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Ken Davidoff answers his critics in the wake of his R.A. Dickey column

Dec 17, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

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Over the weekend, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote a column in which he criticized departing New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, calling him a “handful,” saying he was not well-liked by his teammates and generally painting a picture of a self-absorbed self promoter.

It was surprising for a couple of reasons. First, because no one had ever described Dickey in such terms and the timing suggested that perhaps the Mets were throwing him under the bus as he left the team. But it was more surprising coming from Davidoff, who is one of the best, most reasonable and most level-headed columnists around, particularly in New York. He just doesn’t write that kind of stuff very often, so it was kind of jarring to see.

Today, much to Davidoff’s credit, he writes another column, this one explaining the basis for his criticism of Dickey in his last one. The questions he asks and then answers such as “Why are we just hearing now about these aspects of Dickey’s personality?” and “Aren’t you just being a water-carrier for the Mets front office” echo ones we saw bouncing around the internet over the weekend. And Davidoff takes them head on.

You may still question Davidoff’s column and disagree with what he had to say about R.A. Dickey, but kudos to Davidoff to actually engaging his readers and critics like this.  Would that more writers did the same.

  1. chill1184 - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Frankly I didn’t give a shit on what Davidoff or any of the NY collective of sports media mental midgets had to say about Dickey. When the article came out it was in my opinion a “will the sun come up tomorrow” feeling. To attack the Mets, Jets (Im a Steelers fan btw), Islanders and to an extent the Devils is standard protocol for the NY media whether it be print, radio or TV. Davidoff responding only makes me wonder who he lost a bet to.

  2. shawndc04 - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Sorry but his rebuttal was thoroughly unpersuasive. He blames Dickey when it was the reporters who asked about the negotiations at the party, then attempts to justify his hypocrisy by claiming that reporters are of a lower standard. His implication that Dickey betrayed his teammates involved minor incidents. He did not adequately refute the Dick Young comparison and hid behind the “anonymous source” when his column was questioned in some detail. That article didn’t cut it all.

  3. APBA Guy - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I’m surprised more columnists don’t do this, since it fills the space they have deadlines to fill. It’s an automatic two-fer: Write column 1 about what a weasel Player X is, then write Column 2 defending your views. And Of course the reverse works as well, Column 1 “he’s a great guy” Column 2 “here’s my reasoning”. Boring, but it fills space.

    • Michael - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      Only two? Geoff Baker got weeks of columns out of his “Ichiro is a clubhouse cancer” crap.

  4. thebadguyswon - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Pure horsecrap. The media needs to get a life.

  5. Old Gator - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Just wondering if Davidoff would address the other big question about his column that’s still hanging in the air, namely, “Do you have any idea of what an asshole you are?”

  6. cur68 - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Ok. Just read Davidoff’s column. Some of his answers are decent and he takes the bull by the horns and confronts the shit-storm he created. BUT its a bunch of weak sauce in an over all sense. He wrote a character assassination piece based on some pretty small logic. Now its all good because he explains his “logic”? I don’t think so. His logic relies too heavily on contextual debate that he cherry picks from. Its dishonest.

    • skids003 - Dec 18, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      Well said, cur, I agree with you 100%. Surprised?

  7. tashkalucy - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    A baseball player cannot get out of New York or Boston without being vilified.

    • thebadguyswon - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Pretty much.

  8. psousa1 - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Peter Gammons did it for years for Boston’s front office. He greased the skids for Dan Duquette to fire Kevin Kennedy back in the 90’s when he just came out of left field with an unprovoked column killing him and Kennedy was fired a couple of days later. Then god knows how long he was Theo Epstein’s DL – Designated Leaker and water carrier. He was also the courier between Scott Boras and Epstein for the JD Drew/Daisuke Matsuzaka package.

  9. butchhuskey - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Davidoff’s responses were weak and unconvincing. Reporters don’t have to take responsibility for their actions? Dickey’s a bad teammate because he wrote about Mike Pelfrey kicking footballs and wanted a hit changed to an error?

    Please, Mr. Davidoff, stop insulting everyone’s intelligence. Anyone who knows anything about RA Dickey knows he is a humble man of extraordinary character. Nice try covering your a$$ but your attempts to vilify a model human being are pretty pathetic.

  10. brewcrewfan54 - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Can the saga of the offseason of RA Dickey finally be over?

    • Old Gator - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Let’s hope so.

      Since I never really read anything by Davidoff – anything memorable enough to have retained, anyway – I can’t comment on Craig’s assertion that he was any good as a spawrts jernaleast before these two horseshit columns. However, I am reminded of a bit of dialogue from a truly awful 1957 D horror movie called Attack of the Crab Monsters. Giant radioactive crabs, mutated by nuclear tests, assimilate the minds of the people they eat. One such crab, having eaten a scientist, begins stalking the other humans trapped on a Pacific atoll. One of the surviving humans asks another survivor why, when this scientist was so nice and friendly before being eaten, he’s now trying to kill and eat them all. The other scientist replies, “Well, then he was a man. Now he’s a crab.”

      I suspect that moving from Newsday to The New York Pestilence must be something like that. When you change corporate cultures, the new corporate culture usually changes you, too.

      • yahmule - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

        What bugs me is our species has eaten literally millions of crabs dating back to the dawn of man, but when some crabs start eating a few people, they’re vilified as “monsters”. That movie was nothing but a hatchet job.

      • Gamera the Brave - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        I gotta look this flick up, Gator!
        I think, however, that the SPSC (Society for the Prevention of Slander on Crabs) would take some umbrage at the movie’s assertion that just because someone is a crab they are a violent assh@le…

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I never read the Post and I laugh at people who do.

    Thanks RA for the way you pitched last year, you were the reason a lot of Met fans
    enjoyed at least one good game every week.

    I hope enjoy your stay in Canada, beautiful people and place to visit.

    • Gamera the Brave - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Do you point at them when you laugh?
      I would pay to see someone walk around and just point and laugh at people for reading the Post…

  12. randygnyc - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    By default, I’ve read quite a bit from Davidoff. He covers my local team. He’s reasonably intelligent and infrequently biased. He’s very seldom a d-bag. That’s why the Dickey character assassination was so startling. Now, Davidoff reveals himself to be a completely different type of journalist. He has taken his readership for fools. He has descended into the depths of trifling pettiness. His assertion that journalists should be held to lower standards than either celebrities/athletes and or citizens, is both hypocritical, on its face, and disturbingly offensive. Sadly, Davidoff proves he’s an out of touch elitist who wishes to be judged as a less civilized, disadvantaged, underdog.

    • Old Gator - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      That’s just another way of saying that he writes for the Pestilence now, no?

    • spyder13met - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      I’ve found Davidoff to be an uplifting beat writer when it comes to the Yankees, but just the opposite when it comes to the Mets. He never seems to have anything positive to say about the team, players or fans. The way he writes makes me wonder if he is employed by the Steinbrenners.

  13. sdelmonte - Dec 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I must be the only Mets fan who is not all that bummed by the trade. And who feels that RA was being a bit difficult. No one looks great here. Except for Alderson. This could be like the Beltran-Wheeler deal, and that is worth a lot to me.

    • thebadguyswon - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      Most Mets fans I know are thrilled. Gotta look at the big picture and luckily most of us are.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        Isn’t the big picture as a Met fan hoping the Wilpons sell the team?

    • spyder13met - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      How was R.A. being a bit difficult?
      By asking for as much as pitchers with half his talent and success rate earn?
      By stating repeatedly that he wants to play for the Mets?
      By understanding that the Mets might need to trade him and not feeling hurt by this?
      Wow! All players should be a difficult. The owners too.

      • sdelmonte - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM

        His public statement last week annoyed the heck out of me. It was out of character. And that is enough that I am willing to believe Davidoff’s article.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Congratulation sdelmonte: You are the first person I have seen not get vilified for even vagely holding R.A. in a negative light. Natslady took several body shots and a couple under the chin for merely saying she disliked him.

  14. moogro - Dec 18, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    There wouldn’t be any war if it wasn’t for that king-shit cop.

  15. bigmeechy74 - Dec 18, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    It’s probably all true. I bet a lot of his teammates hated him.

    • spyder13met - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      “It’s probably all true. I bet a lot of his teammates hated him”

      Based on what? Davidoff? The Wilpons? It is not “probably” true. It is a minority opinion with no basis of fact. When I see players coming out and stating that they didn’t like him, then you will have something to base your opinion on.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        I’m just saying I doubt Davidoff just made up the whole thing. I shouldn’t have said “hate” but I meant I think some of his teammates may well be annoyed with him. But then again I could be wrong. Just not sure that the author would pull this story out of thin air

  16. stlouis1baseball - Dec 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Big R.A. Dickey fan here. What’s not to like about a 38 year old former Olympian who re-invented himself as a knuckleball dealing, Kilimanjaro climbing, scoreless innings throwing machine? And the dude writes books, reads Hemingway and runs a Christian ministry to boot! He is (by all acounts)…on the verge of Sainthood.
    That is why I can sincerely appreciate everyone coming to his every defense. Much like the cool kids in school…everyone wants to like them. It’s the cool thing to do.
    So don’t ever…under any circumstances…bad mouth R.A. Dickey. It borders on blasphemy!
    Of course…I don’t know him. You don’t know him. And neither does Davidoff.

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