By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper
Before I go totally disgruntled Mets fan workers on you, I’ll start off with an anecdote. Actually, I believe it’s a parable, something shared several times over.
The parable goes as such: a woman sits in a rowboat on a lake, that happens to have banned fishing. In this rowboat she sits, however, it contains some fishing equipment. The woman, however, is sitting in the boat, reading a book with no intentions of fishing at all. However, a wildlife officer comes over to write the woman a ticket, since she has an “intent” to fish. How so? The woman asks. She is just sitting in the boat, reading a book. The officer contends that the intent is there since she has the “equipment.”
In that case, the woman says, I am going to accuse you of attempted rape. The officer, shocked, says, “How so? I didn’t even touch you!” She retorts, “Well, yes, but you have the equipment to commit the act so you must intend to use it, right?”
The moral of the story? Don’t fuck with a woman who knows how to read. (Get it? Because she’s reading a book? I slay me.)
The point is, don’t fuck with someone who is smart, who is versatile, who “knows how to read.” More succinctly, don’t fuck with the smartest guy in the room.
And that’s R.A. Dickey.
Prior to being caught up as big names in a world known Ponzi scheme, the Wilpon/Katz consortium was good at what they did, in real estate investments. Just because they make a lot of money though, doesn’t qualify them as “smart.” In fact, I’ll even venture to say that sometimes, looking at people who have made a lot of money depletes some brain cells. I mean, look, any kind of activity that has you so focused causes you to lose some brain cells or short-term memory at the least. Take for instance, me while training for the New York City Marathon. I couldn’t remember anything. Take all that common sense out and pack it with dollar bills, no wonder when it comes to the phrase “Pound wise, but penny foolish,” we automatically think “Fred Wilpon.”
Is anyone truly surprised by how this whole R.A. Dickey contract extension/trade partner-proposal thing is being handled by the Mets? If you are, chances are, you’ve become a fan, like, last week or so.
I’m of the frame of mind that this is a business. While I think what R.A. Dickey is asking for is more than fair, keep in mind that in this stage, it’s simply called negotiation. It’s part of the business. Can you blame the guy for wanting to cash in on a 20-game winning season AND a Cy Young Award?
So my question is, why are the Mets giving him such a hard time about it? Then, as buddy Joe D over at Metsmerized Online calls it, comes in the “Standard Mets Operating Procedure,” which has been known to cull “Post-traumatic Mets Disorder.” Kult of Mets podcast personality and Kranepool Society‘s Steve Keane probably said it best last week, when he said no one represents the heart of the Mets (or a Mets fan) than R.A. Dickey. Athletes usually shun being a role model, or become them reluctantly, yet R.A. Dickey is willingly, lead by setting a good example and has earned every single penny he has made in a profession he loves and has worked hard at doing. Oh, and by the way, he wrote a book, climbed Kilimanjaro for the hell of it, won a Cy Young, won 20 games and was featured in a motion picture. (I don’t call him Renaissance Man for nothin’).
I honestly don’t know what the problem is. Why are the Mets lowballing the one guy that a) gave them the best position to win when the rest of the team blew donkey nuts and b) actually adds VALUE not just to the team but to the team’s bottom line as well?
Not to mention, when you look at the cost-benefit analysis, R.A. is asking for milk money basically. If you think about it, R.A. Dickey is a marketing dream. If the powers that be at MIA (Mets “Intelligence” Agency, and I use that term very loosely) knew the first damn thing about marketing and merchandising, you keep Dickey around just for the amount of money he will bring from the fans alone.
Remember when Pedro Martinez was a starter in 2005? For the previous three-four years, Mets fans didn’t have a lot to root for. We had just survived the “Clueless” Art Howe era. And yet Pedro brought up TEN THOUSAND WALK UP TICKET SALES ALONE. Just for starting on like a random Tuesday night. You give me a player on the team, currently, or even a player today on any team that could have that kind of power with the fans.
I’ve always said the Mets have had their priorities ass backwards when it comes to the merchandising part. Like, remember all those Milledge-for-Manny rumors back in the day? It was always a joke, yet when Manny Ramirez went to L.A. for chump change, they made a fortune off Mannywood merchandise. (Of course, their owners didn’t know what the hell to do with it, so there’s that…sounds familiar).
My point is that R.A. Dickey is a win-win situation for the Mets. And they’re too dense to notice it. Here’s an idea. When you negotiate, make a serious counteroffer, don’t lowball the CURRENT Cy Young Award winner who is a MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM for the sake of it. And then ask him to put on his Jackie O face for the Mets Holiday Party where media will be salivating at the thought of getting that quote.
You know, to put enough negativity out there with a whispering campaign to piss him off enough to leave. Sound familiar? Yeah, we shouldn’t be shocked, since M. Donald Grant once upon a time used Mets media mouthpiece in Dick Young to run Tom Seaver out of town. Who was probably the best pitcher around then. Not to mention the Franchise.
Some people disagree with me, in that I think R.A. Dickey is completely justified in fighting back and airing his disappointments. In fact, my husband, writer at Studious Metsimus, even wrote something about how he believes R.A. is getting “greedy.” Some people think with the contract extension negotiation between a goddamn CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER and a know-nothing ownership and a front office that has its hands tied for whatever reason that it’s all in poor taste, on any side.
He’s made no bones that he wants to stay a Met, and you know what: I believe him. This is no A-Rod insincerity act. R.A. is the real deal holy feel. He wants to be here. He’s paid his dues. He’s a feel good story. Everyone likes him. Whatever you could net in the trade won’t happen now, so just work on making the hardest working Met one for a few more years and be done with it.
As RuPaul would say, “Don’t fuck it up.”