Angry Ward Wednesday: A Farewell To Arm; Mets Blow It With Dickey

Wilpon Alderson Dickey
Robert Allen Dickey waves goodbye.

NEW YORK, NY – The Mets always get it wrong. I know that there are those out there who believe that trading R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays was a prudent move by Sandy Alderson and company, but I could not disagree more. Yes, he’s 38 and coming off a career year. Yes, you would be signing him to two additional years with no guarantee that you’d get the Cy Young version of the man all of those years. And yes, of course, the Mets are in need of lots of pieces. I grant you all of that. But now, grant me this: R.A. Dickey was the best player on the New York Mets last year, by a lot, and now he’s gone

So, who is the current ace of the Mets pitching staff? If you answered Johan Santana you’re more than just an optimist, you’re an idiot too. The Johan that Omar “Brains” Minaya signed way back when doesn’t live here anymore. Sure, he tossed that crazy no-hitter last year but as the season wore on he wore out, until he finally got shut down. So then, is Jonathan Niese ready to step up and be #1? Probably not. The bottom line is, the Mets just traded away their ace. Even when the team hit the skids after  the All-Star break, Dickey was Mr. Consistency, going out there every fifth day and mowing ’em down.

john buck blue jays
Buck’s into the pies. Great.

It wasn’t just that Dickey had become a terrific pitcher – he was a knuckleballer, so that also made him an entertaining player to watch. By season’s end, the Mets were actually going out of their way to advertise games in which he would be pitching. They knew he was a tremendous fan draw. They knew this! Yet they traded him anyway. They also knew he was an even-tempered and intelligent guy, something you can always use in the clubhouse, but still they dealt him.

Even in leaving town, Dickey was classy. Right after the deal with the Jays was complete he had this to say to Mets fans via twitter: “I want to say that I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support. Thank you for making me feel wanted.” He was wanted, and appreciated, and now he’ll be wanted and appreciated by another team’s fans. Though this isn’t on the scale of Tom Seaver being traded to the Reds, I don’t think the Mets brass truly gave any consideration to how the fans connected with this guy.

Noah Syndergaard-fag-tweet-1218Speaking of the front office, Sandy Alderson had this to say about the upcoming season: “We are certainly not punting on 2013.” I’m calling bullshit on that. What makes anyone think that the Mets can be any better next year when they just traded their best pitcher? Are the guys that they got from the Jays all gonna step in and start? You tell me. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud is the main blue chip prospect the Mets got in this deal. Last year he hit .333 with 16 homers and 52 rbi in Triple-A but then tore up his knee. Let’s hope he’s fully recovered and still can hit. Veteran catcher John Buck hit .192 last year in Miami. The bigs are full of veteran catchers that can’t hit their weight. Pitcher Noah Syndergaard (who is in Twitter hot water) and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra are unproven kids, though they immediately give the Mets another two strange names to go with their growing collection.

Nice tie.

If the Mets are truly rebuilding, the question has to be, with what? It’s really difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel with this club. It’s been over a quarter century since the last World Series title. The team, as it is now, will finish no better than they did last year. So why should fans bother dropping money to go see games? If Dickey were still with the team, at least there would have been one reason. For now there’s no ace, no offense outside of David Wright, and no knuckleball excitement on tap for 2013. Now, ask yourself again…

Did the Mets get this right?

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About Angry Ward 748 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.