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Saturday, December 15, 2012

NYPost: Amazin’s won’t knuckle under Dickey’s laughable threats to leave

The Mets are poised to pull this off even though Dickey’s unwieldy personality, the same personality that fueled his remarkable climb to greatness, mitigated the Mets’ options. Dickey’s remarks Tuesday underlined how risky it would be to employ Dickey as a one-year, $5-million, extension-less player in 2013.

This transaction marks a brave new path for the Mets, one in which sound baseball operations trumps sentiment. This in the same week when the Yankees are giving 39-year-old Ichiro Suzuki, who clocked 10 mediocre weeks and two phenomenal ones in The Bronx, a two-year extension seemingly because fans adored his inability to hit home runs.

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?

The Mets are giving the Red Sox a run for their money as worst jagoffs in the front office.

Tripon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Steve N Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4325663)
The Mets seem to be one of those teams who bad mouth their players whenever they disagree. On of their less appealing characteristics.
   2. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4325669)
This recent barrage from the Mets is literally the first time, ever, that I've seen anyone say word one about Dickey's purported "unlikeability."

And again, I've been following him since his Mariners days. So it's not like I'm new to coverage of him.

EDIT: OTOH, the fact that the author of this story is Ken Davidoff (one of the very few New York sportswriters who I respect) gives me at least a moment's pause.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4325674)
Isn't this a slightly sarcastic article, or am I missing the intent here? The quote that Davidoff put in the paper about Dickey being self serving was
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?


Isn't this one of those attempts at irony that might have failed?
   4. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4325676)
The ESPN article about the Dickey to Toronto rumors claims that the huge gulf between the Mets and Dickey is between 20 million for two years or 26 for two years. Six million dollars. Three million per year. The Mets are publicly trashing and trading the reigning Cy Young award winner (who arguably provided their fans with more excitement than the rest of the team put together last year) because they cannot--and will not--negotiate a three million dollar difference. I actually really like D'Arnaud and would make that trade if I were the Mets, but the way they have handled the situation feels like a new low for a Wilpon administration filled with lows to me. If you don't want to sign him to an extension, just tell him that, thank him, and trade him. Don't trash him and claim he's an ####### because he wants half of Greinke's annual salary for one third of the years of Greinke's deal.
   5. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4325678)
You can't say \"#######\" on primer? ############, man, what the #### is that #### all about? Who the hell censors the word #######? I'm pretty sure I've heard Snuffleupagus call someone an ####### on Sesame Street before, but you can't use the word ####### on Primer? Is there a way to turn down the Nanny just a tad? Just enough to call people ########? Like on Sesame Street?
   6. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4325684)
You can't say \"#######\" on primer? ############, man, what the #### is that #### all about? Who the hell censors the word #######? I'm pretty sure I've heard Snuffleupagus call someone an ####### on Sesame Street before, but you can't use the word ####### on Primer? Is there a way to turn down the Nanny just a tad? Just enough to call people ########? Like on Sesame Street?
Yeah, whoever runs this joint is a total asshole for doing stuff like that.

The ESPN article about the Dickey to Toronto rumors claims that the huge gulf between the Mets and Dickey is between 20 million for two years or 26 for two years. Six million dollars. Three million per year. The Mets are publicly trashing and trading the reigning Cy Young award winner (who arguably provided their fans with more excitement than the rest of the team put together last year) because they cannot--and will not--negotiate a three million dollar difference. I actually really like D'Arnaud and would make that trade if I were the Mets, but the way they have handled the situation feels like a new low for a Wilpon administration filled with lows to me. If you don't want to sign him to an extension, just tell him that, thank him, and trade him. Don't trash him and claim he's an ####### because he wants half of Greinke's annual salary for one third of the years of Greinke's deal.


This bore repeating, censoring and all.

I'm not big on overpaying players because at one point you underpaid them. After all, you don't hear about players sucking and en masse giving millions back. But to let the price of a backup middle infielder get in the way of this is stupid, especially when yammering about it can only hurt your leverage. I don't think it puts the Mets in a hole, but it can't possibly help.

But, it's the Wilpons' fief, and Dickey apparently declined to do a personal appearance for Fred. That's about all it takes.
   7. Bug Selig Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4325685)
“Folks, not today, not with the kids here” was all he had to say to reporters


The Eddie Murray effect. If you don't kowtow to reporters, you're a bad guy.
   8. depletion Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4325688)
The Mets are giving the Red Sox a run for their money as worst jagoffs in the front office.

Yeah, but except for the last year and 6 weeks,the Red Sox have been competitive for quite a while. If this was a ownership that gave the indication they knew their butt from a hole in the ground, I would cut them some slack for leaking this stuff. I don't think the word "Amazin'" applies anymore. Maybe "Regretable".
   9. Conor Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4325690)
I don't believe the Mets are trading Dickey because they don't want to sign him, or can't afford to. They think trading him for young players is the best move for the future of the team. Obviously time will tell if that is correct, but for a team that isn't going to contend next year it's defensible.

The hit job in the Post was strange though.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4325692)
Isn't this a slightly sarcastic article, or am I missing the intent here? The quote that Davidoff put in the paper about Dickey being self serving was

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?

Isn't this one of those attempts at irony that might have failed?
Yeah, I wondered the same thing. Reading the whole article, it's just cascading assertions, all evidence-free, that there's something wrong with Dickey. I don't see any other markers like the quoted paragraph suggesting this is a joke. There's no build to the absurd, and there are no other moments where the rhetoric is contradicted by facts. So I'm guessing it's just really, really dumb.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4325693)
The Mets are giving the Red Sox a run for their money as worst jagoffs in the front office.


The Mets aren't even the worst jagoffs front office in their own division.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4325695)
I don't believe the Mets are trading Dickey because they don't want to sign him, or can't afford to. They think trading him for young players is the best move for the future of the team. Obviously time will tell if that is correct, but for a team that isn't going to contend next year it's defensible.


And most people have said that a good trade is defensible. The issue has been the public slamming of Dickey by the Mets in an attempt to save face if they do trade him.

Mind you, I do not agree that they can't contend next year. There is no powerhouse divisions in baseball, and if there was it is in the Al and on the west coast. The NL east, even with the Nationals performance last year, isn't a division that screams impossible to compete.
   13. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4325696)
The Mets aren't even the worst jagoffs front office in their own division.
I read this and immediately began thinking "wait, who...?" and then I was all like "ohhh...MARLINS."

Good point.
   14. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4325700)
I think the issue is that Dickey didn't say that to reporters, he had more to say. The suggestion is that he should have said that.
   15. Conor Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4325704)
And most people have said that a good trade is defensible. The issue has been the public slamming of Dickey by the Mets in an attempt to save face if they do trade him.


That was really stupid; there's no way to win a PR war with Dickey. Everyone loves the guy, probably because he's awesome. I feel like that one had Jeff Wilpon written all over it.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4325706)
I think the issue is that Dickey didn't say that to reporters, he had more to say. The suggestion is that he should have said that.
Oh, I took "had" as a simple marker of the past tence. That that really was all Dickey said. You're suggesting it wasn't a tense marker but something like an "ought" - that Dickey said something else and should have said almost nothing. That does make more sense in context.

You'd think Davidoff would actually report the bad stuff Dickey said, which presumably is determinative for his argument.
   17. Srul Itza Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4325707)
the fact that the author of this story is Ken Davidoff (one of the very few New York sportswriters who I respect) gives me at least a moment's pause.


If he's writing for the Post now, he has lost the benefit of the doubt. Apparently, he aspires to be the new Dick Young -- or the new young dick.

Normally, I would never read the reader comments at the Post, but it is interesting to see that they are running around 9-1 in favor of "Davidoff is an ass".
   18. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4325710)
If he's writing for the Post now, he has lost the benefit of the doubt. Apparently, he aspires to be the new Dick Young -- or the new young dick.
Spare me the pointless bigotry. Everything we have known about Davidoff as a sportswriter before -- when he was with Newsday -- has not suddenly altered because he now works for a papers whose politics you personally disagree with. All I'm saying is that there is a chance that his article has some real sourcing behind it with people in the clubhouse.

Not that this would make the assessment more accurate, or fair. But it does add to our knowledge in an interesting way.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4325711)
The DBacks gave a 42 year old Randy Johnson with a bad back coming off a 90 ERA+ season (3 years 119 ERA+, 667 IP)the a 2 year deal for $34M adjusted for todays salaries.

The Mets wont give the reigning Cy Young winner coming off a 140 ERA+ season (3 years 129 ERA+, 616 IP) an offer higher than $20M?
   20. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4325713)
The Mets will have to make close to a $14M qualifying offer for 2014 to RA next year too.
   21. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4325717)
The Mets are poised to pull this off even though Dickey’s unwieldy personality, the same personality that fueled his remarkable climb to greatness, mitigated the Mets’ options. Dickey’s remarks Tuesday underlined how risky it would be to employ Dickey as a one-year, $5-million, extension-less player in 2013.

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?


I think I am going to fucking throw up.
   22. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4325719)
Everything we have known about Davidoff as a sportswriter before -- when he was with Newsday -- has not suddenly altered because he now works for a papers whose politics you personally disagree with.

Eso, take a deep breath. I don't think anyone thinks a single thing about politics when they think about the Post's sportswriters. I personally think of blocked, overflowing, putrid toilets in old Shea.
   23. Srul Itza Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4325720)
I see no reason to give Davidoff the benefit of any doubt, given the crap in this article. What Lassus just said about Post sportswriters, past, present and future, is right on.

And based on your offensive screed, I see no reason to give you the benefit of the doubt either, as you are just another poster who pointlessly throws politics into sports thread, just to stir up dust. Go back to the OTP thread.
   24. Tim D Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4325721)
Dude wins a Cy Young and publishes a hit memoir, is one of the best stories of the year and practically the only reason anybody thinks about the Mets. He's signed for $5M this year, what middle relievers are getting on the open market. He has for three years been one of the best pitchers in the game and very consistent. Even if he is 38, with the knuckleball he probably has several good years left. This is probably his last chance to make any big money. And he can't get Ryan Dempster contract from a NY team. And to boot they are trashing the guy in the press because he has the nerve to act a little bit peeved. I would be ashamed to be a Mets fan. Whatever they get in trade is too good for them.
   25. Swedish Chef Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4325722)
What I can't see is why they are spreading this #### right now. Nothing undermines a tough trading stance like burning bridges ("We love Dickey, it would take a king's ransom to get him" "Yeah, right").
   26. Bob Tufts Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4325735)
In the spirit of being a contrarian, I asked Ken Davidoff a few months ago whether RA Dickey was rubbing people the wrong way.

My initial fear was that the players may get fed up that he sucks the entire media oxygen out of the room and aggressively marketed himself through the NY press while the team was going through another horrid season. Hearing how great he is and that the rest of you stink can be hard to take for an entire summer.

Too bad the Wilpons who were too ignorant to see that the cult of RA Dickey helped knock the Madoff financial mess off the sports pages.




   27. NattyBoh Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4325736)
This is the New York Post and the New York Mets! Why should anyone be surprised by anything either does? I'm still shaking my head over Omar's press conference when he fired Willie Randolph. (My head is tired from all of that shaking.)
   28. depletion Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4325737)
Spare me the pointless bigotry.

Esoteric, The Post is known for sensationalism and low quality, regardless of politics. Yes, they do get stories right sometimes, too.
What I can't see is why they are spreading this #### right now. Nothing undermines a tough trading stance like burning bridges ("We love Dickey, it would take a king's ransom to get him" "Yeah, right").

Totally agree. Furthermore, the trading partner may want to discuss an extension with Dickey. He'll certainly be less willing to help the Mets out by agreeing to an extension with the new team after hearing this. It does not seem to be the case, however, that an extension is being discussed with Toronto. Probably doesn't help their image with other ballplayers and potential free agents, too.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4325741)
In the spirit of being a contrarian, I asked Ken Davidoff a few months ago whether RA Dickey was rubbing people the wrong way


You know this would have been a lot better if you would have given Davidoff's response to the question.
   30. Dan Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4325742)
Is Davidoff just a complete toady for the Wilpons now? Holy crap, what a miserable article.
   31. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4325749)
And based on your offensive screed, I see no reason to give you the benefit of the doubt either, as you are just another poster who pointlessly throws politics into sports thread, just to stir up dust. Go back to the OTP thread.
Wait, are you serious? I haven't participated in a political thread or discussion here in YEARS. (Seriously -- I don't think I've ever posted once in any OTP thread.) You, on the other hand, are notorious for inserting your politics gratuitously into many of your posts.

Look, it's dumb for this thread to devolve into a "you suck/no you suck" flame war, but you don't get to just drop that sort of accusation on me and walk away. I'm the OPPOSITE of a person who throws political arguments into sports threads -- I basically run shrieking from politics on Primer at this point -- meanwhile that is precisely the sort of thing you do nearly all the time. Therefore for you to level this accusation at me is irony writ large.

For the record, I get the point (that others have made) that the Post is a sensationalistic paper...but so is the Daily News. So are any and all tabloid-style dailies. I never really thought of their sports section as sharing the same sort of irresponsibility as their straight news coverage.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4325752)
For the record, I get the point (that others have made) that the Post is a sensationalistic paper...but so is the Daily News. So are any and all tabloid-style dailies. I never really thought of their sports section as sharing the same sort of irresponsibility as their straight news coverage.


On top of that, isn't it logical to think that the writer would maintain his level of quality/standards instead of changing that level just because his paychecks are coming from someone else? At least until he proves differently.
   33. Lassus Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4325754)
I'm the OPPOSITE of a person who throws political arguments into sports threads -- I basically run shrieking from politics on Primer at this point -- meanwhile that is precisely the sort of thing you do nearly all the time.

But... it IS what you did here. I personally recognize you don't post in the OOTP thread, and knew that as soon as Srul wrote what he did. It doesn't change that that's what happened this time.
   34. caprules Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4325760)
Wait, are you serious? I haven't participated in a political thread or discussion here in YEARS.


I thought I remembered you saying that Romney would win easily. A simple search shows this

People who understand the deeper trends now set in place for the upcoming election (economic, international, electoral) around here are acting on the assumption that Obama's a dead man walking at this point. He will linger in the polls at parity with Romney for the next few months, then the bottom will fall out in September and October. The final result will, in terms of the national vote at least, be something close to a mirror image of 2008 percentage wise. The map may well look very different from the last GOP victory, FWIW...Virginia is going to be a much tighter state for Romney than OH, FL, or even CO.
   35. Bob Tufts Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4325761)

On top of that, isn't it logical to think that the writer would maintain his level of quality/standards instead of changing that level just because his paychecks are coming from someone else? At least until he proves differently.


Ken is still a liberal that lives on the West Side of Manhattan.


Perhaps this got the ball rolling - from the NY Times 26th September:

Dickey’s narrative, in this way, has engulfed all others on the team. But the Mets, while aware of the possibility for tension among other players, are adamant that it does not exist within the clubhouse.

“In R. A.’s case, right now, this is kind of a special thing,” Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday. “I know most of the players understand what it means and what it is. There’s always going to be some guy that maybe takes it the wrong way. But you can’t please everybody.”


   36. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4325762)
I thought I remembered you saying that Romney would win easily. A simple search shows this
Well pardon my exaggeration (and my terrible prediction). I didn't even remember that. Still, the point stands -- I am most certainly not a frequent participant in such threads (or any political threads these days, really). Anyone want to dispute that?
But... it IS what you did here. I personally recognize you don't post in the OOTP thread, and knew that as soon as Srul wrote what he did. It doesn't change that that's what happened this time.
Is it? My post was a reaction to what I perceived as him saying "oh I don't trust anything Davidoff writes, now that he's with that right-wing trash paper, his former credibility has ceased to exist." Therefore, the way I interpreted it, it was HIM gratuitously inserting politics into a discussion that had nothing to do with it. You see that?

And then is response his to say 1.) Esoteric, you have no credibility as a person, either; 2.) Go crawl back into the OTP cesspool you slinked out of. I mean talk about about giving me both barrels disproportionately.

Besides, isn't there a more important point here: that some people on the Mets may actually think Dickey is a primadonna? Whether rightly or wrongly so?
   37. caprules Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4325764)
I am most certainly not a frequent participant in such threads (or any political threads these days, really). Anyone want to dispute that?


That would be an empty point. You accused Srul of bigotry because you believe his political leanings influenced his judgement of the Post. It seems clear to me that your political focus is just a bit tight and misguided.
   38. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4325766)
An asshat says what?
   39. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4325768)
I do note that Bob Tufts has quite conspicuously failed to give Davidoff's answer to the question he posed to him (re: Dickey being disliked by his teammates) in #26. But he has gnomically pointed to an earlier article suggesting that there were rumblings of discontent in the clubhouse.

Anyone else reading between the lines there? I'd find it very surprising were the implied message true, and something that reflected poorly on those people. But if it's true it's true.
   40. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4325776)
My post was a reaction to what I perceived as him saying "oh I don't trust anything Davidoff writes, now that he's with that right-wing trash paper, his former credibility has ceased to exist." Therefore, the way I interpreted it, it was HIM gratuitously inserting politics into a discussion that had nothing to do with it. You see that?


Except for the rather important point that Srul didn't say what you perceived him as saying. His problem with the Post, vis-a-vis sports, is not that it's a sensationalist right-wing rag. It's simply that it's a sensationalist rag. IOW, you interpreted what he said incorrectly and as a result, it was you and not Srul who did the politics-injecting. You see that?
   41. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4325779)
Except for the rather important point that Srul didn't say what you perceived him as saying. His problem with the Post, vis-a-vis sports, is not that it's a sensationalist right-wing rag. It's simply that it's a sensationalist rag. IOW, you interpreted what he said incorrectly and as a result, it was you and not Srul who did the politics-injecting. You see that?
As a matter of fact, I do. I was the one who made the first mistake, not him. He then blundered as well (IMO), but I blew it first -- which matters -- and I'm sorry for that. That's all there is to say at this point, really.

Now: back to badgering Bob Tufts into cutting out the cryptic hints and outright telling us what the response was to his inquiry about how other people in the club felt about Dickey during his late season run.
   42. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4325787)
I guess Bob has to protect his sources.
   43. Bob Tufts Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4325793)
At that time early in the summer, Ken was not a contrarian and didn't buy into my being fed up with the RA/24/7/365 storyline. I was an early believer that Dickey was self-promoting to excess.

What may have changed? Perhaps items that caused the NYT article. Perhaps there were more than a few people that weren't on board with the drive for Cy. Perhaps Mets' management has been dropping more negative tidbits for reporters to pick up as part of the hardball negotiations process with Dickey.
   44. The District Attorney Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4325794)
Wow, Ken. WTF?
   45. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4325795)
I guess Bob has to protect his sources.
Sure, but you can't look at his sequence of posts, read them carefully, and not come to the conclusion that yes, R.A. Dickey may well have apparently rubbed a number of the other players in the clubhouse the wrong way last year, for whatever reason.

Again: I'm a massive fan of his (which says a lot considering he's spend the last three years with The Mets!), so I'm not accepting that as proof of his moral failing; in fact, as I said earlier, I'm instead inclined to believe that it just means those people should get over themselves. But there's no question that this is a rather interesting new data point, insofar as it suggests that Davidoff isn't just pulling his angle out of thin air (or doing the bidding of the front office's PR goons).
   46. Srul Itza Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4325796)
I blew it first -- which matters -- and I'm sorry for that.


Accepted.


Bu this:

You, on the other hand, are notorious for inserting your politics gratuitously into many of your posts.


is B.S. I am NOT one of the regular politics-injectors. The only thing I am notorious for is injecting Hawaii references, particularly in the Winter.
   47. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4325798)
“In R. A.’s case, right now, this is kind of a special thing,” Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday. “I know most of the players understand what it means and what it is. There’s always going to be some guy that maybe takes it the wrong way. But you can’t please everybody.”


This reads to me like R.A. isn't the one who's being a dickey.
   48. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4325799)
The only thing I am notorious for is injecting Hawaii references, particularly in the Winter.


You dog, you!
   49. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4325816)
I am NOT one of the regular politics-injectors. The only thing I am notorious for is injecting Hawaii references, particularly in the Winter.


Enjoy being above sea level while you can! (HAHA See what i did there!)

enh...it's not funny cause parts of Hawaii will always be above sea level.
   50. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4325825)
Perhaps Mets' management has been dropping more negative tidbits for reporters to pick up as part of the hardball negotiations process with Dickey.
Then they're halfwitted hacks, and the reporters who stoop to shoveling management's shit are no better. While it would surprise exactly no one if the Mets thought the best way to negotiate with Dickey was to offend him, that doesn't change the stupidity of the approach, or the cupidity of reporters who cooperate with it.
   51. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4325840)
two questions:

1. Is it possible to be on an award chase or milestone chase on a team that's not going anywhere and not be the focus of all attention?

2. Are there players on the team who were upset that their suckitude wasn't getting its due?
   52. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4325845)
interesting question, Your Honor

"hey--why is the media focussing on how well RJ is pitching and completely ignoring how much the rest of us suck. It's performance bias."
   53. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4325853)
As someone who has read the NYC papers for many years, dating back to the late 1970s, I'd say the Post has consistently had the best and most in-depth sports coverage, particularly baseball coverage.

Sherman and Davidoff are both very good national baseball columnists. Most papers are lucky if they have one good national writer on baseball.

The political bent of the Post's editorial page has nothing to do with the quality of the sports section.

And yes, let's keep politics out of the baseball threads. The political theorists around here already have their forum.

   54. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4325857)

"As someone who has read the NYC papers for many years, dating back to the late 1970s, I'd say the Post has consistently had the best and most in-depth sports coverage, particularly baseball coverage.

Sherman and Davidoff are both very good national baseball columnists. Most papers are lucky if they have one good national writer on baseball."

I go back a bit further, but don't greatly disagree.

Don't really know Sherman, but on the tabloid scale, I have found him more responsible than most.

Ken is a former colleague and a class act. I only glanced at the Dickey column, and won't claim a lack of biased opinion.

   55. billyshears Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4325862)
To echo #53, Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff are both excellent, thoughtful columnists. I didn't love the message of this column, but this is not your typical hack delivering a hatchet job.
   56. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4325864)
"hey--why is the media focussing on how well RJ is pitching and completely ignoring how much the rest of us suck. It's performance bias."

To be fair, I looked at the Mets 2012 stats recently and was surprised by how many good young players they have. Duda, Davis, Murphy, Baxter, Nooenhoos, Tejada, Valdespin, Niese, Gee, Parnell, Harvey. But somehow these guys are punchlines because
A) the team is bad
B) the team has no money, therefore doesn't bring in players from other teams except relievers for some reason, therefore isn't trying to win so who cares about these schmoes
C) the team seems to have no interest in promoting anyone as a star except David Wright. I don't even know what any of those young guys look like except Lucas Duda (giant chin) and Justin Turner (red hair). Why is Starlin Castro so much more famous than Ruben Tejada?
   57. PreservedFish Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4325867)
The Mets have lots of solid youngsters with low ceilings.
   58. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4325873)
To be fair, I looked at the Mets 2012 stats recently and was surprised by how many good young players they have. Duda, Davis, Murphy, Baxter, Nooenhoos, Tejada, Valdespin, Niese, Gee, Parnell, Harvey.


At the risk of upsetting Lassus, :) Duda and Nieuwenhuis aren't very good; neither one has much of a chance of sticking as a regular, and Duda will be 27. Baxter, Murphy, and Parnell simply aren't young; they're all entering their age 28 seasons, which is fine, but they don't fit your description of good and young. Gee is a back of the rotation guy. Every team needs that, but he's not a good pitcher. He has an 88 mph fastball, no plus pitches, and no upside. He's a great story, but the part of it that's to like is that he's in the majors at all. A 4A pitcher with just enough extra to stick around for several million dollars.

On the other hand, Davis might take a step up and be an All-Star for several years. Niese just had his first strong year, and he's 25. Once Dickey's gone the team may stop trying to trade him. Harvey's a top prospect. Valdespin walks in 5% of his minor league PAs and had a .278 OBP in his rookie season. The Mets played him all over the place, which is not what you usually do with someone you think of as a regular, but who knows. Make of it what you will.

Why is Starlin Castro so much more famous than Ruben Tejada?
Because he's a much better player. Starlin Castro now is Tejada in a few years if everything goes really, really well for Tejada. Tejada has so little power and seems so unlikely to develop any that his upside is very limited. In the last three seasons, Castro's HRs have gone 3-10-14. Tejada's have gone 1-0-1. Still, he's a nice ballplayer. An average fielding MI who can put up a .350 OBP and stay in the lineup is a good guy to have, but that's also his upside.

.
   59. Lassus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4325880)
At the risk of upsetting Lassus, :) Duda and Nieuwenhuis aren't very good

I have never said these two were very good. My optimism isn't blind. Tejada is better than you give him credit for, though. I think calling him an average fielder is a clear undersell.


Sherman and Davidoff are both very good national baseball columnists.

That may or may not be true, but this specific article makes Davidoff sound like a complete tool. It's embarrassing.


...but this is not your typical hack delivering a hatchet job.

Considering that's exactly how this reads, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to figure that out.
   60. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:17 AM (#4325892)
Gee is a back of the rotation guy. Every team needs that, but he's not a good pitcher. He has an 88 mph fastball, no plus pitches, and no upside.

I think this is particularly harsh. Dillon Gee's average fastball last year was 90.2. He put up a 3.71 fip, 3.54 Xfip. He put up a 7.96 k/9 and a 3.34 k/bb ratio. In his last 9 starts he put up a 3.00 ERA

Is he going to compete for a Cy Young? No. Is he a guy who can be a solid middle of the rotation starter? Absolutely. He doesn't have electric stuff but he's got 4 quality pitches, good control, and a feel for pitching.

I've been following him since the low minors. I hope his injury doesn't ruin him because I really think he does a lot with the stuff he has. I admire that quality.
   61. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4325904)
I stand corrected on Gee's fastball. It was 88 in the minors, but he's bumped it up since then to the 90 mph you noted. I should have checked.

I do think you're overselling him, but I put a lot less stock in fip and xfip as predictive (which is how a lot of people treat it) or as indicative of true talent. I also see that on fangraphs, the values for every single pitch of Gee's bounces around. Some variation is inevitable, but his numbers look a lot like the numbers of a guy who doesn't have reliable stuff. One year his fastball's good, then it's not. His slider is awful, then it's his out pitch. His curve is his worst pitch, then it's ordinary. His change up is poor, then it's good. That's a guy with ordinary stuff.

I've been following him since the low minors. I hope his injury doesn't ruin him because I really think he does a lot with the stuff he has. I admire that quality.
As do I. My hat's off to him, and I hope he comes back and pitches well.
   62.     Hey Gurl Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:03 AM (#4325916)
This recent barrage from the Mets is literally the first time, ever, that I've seen anyone say word one about Dickey's purported "unlikeability."

And again, I've been following him since his Mariners days. So it's not like I'm new to coverage of him.


To be fair (for some reason,) the whole criticism of Dickey is centered around what his new-found fame has turned him into. It might be utter baloney, but his reputation with the Mariners 15 years ago is not really relevant to that. It could absolutely be that Dickey used to be a likable guy but his recent success has gone to his head.
   63. Bhaakon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:09 AM (#4325918)
To be fair (for some reason,) the whole criticism of Dickey is centered around what his new-found fame has turned him into. It might be utter baloney, but his reputation with the Mariners 15 years ago is not really relevant to that. It could absolutely be that Dickey used to be a likable guy but his recent success has gone to his head.


It seems to have turned him into a guy who answers reporters' questions truthfully.

Actually, I could see how that would scare a team off.
   64. zachtoma Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:37 AM (#4325922)
If they do get d'Arnaud and Syndergaard back like reports say, I think the Mets can live with that. That's two very good prospects for a 38 year-old pitcher. It reflects badly on the Mets that they couldn't agree to an extension with him while his demands were so reasonable and they were already so close, and even worse that they turned to impugning his character in the press - but baseball-wise, this isn't going to kill them. It might even help them.
   65. Bug Selig Posted: December 16, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4325932)
Why is Starlin Castro so much more famous than Ruben Tejada?


Tejada has never even been accused of rape, dude. No street cred.
   66. bobm Posted: December 16, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4325936)
The political bent of the Post's editorial page has nothing to do with the quality of the sports section.

That also holds true for the Times' mediocre-at-best sports section.

To be fair, I looked at the Mets 2012 stats recently and was surprised by how many good young players they have. Duda, Davis, Murphy, Baxter, Nooenhoos, Tejada, Valdespin, Niese, Gee, Parnell, Harvey. ...

I don't even know what any of those young guys look like except Lucas Duda (giant chin) and Justin Turner (red hair).


Add Jonathan Niese (unattractive nose - even after Beltran paid $10K to fix Niese's "deviated septum")
   67. NattyBoh Posted: December 16, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4325937)
That also holds true for the Times' mediocre-at-best sports section.


That's only since Murray Chass left.
   68. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4325940)
One question: what exactly did Dickey do this year to promote himself, beyond being accessible to reporters?

For what it's worth, and that's not very much because it's just one claim being made by one random guy on the internet, but two different guys I know who are in a position to know told me Dickey was very unpopular with the Mets clubhouse by the end of the season. And you know, it's possible; beyond the 'self-promoting' he may or may not have been engaged in, Dickey seems from what I've read to be an intelligent and perhaps even kind of nerdy guy. If that's true, well... that tends not to go over well in locker rooms in just about any sport.

OK, my own wild speculations and generalizations aside, I still don't understand what the Mets gain from trashing a guy in the media they're trying to trade. I expect Sandy Alderson to be smarter than that. (Counterpoint: he works for the Wilpons.) Branch Rickey did the same thing 60 years ago when he wanted to get rid of Ralph Kiner, and got about the same results (he was able to trade him, but not for any tremendous value, as part of an eleven-piece deal).
   69. Greg K Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4325947)
Dickey and Thole for Snydergaard, D'Arnaud and Buck.

It would be fun having Dickey on the Jays, but this looks like a solid Mets win.
   70. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4325953)
I'm pretty surprised the Jays are doing this. Is this a better return than the Shields deal?
   71. Lassus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4325957)
Dickey and Thole for Snydergaard, D'Arnaud and Buck.
It would be fun having Dickey on the Jays, but this looks like a solid Mets win.


What? Done? Source?

Your use of conflicting tenses is troubling.
   72. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4325958)
The only thing I see is that it will probably be completed today. That deal plus a random prospect on each side.
   73. Greg K Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4325959)
What? Done? Source?

Oh no, just latest rumour. Apologies.
   74. JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4325966)
One question: what exactly did Dickey do this year to promote himself, beyond being accessible to reporters?

You have to admit that this was a bit over the top. The Poles and Czechs in particular were not amused.

And laying claim to all of Westeros was the icing on the cake.
   75. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4325967)
Reading Davidoff's Twitter, it seems like he legitimately didn't know that knuckleballers routinely outperform DIPS. So part of his feeling that the Mets should "sell high" on Dickey was based on ignorance which has hopefully now been corrected.

Still, as far as Dickey "letting his press get to his head", the only other evidence Davidoff has is Dickey's feeling he should have started the All-Star Game, and "pushing for Wright to get charged with an error against Tampa Bay so he could get a no-hitter." I would be truly surprised if Dickey were the primary person driving the latter, which would mean that all three things Davidoff's complaining about are ridiculously minuscule incidents where I don't even see how Dickey is wrong in the first place.

(Luckily, the smear campaign doesn't seem to be killing Dickey's trade value much, so I guess who cares, right? Nah... still the wrong thing to do.)

Dirk Hayhurst reporting on Dickey will presumably be better...
   76. JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4325973)
Reading Davidoff's Twitter, it seems like he legitimately didn't know that knuckleballers routinely outperform DIPS. So part of his feeling that the Mets should "sell high" on Dickey was based on ignorance which has hopefully now been corrected.

Ken hadn't realized that we could retroactively apply DIPS theory. Eno Sarris subsequently showed him the BABIP numbers for all known knuckleballers.

What makes so much of Ken's work enjoyable to read is his willingness to learn and apply new information. What surprised me about this piece was that he casually brought up the negative clubhouse sentiment against Dickey (no quotes, let alone attribution) as if it were common knowledge.
   77. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4325975)
What makes so much of Ken's work enjoyable to read is his willingness to learn and apply new information.
Yes, this is precisely what has always impressed me about Davidoff: he has far more inquisitiveness and authentic humility than the vast majority of MSM sportswriters out there. Instead of getting defensive, he seems to positively ENJOY being 'schooled' so to speak: instead of digging in his heels he takes the lesson learned and applies it as best he can thereafter. Can't complain about the method.
What surprised me about this piece was that he casually brought up the negative clubhouse sentiment against Dickey (no quotes, let alone attribution) as if it were common knowledge.
And yet in this very thread we're seeing multiple confirmations of it. It's all a revelation to me, literally the first I've ever heard of it. But it seems likely to be true.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4325979)
Regardless of the underlying veracity of the allegations, casually bringing them up as if they were common knowledge would be a very effective way of lending credence to them.
   79. JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4325983)
Instead of getting defensive, he seems to positively ENJOY being 'schooled' so to speak: instead of digging in his heels he takes the lesson learned and applies it as best he can thereafter.

To be sure, I have also encountered Ken's dark side, which comes out if he catches even the faintest whiff of nitpicking about something he wrote! ;-)
   80. Lassus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4326001)
And yet in this very thread we're seeing multiple confirmations of it.

Er, what now?


But it seems likely to be true.

I'm thinking your usage of "likely" and "confirmation" is pretty suspect here.
   81. Tim Marchman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4326015)
This isn't something being pulled out of thin air. I think the most neutral way to put it might be that Dickey is perceived to be very aware of his brand. Since that brand is based on openness and authenticity, there's a little bit of dissonance, and that's going to mildly irritate some people. That's mostly irrelevant gossip. (And it doesn't mean that Dickey isn't a legitimately great guy. Every public person is playing a role and managing their brand to some extent.)

The relevant part is that Dickey is (rightly!) seen as being very good at manipulating the press, so if you've decided to trade rather than extend him, you probably want to get it done sooner rather than later, since if the issue lingers he'll be around making himself look good and you look bad. (Not that there's anything wrong with him doing that!)
   82. Randy Jones Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4326017)
so if you've decided to trade rather than extend him, you probably want to get it done sooner rather than later, since if the issue lingers he'll be around making himself look good and you look bad.


Of course, since we are talking about the Mets, Dickey could accomplish this by doing absolutely nothing and letting the Mets do what they do.
   83. Bug Selig Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4326019)
I know people are falling all over themselves to paint Davidoff as a stand-up guy, and maybe he is. Or maybe he was, until he changed employers - whatever.

But WTF is "laughable" about a "threat" to leave after 2013? Isn't that what players do when their contracts expire? This all has the definite feel or third-party-projected-brinksmanship. Invent a story so you can comment on it.
   84. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4326043)
To echo #53, Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff are both excellent, thoughtful columnists. I didn't love the message of this column, but this is not your typical hack delivering a hatchet job.
It may not be a typical hack, but it is a complete horseshit hatchet job.
   85. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4326045)
But WTF is "laughable" about a "threat" to leave after 2013? Isn't that what players do when their contracts expire?


Exactly. This is part of what makes the Davidoff piece a deplorable hatchet job. His contract is up in 2013. If the Mets wanted to keep him after that, this was their best window since nobody else is allowed to negotiate with him. After that, he can talk to anyone.

And we have seen this a thousand times. A player in his last year makes it clear that he wants an extension, and if not, he will leave after the year -- and then he leaves. There is nothing laughable abut it, it is not a threat, it is the way business is and always has been done.
   86. BDC Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4326052)
WTF is "laughable" about a "threat" to leave after 2013?

No kidding. One would think from the headline that Dickey had threatened to leave immediately for the North Korean League.

But stuff like this sells papers (or clickthroughs) over the winter. The DFW media spent much of 2012 running down Josh Hamilton, floating rumors about how the Rangers wouldn't want the quitter back at any money, questioning everything from his guts to his contact lenses. Then Hamilton signs a perfectly reasonable FA contract with the Angels, and the columnists here are all "He said he'd let Texas match any offer, he's leaving the only team that believed in him, such a classless traitor." Whatever.
   87. JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4326059)
No kidding. One would think from the headline that Dickey had threatened to leave immediately for the North Korean League.

I suspect that Ken's editor is responsible for the headline.
   88. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4326063)
I suspect that Ken's editor is responsible for the headline.


That's what I figured, but in this case the headline writer is just accurately reflecting the writer's thoughts. This is from Davidoff's lede:

All about himself once again, Dickey issued the laughable threat that, if the Mets didn’t extend his contract, he’d bolt the organization after 2013.

Like others, I've enjoyed Davidoff's work. But even if there are issues with Dickey in the Mets' clubhouse, this column is just flat bad.
   89. The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4326064)
From Twitter:
Craig Glaser @sabometrics
The Mets are not 'calling Dickey's bluff' they are doing what they wanted to do, cashing in a present asset for future ones. @KenDavidoff

Ken Davidoff @KenDavidoff
@sabometrics I agree. Poor wording by me.

DKulich44 @DKulich44
@KenDavidoff @sabometrics Poor wording? That's the entire theme of the article, the statement you were trying to make. Maybe a rewrite?

Ken Davidoff @KenDavidoff
@DKulich44 @sabometrics Nah. Just a change of the one phrase.
Don't get Davidoff's logic here, but at least he backed off the "bluff" thing. It's also the case that columnists for big print newspapers don't write their own headlines.

However, he does use the "laughable threat" language in the actual article. (Edit: Coke to SoSH on that.) And certainly a lot more people see his column than his Twitter.

Overall, I respect Davidoff enough to believe that he thinks this is a good baseball move for the Mets, and is motivated by that belief to defend it in various ways, one of which is to try to chip away at Dickey's previously universally beloved personality.

However, Davidoff really needs to be less credulous than this. These are 25 guys living together for six months. It's crazy to think that any one of those 25 is going to make it through the six months without doing something that at least one of the other 24 isn't going to love. Davidoff isn't even claiming that Dickey is disliked in the clubhouse. He points to three times where Dickey arguably did not say the exact right thing, in insignificant situations that no one really cared about. That is an impossible standard, and one that virtually all players would fail much quicker than Dickey does.

Ultimately, Davidoff should have just written an article about how this is a totally defensible baseball move (which it is). He didn't need to go this route.
   90. JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4326086)
On MLB Network Radio with Joyce and Kennedy, Ken acknowledged that he may not have conveyed his thoughts very well in that column. He also made clear that the clubhouse distraction potential would only have been an issue if the Mets had not extended RA's contract.
   91. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4326100)
Ken acknowledged that he may not have conveyed his thoughts very well


I call shenanigans. He came back to the same theme time and again. He conveyed his thoughts very well, he is just now realizing that they are not going down very well with anyone,and it is damaging his credibility.
   92. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4326120)
Why is Starlin Castro so much more famous than Ruben Tejada?

Tejada has never even been accused of rape, dude. No street cred.
Yeah, who cares that it was only an accusation. It must be true.

Davidoff has not come off well in this. The article gives every appearance of his simply puking in the direction the Wilpons wanted him to puke. I realize sports journalism isn't really journalism, but you'd think Davidoff would have wanted to appear as something other than a hired hand.

   93. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4326218)
It's also the case that columnists for big print newspapers don't write their own headlines.


Dunno how you're defining "big print," but I'd be very surprised, based on a couple of decades in the business, if any writer on any paper with circulation of at least 10,000 or so writes his own heds. Granted, staffing & such have plummeted since I was excused from the profession 10 years ago, & in many cases genuine on-site copy desks (the guys who actually write heds, or at least did) don't exist, but still.
   94. Bug Selig Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4326481)
Yeah, who cares that it was only an accusation. It must be true.


Wow - crazy that I used the exact word "accused" and in no way stated anything that could be construed to imply that I believed it or not. Look, Don Quixote - a windmill!
   95. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4326486)
It's one of his issues, like some kind of open nerve.
   96. JE (Jason) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4326717)
Ken Rosenthal on MLBN this morning: "Ken Davidoff is a good friend of mine. I love his work like you guys said, but at the same time, I don't buy this argument at all."
   97. Bob Tufts Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4326778)
Using Rosenthal to prove your point, JE? Then Davidoff HAS to be right.

It's a shame that the Mets wouldn't pay Dickey "Ollie Perez money".
   98. JE (Jason) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4326963)
Using Rosenthal to prove your point, JE? Then Davidoff HAS to be right.

Considering that they really are good friends, I was a bit surprised that Bowtie Ken was so brutal in his analysis.
   99. The District Attorney Posted: February 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4366437)
   100. spike Posted: February 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4366445)
great article. In the words of Jon Stewart, "the man's got soul."

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