It's looking more and more likely that R.A. Dickey will be traded to Toronto. Quick! Start trash talking him. It's the New York way.
Just as there are five stages of grief, there are apparently different stages when covering a baseball trade. First stage: speculation. Second stage: character assassination.
Currently, we appear to be in this second stage. Exhibit A: Ken Davidoff's piece in the New York Post this morning.
Davidoff wrote that Dickey is essentially a publicity hound who chose the wrong time (Kids Holiday Party) to discuss what everyone who follows the Mets is talking about...his contract negotiations.
Then there's this gem from Davidoff's story:
"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."
I've seen some people asking where these stories about Dickey were during the season.
Let's say what Davidoff is writing is true. His teammates were not his biggest fans. He's only out for himself. Are the Mets really going to convey these facts to the fans, the same people who love the guy and are willing to spend their money to go to Citi Field just to watch him pitch?
The answer is no. He was their money maker. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.
You apparently wait until you have the opportunity to ship him out to do such a thing.
The fact remains that many of us are not insiders. Some seem to think they are, but they aren't. Reporters, such as Davidoff, are in the clubhouse day in and day out. Who knows. Maybe Dickey isn't the kind of guy the media portrayed to us.
Does it really matter?
Dickey provided Mets fans with something we haven't had in a long time. Something, or someone, to root for. Every fifth day he commanded our attention when he took the mound.
He provided a distraction to those of us who needed to be distracted from whatever was going on in our lives. It was entertainment.
And now that that entertainment is leaving, some feel the need to change our perception of the man. It's just sad.
I've figured for a while now that Dickey would not be a Met in 2013. I've come to terms with it.
What I didn't figure was that the media who told me how great a guy Dickey was would be the same media who would be trashing him as he's walking out the door.