With R.A. Dickey apparently on his way out of New York, the New York Post is engaging in the time-honored tradition of trashing a player as he's leaving. From Ken Davidoff this morning:
This past week at Citi Field, R.A. Dickey broke character — as one of Santa’s elves, at a Mets holiday party centered around young victims of Hurricane Sandy — to show his true character. 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.
The Mets are prepared to call the knuckleballer’s bluff with flair.
Then there's this, farther into the article:
Dickey’s request for two years and $26 million, beyond the $5 million due to him next season, was eminently reasonable. Yet that doesn’t mean that the Mets needed to concede.
Your most popular player, a guy coming off a Cy Young Award, is asking to be extended at well below market value, but extending him would be "conceding"? You need to somehow put the screws to him even more?
Look, if the Mets can get Travis d'Arnaud plus for Dickey, that's a good deal for them. I wouldn't criticize the Mets for dealing him.
But when you let the press know you are "annoyed" that a player doesn't make a personal appearance that the owner wants him to make, and then rip him as selfish as you're dealing him, that rubs me the wrong way.
The remarkable thing to me is that, when Dickey was in Texas, his reputation was that he was a great person and a great teammate. Buck Showalter fought to keep him around in no small part because of who Dickey was. Until the last week or two, I've always heard Dickey described as one of the really great people in the game.
And who knows...maybe turning into a great pitcher in New York has turned Dickey into a selfish, self-serving asshole. I don't know the guy. I can't say.
But it seems disingenuous to wait until he's about to be traded for the media to finally start going public with what a bad guy he is.
And the tradition of badmouthing a player who is on his way out, in order to provide cover for the decision to let him leave or to trade him. is one of the more unseemly parts of big time sports.