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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

R.A. Dickey writes of confronting darker sides of human nature

I walk out of the bathroom and never tell anybody what I saw. I try hard to think the best, but whatever chemical residue is in that particular syringe, there’s no denying the scope of the wreckage caused by needles around baseball, and by all the artificially fueled feats that came with them. I know two things about performance-enhancing drugs: they are pervasive, and I hate them, because they have hurt the game, and hurt me too. How many long balls hit by juicers would’ve died on the track and gotten me out of an inning if not for the extra muscle? How many balls muscled over the infield would’ve wound up in guys’ gloves? I will never know. Nobody will. I don’t stay up nights thinking about it. I don’t forget the sight of the syringe on the bathroom floor, either.

The babysitter has her way with me four or five more times that summer, and into the fall, and each time feels more wicked than the time before. Every time that I know I’m going back over there, the sweat starts to come back. I sit in the front seat of the car, next to my mother, anxiety surging. I never tell her why I am so afraid. I never tell anyone until I am 31 years old.

I just keep my terrible secret, keep it all inside, the details of what went on, and the hurt of a little boy who is scared and ashamed and believes he has done something terribly wrong, but doesn’t know what that is.

The entire excerpt is well worth the read.  It isn’t very long and it is captivating.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 04:18 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new york mets, rangers, steroids

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   1. Belfry Bob Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4090734)
That's very well-written stuff - all of it.

That being said, his revelation about the babysitter is not only brave, but authentic. I had a similar series of incidents when I was ten, and it left me with similar feelings of dread and having done something terrible for many years afterward, peaking in my twenties when I considered suicide on several occasions. In this day of sensationalistic revelation, it's hard to remember that there really ARE thousands upon thousands of real victims out there who wish for nothing more than their lives back - not that most of them can ever remember what a 'normal' life is like, anyway.

Thanks for sharing, R.A.
   2. Lassus Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4090755)
I don't care if we lose 110 games as long as we have Dickey on the staff.
   3. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4090759)
A lot of guys would kill to be molested by a teenage girl.
   4. Blastin Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4090771)
Ha abuse is hiiiilarious, amiright?

But yeah. I really like Dickey. Glad he got a chance to come into the big money just a bit.
   5. Sunday silence Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4090772)
a lot of people will inevitably criticize people for writing open, frank stuff, as "tell all"; lurid; sensationalistic, etc. But they have no idea how important that stuff is to encourage others to get "in touch" with their feelings or come out of the closet or whatever. It's not BS; good for you BB.
   6. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4090774)
But they have no idea how important that stuff is toBut they have no idea how important that stuff is to encourage others to get "in touch" with their feelings or come out of the closet or whatever.


That could be phrased better.
   7. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4090777)
   8. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4090784)
Dickey might just be my favorite Met ever.
   9. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:57 AM (#4090898)

there's nothing new about thinking a young male
has gotten lucky if an older girl or young woman seduces them;
but for every 'happy seduction'
how many of these leave a mass
of unanswered questions
and life long heavy thinking?

i'd project there's plenty of boys/men walking around with this not as a trophy event, but as an ongoing question mark as to how far reaching the impact has been. Such training in 'keeping things to yourself' is a potential landmine field. You learn a skillset that can isolate you from your loved ones and peer group and lead you to unnaturally compartmentalizing your life.

and sure, a lot of 'guys' would kill to be molested by a teenage girl, but probably not too many 8 year olds.

that said, and not intending to diminish Dickey's trauma, there are of course far worse burdens to bear in life.
   10. Russ Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:13 AM (#4090902)
a lot of people will inevitably criticize people for writing open, frank stuff, as "tell all"; lurid; sensationalistic, etc. But they have no idea how important that stuff is to encourage others to get "in touch" with their feelings or come out of the closet or whatever. It's not BS; good for you BB.


Agreed. As always, daylight is the best disinfectant. Contributing to the sadness here is that the 13-year old girl was likely also abused... for something like this, the more people talk about it having happened, the more they're sensitive to anticipating it. Honestly, I have a three year old son and not in a million years would I have thought that if I left him as an 8 year old with an apparently responsible 13-year old girl would he be sexually abused. But you better believe that it's something that I am aware of now.

The perpetual cycle of child abuse is horrible... I doubt that it can ever be broken entirely, but at least people are more courageous with respect to talking about it and that's something.


   11. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 28, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4090942)
I think I'll buy that book. Hard to say how much input the ghostwriter had, but it seems as though Dickey might have something to fall back on when he hangs up the spikes.
   12. Scott Lange Posted: March 28, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4091022)
Don't overlook John Wertheim's story about Dickey's book- also a good read.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4091166)

That Wertheim story is good. Among the details in there is that Dickey was also sexually abused by a teenage boy when he was a child. I'm glad that he's in a good place now, it sounds like he had a tough time dealing with it for a long time.
   14. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4091354)
Kudos to Dickey for having the courage to write about a difficult subject. It looks like he's a very good writer himself, or at least he had the good sense to hire a talented ghost writer. I would definitely read this book.
   15. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4091371)
Dickey had a series of blog posts for NYTimes.com about his trek up Kilimanjaro. I don't know if he had a ghost writer for the book, but he's definitely a capable writer.
   16. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4091375)
There was a gripping piece on "This American Life" a couple of weeks ago about a man who had been molested by a teenager as a 10-year old confronting his molester when they were both grown adults.
   17. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 28, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4091376)
Yeah, jeez. I don't even follow the NL but I guess Dickey (good writer AND knuckleballer?) is now my favorite NL player.
   18. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4091392)
There was a gripping piece on "This American Life" a couple of weeks ago about a man who had been molested by a teenager as a 10-year old confronting his molester when they were both grown adults.


Given "This American Life"'s track record of late, I wonder if that was just a routine some dramatist came up with ...
   19. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4091395)
Otherwise, though, yeah: What people are saying. I'm predisposed toward liking any & all knuckleballers to begin with, & I'd root for Dickey even if the ESPN autodraft hadn't landed him on my fantasy team this year ... but wow. What a guy.
   20. JPWF1313 Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4091406)
A lot of guys would kill to be molested by a teenage girl.


Oh sure, most 13 year old boys would love to be molested by a 13 year old (or a 20-30 year old woman).

He wasn't 13, he was 8.
   21. formerly dp Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4091413)
Dickey might just be my favorite Met ever.

Let me guess: he displaced Bay?

Given "This American Life"'s track record of late, I wonder if that was just a routine some dramatist came up with ...

I think the segment Don't want is referring to aired a while back. But, regarding the Daisey incident, I think they get a pass for how they took ownership of the situation. Daisey's scheduled for a show in my area mid-May, and I'm really hoping they cancel it.

The one thing we learned from all of this is that Ira Glass's pissed voice doesn't sound much different from his I'm a Nice guy voice.
   22. Morty Causa Posted: March 28, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4091415)
For that matter, a lot of little 13-year old girls would like to be molested by a 13-year old boy (or a 20-30-year old one), but there are things that seriously need to be considered in all these hypotheticals scenarios besides oo-ah-ness of it all. Are you ready to have a child at 13, boy or girl? A disease? Can you handle the effects of a sexual relationship in a social context. The ideal just may not be that it makes a good punchline in a gag or snark.
   23. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4091447)
One wonders whether the parallels to Bouton are coincidental, or if it takes a certain kind of guy to throw the knuckleball at the MLB level.
   24. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4091482)
Dickey may prove to not only outpitch, but outwrite Dirk Hayhurst.

Daisey chain hijack: I worked at Amazon the same time Mike Daisey did, right before he had success in the tiny world of monologizing with his "21 Dog Years." His stuff, while generally autobiographical, always seemed . . . theatrical, let's say. Journalism was never the place for his storytelling.

I wrote about his recent fiasco here.
   25. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4091492)
One wonders whether the parallels to Bouton are coincidental, or if it takes a certain kind of guy to throw the knuckleball at the MLB level.


Depends on what you are saying when you say a "certain kind of guy." Tim Wakefield is about as vanilla a personality as you are going to find and I say that as a huge fan of the guy. On the other hand, like Bouton and apparently Dickey and other knuckleballers he seemed to have a real good grasp of the mechanics and the vagaries of the pitch.

Thinking it out the first things that jump at me as necessary for a knuckleballer are;

confidence to come back from those days when it just doesn't happen

self-awareness to be able coach himself

willingness to be unconventional

There's probably a lot more but off the top of my head that's what jumps at me.

   26. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 28, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4091514)
25 posts, and not a single inappropriate 'knuckleball' joke? Y'all are slippin'.
   27. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4091603)
Hard to make that joke when molestation is a topic on the table. I tried, but just felt dirty.

I put Dickey's book in my Amazon cart. Some of the excerpts contained the best writing I've so far this year.
   28. PerroX Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4091606)
Not all such acting out (with the 13 yo) is the result ofmtue perpetrator being abused. At least I hope not.

We all have to be cautious about filling in the blanks with beliefs not backed by evidence.
   29. PerroX Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4091610)
Sexuality always contains the potential for the abuse of power, especially where there's an age disparity. There's reason why sexual relationships almost always involve some level of power struggle.
   30. base ball chick Posted: March 28, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4091619)
What always interests me about these males getting raped by non-males is how many males think that getting overpowered and humiliated by a non-male can't happen or if it does, it is teh awesomeness.

Yhis is the same shtt about how all women have these - i want to be raped - fantasies.

Rape is about power, humiliation and domination of another person. and some people don't want to believe that any non-male who doesn't look like the stereotype caricature of the beefy lezzbow truck driver - that any beautiful young teen, could or would be a rapist.

Just supposed, just for one minute, that one of you large, powerful males is for whatever reason, alone in a room with any young non-male who could be considered attractive. suppose she tells you she wants sex from you and she physically disgusts you and you do not want sex with her. you tell her no thanks. she won't take no for an answer and let's say she pulls out a taser and shoots you and next think you know you are being sexually abused and you can't fight her off - or she even has a knife at your throat/gun at your head and tells you she'll kill you if you don't do exactly what she says and you are afraid this crazy b*tch actually WILL do just that.

Is this SERIOUSLY something you think is teh kewl? being humiliated? unless of course, you are into being dominated and raped by a non-male of consenting age.

Now imagine you are an 8 year old kid and your tormentor is a 13 year old. Or imagine you are a 15 year old kid and teacher calls you in for a 1 on 1 conference and you DON'T WANT TO do something and she intimidates you. unless you are going to say that straight 15 year old boys always without exception WANT to have sex with ANY one.

Being humiliated and overpowered and frightened into keeping your rape a secret just might could seriously eff up the mind of a male. You Peeple don't want that any more than WE do.
   31. Lassus Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4091637)
For that matter, a lot of little 13-year old girls would like to be molested by a 13-year old boy (or a 20-30-year old one)

Yes, that's what this thread needed, more pedophilia support from Morty.
   32. base ball chick Posted: March 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4091658)
13 year old children do not want to be MOLESTED. there aren't THAT many people who are sexually aroused by being dominated, no matter what they show on the TV.

13 year old girls - and I can talk about us - like the idea of lots of males, HOT males, being attracted to us. we don't like the idea that any or every one of those can just do whatever they want sexually to us. what you WANT is to be wanted or popular. very few 13 year old girls actually look at any male and think - i wanna have sex with him NOW. you want him to LIKE you. not SCREW you.
   33. zonk Posted: March 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4091694)
25 posts, and not a single inappropriate 'knuckleball' joke? Y'all are slippin'.


I'm struggling with the Mets angle...

I can find no way not to root for Dickey just based on the excerpts and it's crushing me... because I really don't like the Mets.
   34. formerly dp Posted: March 28, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4091781)
Daisey chain hijack: I worked at Amazon the same time Mike Daisey did, right before he had success in the tiny world of monologizing with his "21 Dog Years." His stuff, while generally autobiographical, always seemed . . . theatrical, let's say. Journalism was never the place for his storytelling.

Interesting piece, thanks for linking to it. In the follow-up, Glass was clear that he gave Daisey every chance to not represent his story as true, to back off of his claims, ect, but Daisey insisted on its veracity. And the weight of the story, at least IMO, hinges on it actually happening to him. As fiction goes, it's pretty boring. I'm inclined to dislike Apple stuff, and even I thought the singular focus on Apple, in spite of all the reports that Apple is one of many electronics manufacturers employing similar labor practices, was unfair and sensationalistic.

Back to the Mets:
I don't care if we lose 110 games as long as we have Dickey on the staff.

I'd rather win 110, with Dickey traded for the Rangers starting 9. Actually, even that trade doesn't get the Mets close to 110 wins...wow, this is gonna be a long season.

zonk
I'm struggling with the Mets angle...

I can find no way not to root for Dickey just based on the excerpts and it's crushing me... because I really don't like the Mets.


Join the bandwagon: this year's marketing strategy/theme is "lovable losers". They'll lose a lot, but they'll be cuddly while doing so. What's not to like?
   35. WillYoung Posted: March 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4091801)
There was a gripping piece on "This American Life" a couple of weeks ago about a man who had been molested by a teenager as a 10-year old confronting his molester when they were both grown adults.


Was Tom Arnold the guest? (Dead serious, I remember him talking about it on Loveline way back in the day)
   36. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 29, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4092105)
Here's the episode:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/425/slow-to-react

It actually originally aired a year ago, but they re-aired it on my local affiliate in early March.
   37. PerroX Posted: March 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4092372)
13 year old girls - and I can talk about us - like the idea of lots of males, HOT males, being attracted to us. we don't like the idea that any or every one of those can just do whatever they want sexually to us. what you WANT is to be wanted or popular. very few 13 year old girls actually look at any male and think - i wanna have sex with him NOW. you want him to LIKE you. not SCREW you.


Mature women often want just sex, but with girls and many young women, they are much more concerned with their popularity in the eyes of their peers -- other young women and girls. That's why it's next to impossible for a young, unpopular male to get some unless he increases his odds with alcohol, or goes for less attractive women.

YMMV. What bbc says is on the money.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4093218)
A lot of guys would kill to be molested by a teenage girl.


Oh sure, most 13 year old boys would love to be molested by a 13 year old (or a 20-30 year old woman).

He wasn't 13, he was 8.


Even at 13, it would probably mess you up sexually, confuse you, bring the heavy emotions related with sex to the immature mind of a 13 year old incapable of comprehending it, and make it difficult for you to ever have a mature, sexual adult relationship.

But yea, high fives.
   39. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4093294)
Mature women often want just sex

God Bless America.
   40. PerroX Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4095401)
Women are vicious about the cougar thing. Methinks they just don't like the competition.

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