endear himself”!?! WTF! This guy is supposed to be a professional writer??

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      NY Post: news for nitwit NYers.

  4. ogre2010 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Is this a smear campaign by the New York Mets?

    • mazblast - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Is CitiField in Flushing?

  5. historiophiliac - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Seriously. “It’s not personal, it’s business.” It kills me when people say this. Nope, management is never petty and personal about “business” decisions.”

  6. 18thstreet - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    He’s so much older than his teammates. I’m guessing they don’t relate to each other all that well.

  7. pandaaa69 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    What does he want? Man loving? Some D*ck you’re a grown man stop crying about everything

  8. cameron poe - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Am I missing something? How did Dickey handle the xmas party poorly? Asking the reporters to lay off on a day where the kids are present that he seems to be making about the kids? What is wrong with that?

    Seems to me like he handled it well. Sounds like he did control his verbiage and you can hardly compare him not wanting to discuss contract negotiations and business in front of children at a holiday party to the regular season where one would expect to have to answer questions about these matters.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      He did talk about the negotiations, but it was hardly what any reasonable person would term any sort of rant:

      “In the context of the market, you want what you think is fair,” Dickey said. “I feel like we’re asking for less than what’s fair because that’s how it’s been for me. There is a surprise sometimes when things don’t get done quickly and you already think you’re extending the olive branch. At the same time, they have a budget they have to adhere to. I don’t know those numbers. And I try not to take it personally.”

      • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        Davidoff plays the elf card. That’s pretty low, even for a “reporter” from the Pestilence.

  9. ningenito78 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    @cameron poe- I think you misread the article. He did talk about his contract.

  10. thebadguyswon - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Hmmmm. Ny Post again eh guys?

    Can we get a source from the Mets ownership or front office please? You know, a source that would shake off this transparent agenda HBT has about sensationalising non-strories. Mmm kay?

    • raysfan1 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      NJ Star Ledger, for one, has also reported that Mets management was upset with Dickey answering questions about his contract at that party.

      As far as finding Mets FO personnel to talk on the record, well that is naive in the extreme…and I think you know that, Mr Wilpon. Whisper campaigns are called that for a reason.

      Now, if you want to find a group with a true negative agenda about the Mets’ management, try Dead Spin. Meanwhile, your delusions of persecution are a bit stale.

    • thebadguyswon - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      Its pure conjecture. And HBT pawns it off as fact.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        It’s commentary on someone else’s column. HBT pawns it off as commentary on someone else’s column.

  11. butchhuskey - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    As a Mets fan, I have nothing but love and respect for RA Dickey. He is a classy and articulate individual who has done wonderful things for charity and always handled himself with dignity. I’m excited for the players we’ll get back in this trade but I’ll miss him when he goes to Toronto.

  12. chacochicken - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    So, R.A. Dickey is a clubhouse cancer now? His teammates don’t like him, the front office is upset with him, he’s become some huge celebrity…Who does this knuckleballer think he is anyway? Why does he go by those initials instead of a full name? Why does he have a beard? What’s he got to hide? I guess they’ll just give a Cy Young award to anybody in the N.L. these days. On a slightly more serious note, Is this the strangest behavior by a team toward a very reasonable contract extension in the last ten years?

    • mazblast - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      It’s the Mets. They do things their own special way, a way that has worked so well for them and made them so respected. Flushing has become the destination of choice for players throughout the majors.

  13. IdahoMariner - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    if you go back and look at his comments at the part, they weren’t even critical of the Mets. he just expressed disappointment, really. davidoff is a tool. from sbnation, what dickey said:
    “If that’s the decision they feel like is best for the club [not to extend], 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].

    I feel we are asking for even less than what is fair.

    There is a surprise sometimes when things don’t get done quickly and you think you are already extending the olive branch. But at the same time they have a budget to adhere to, and that is part of it, too.

    Things are emotional for me. When people say it’s business, it’s not personal, that just means it’s not personal for them. It can be personal for me.

    I’m hoping that it’s going to end up in a good place, but you can’t help but in the back of your mind think it may not, and that’s sad.”

    as rob neyer observed:
    “Man, what a jerk! Oh, except for the parts where he’s honest and even-handed. Which seems like all the parts.”

  14. Old Gator - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    This faux-sanctimonious crock of coprolite is a great example of why spawrtswriters rank down the social hierarchy somewhere between used car salesmen and politicians. So R A Dickey isn’t happy that, having just won for a team that wasn’t worth watching for any other reason a Cy Young award, he’s being played cheap and fast by a bunch of skint financial bunglers? Wow. He’s really out if control and into self-promotion, then, isn’t he?

    Another point: if you aren’t appreciated and respected by your teammates, you aren’t going to be “beloved” anyway. If he has their appreciation and respect, he’s doing just what any professional needs to do, and you can commit the cheap sentiment – and the semi-literate readership of the Pestilence as well as its so-called spawrts pundits – to the gentle ministrations of the Coriolis Effect.

  15. rayfeathers - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    ship his mullet-ass to toronto. he’ ll never have a year like last again.

    • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Really? Explain then the two years preceding it.

      Another idiot who doesn’t bother to fact-check before shooting off his mouth. You’d make a great copy boy for the writers at the Pestilence.

      • jyoung1891 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        Sorry. We posted at the same time. Great minds think alike.

      • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        I awlways appreciate good company out on the trail, ye know? A man gits dry and dusty….

        (sorry, been treatin’ meself to a Sergio Leone recap weekend.)

  16. jyoung1891 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    His record last year was obviously off the charts. But really his record for the last THREE years looks very good.

  17. dukepatrol - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    You don’t have to be loved -you have to be needed
    From a music business standpoint my take has always been -When I say it’s about the music ,they say it’s about the business and when I say it’s about the business they say it’s about the music.
    Both sides here have handled this poorly but the Muts as usual manage to screw it up

  18. kkolchak - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Because we all know how much MLB players HATE playing for a teammate who dominates the opposition. Given a choice, they’d all rather play with a bunch of nice guy mediocrities that they can at least get along with. That’s why no free agent ever cites having a shot at winning a championship as his motivation for where he signs.

    What a crock.

  19. cur68 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    What in the hell is this guy talking about? When interviewed not 2 days ago, David Wright, most highly paid ballplayer the Mets have ever had, couldn’t stop praising RA Dickey. Wright made it his business to describe RA’s value and meaning to that team in nothing short of glowing terms. In fact, while his contract negotiations were going on it was widely reported that Wright was only going to sign on IF and only IF RA Dickey was going to be a Met. What this jackass Davidoff has written is in direct opposition to what the face of that franchise has just been saying. There is nothing credible to this story.

    • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      No credibility? What are you talking about? That story was hacked directly from Rupert Murdock’s cell phone.

      • cur68 - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Anything hacked from Murdock’s cell phone comes with its own skin disease, advanced syphilis, vertigo, and an attendant imp. I’d be real careful even breathing the same air as that guy.

      • simonfoster231171 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        I’ve met Murdoch’s mother. She was a very nice lady who died earlier this month, aged 103. She and his father, who was a famous War Correspondent in WW1, must be spinning in their graves over the sludge that their son pours out …

      • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Cur: “He put critchers in our earss…”

        simon: a good story ars gratis artis, but boy, I sure hope the slug didn’t inherit his mother’s longevity genes. A hundred and three years of Rupert Murdoch? It’s bad enough that he outlived Dennis Potter, but Dear Buddha, that’s almost as awful as being a Cubs fan.

  20. yahmule - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Lots of sportswriters shill for the team they cover, but few do it with such clumsy transparency.

    The Blue Jays are having an incredible off season. With a healthy Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow, and some maturation from Brett Lawrie, they will be a handful next season.

  21. longtimefan1 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Considering how personal Davidoff makes it, and how little we hear of him since he’s left Newsday, one has to ask what are his motives in tearing apart such a stand up guy as RA Dickey? All self-serving.

    We fans see through the charade and will always love RA Dickey. No bull dispensed by the Mets or Davidoff will change that.

    I am going to start keeping ongoing eye on the Blue Jays and will be rooting for them throughout the season.

  22. willclarkgameface - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I’m almost shocked. This is some Boston style, throwing dudes under the bus on their way out of town-style reporting.

    The media should be ashamed of themselves for believing they are even the least bit important to anyone.

  23. mrznyc - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    All this has the aroma of Jeff Wilpon about it.

    • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      This smells like David Beckham Instinct?

  24. jeffbbf - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Anyone else think it was strange that the press was at the Mets’ holiday party? Maybe as invited guests – but even then, what the hell were they doing asking anyone questions?

    • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      I would have hoped that they were taking pictures of R A Dickey in an elf suit – but instead, we got this sump full of verbal drainage.

      On the other hand, what would the New York Pestilence have looked like in elf suits? Here’s one possibility:

      • citizenking77 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        Nazi references? Really Old Gator? I enjoy your posts and you are well informed when it comes to baseball, but the “Pestilence” stuff is getting old. The problems with the media is that they are either puppets for the Left or the Right, or in this case the Mets. The media being a puppet for the Mets is small potatoes compared to the danger that being a lapdog to the Left or Right brings forth. I believe you are smart enough to understand this sir.

  25. longtimefan1 - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    To put the finishing touches on this story, Sports Illustrated reported in an article dated March 27, 2012, that to a man, his teammates say that Dickey is well liked.

    “To a man, teammates assert that Dickey is well-liked, very much part of the team tapestry.”

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