Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Lousy Season Filled With Highlights

Well, here we are. The final day of the 2012 season. Despite a horrendous second half of the season, there were still a number of highlights.

I can't wait for game 162 to finally end this afternoon so we can all be put out of our misery, but let's not ignore the fact that there were some great moments this season.

First off, remember when the Mets were in first place (or at least tied for first place)?

Sure it was April 5, and it was only after one game, but they were in first at one point. They went on to be 46-40 going into the All-Star break. This team had us thinking, "Could this be it? Is this a winning team?!" What a tease...

Despite coming back down to earth in the second half (hitting just .246), David Wright had a stellar first half. Wright was hitting .351 in the first half, and his defense improved immensely this season (He can finally throw to first base!).  

Speaking of Wright, he is now the franchise leader in hits, passing Ed Kranepool. In just 1,255 games with the Mets, Wright managed to compile 1,419 hits. 

June 1, 2012. What Met fan will forget that date. It's the day Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history. It only took 8,020 games to get it done, but finally, fans can say the team has a no-hitter, and for the first time, they weren't the ones being no-hit. Sure it was due to a blown call, but let's not nit-pick.

There was the call-up of Matt Harvey. In 10 starts with the Mets, Harvey was 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA. In 59.1 innings of work, he allowed just 42 hits and had 70 strike outs. He was shut down early due to an innings limit, but we were given a taste as to what the future holds for the Mets rotation in 2013.

While we're on the subject of the 2013 rotation, I'd like to see Jon Niese next season. This has been a great season for Niese, and one that I feel has been largely overshadowed. He has quietly gone about his business this season, earning a 13-9 record and a 3.40 ERA. 

Ike Davis provides one of the few positives from the second half of the season. After barely hitting over .100 in the first half, and facing rumors that he may be sent to the minors, Davis fought his way out of a disgusting slump to hit 31 home runs and get his average up to .225. The average still isn't where he or anyone else wants it to be, but who would have ever thought he would hit 31 homers this season.

Finally, I saved the best for last. Robert Allen Dickey. The man, the myth, the legend. R.A. Dickey has been the greatest story for the Mets this season, if not in all of major league baseball. 

The 37-year-old knuckleballer began his year by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity, wrote a New York Times bestseller, appeared in his first All-Star game, won 20 games and is a candidate for the Cy Young award. Oh, and did I forget to mention that he has done all of this with a torn abdominal muscle since April. Not too shabby, Mr. Dickey. 

So, you see, it wasn't all horrible. 

Below is a video of the Mets thanking fans for sticking with them throughout the 2012 season.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

R.A. Dickey Deserves Cy Young

R.A. Dickey deserves the Cy Young award, and no, I'm not just saying that because I'm a Mets fan.

Dickey notched is 20th win of the season on Thursday afternoon before a packed Citi Field.

By now, we all know the story. Dickey was the first to be cut during spring training back in 2009. Now, he is without a doubt the ace of the Mets pitching staff and appears to be on his way to winning the Cy Young award.

According to ESPN's MLB Cy Young predictor for 2012, Dickey leads the pack.

Now, obviously this is just a prediction, and is not something that is set in stone.

As important as it was for Dickey to win his 20th game, it was more for the fans than it was to help boost his Cy Young chances (Although it certainly didn't hurt).

Wins are not the major deciding factor in choosing the award recipient these days. That became clear when Felix Hernandez won the award in 2010 with a 13-12 record.

Since wins appear to be taking a back seat to some other statistics, here are some more Dickey stats for you:

Wins: 2nd
ERA: 2nd (2.69)
Innings Pitched: 1st (227.7)
Strikeouts: 1st (222)
Complete Games: 1st (5)
Shutouts: 1st (3)

There have been the same old boring arguments floating around that Dickey may be undeserving. After all, he's a 37-year-old who throws an unconventional pitch...the knuckleball.

It leaves batters standing in the batters box with confused looks on their faces. When done correctly, it can be such an unpredictable pitch that some claim it's unfair.

Well, life's not fair. Deal with it. 

The knuckleball is a legitimate pitch. So to the league-leading 903 batters Dickey has faced this season who complain, I say this: Don't be bitter because you can't handle the pitch. As long as it floats over the plate, you have a chance, just like with any other pitch coming your way. 

Dickey rightfully earned every win he has (and he probably deserves more wins), as well as every other stat he owns this season.

He would be the first knuckleball pitcher to win the award. 

I've heard some say that knuckleballers are a dying breed. I disagree. With the year Dickey has had, I would bet that it would be a little difficult to try and find a baseball player or even a fan who hasn't tried to throw the pitch at least once. 

I tried to. It didn't go so well, but I still tried.  

If anything, Dickey has introduced a whole new generation of ballplayers to the pitch. 

The Cy Young award would top off what is arguably Dickey's best year in professional baseball.