By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper
For the last two seasons, off seasons actually, Sandy Alderson has had to make some cold, calculated moves. Each has involved cutting ties by either letting walk or trading a fan favorite or even those with a cult hero status.
There’s a reason why there’s a grown up in charge, and why that grown up is not me (despite the cheers for Coop for GM). Because call me crazy, I see nothing wrong with keeping a guy around who is the reigning Cy Young Award winner, even at age 38 with a “gimmick” pitch. But no. The little things Mets fans celebrate, the little things we cherish, the defining Mo-Mets, is taken away from us, one player at a time.
Not for naught, though. but for hopefully future defining mo-Mets.
Just because everyone is lauding the players and prospects the Mets have gotten in return for RA Dickey and Josh Thole doesn’t mean the Mets made out like bandits. As Emma Span wrote, this is a deal for a team that has an opportunity to win now and a team to grow and win later.
I challenge you, dear reader(s), to figure out which side the Mets fall on.
But just like that mentality comes, it doesn’t mean I have to like the deal now. Of course, I’m human and I can come around on it later. That’s besides the point. I will not stop being a Mets fan because of this trade. It doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t hurt.
There’s this saying that goes, “the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over no expecting different results.” This quote has been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin or even a Chinese proverb. It actually sounds like something RA Dickey would say in a post game interview.
When Jose Reyes signed with the Miami Marlins last year, I was all right with it. Of course, I couldn’t imagine a future without Jose, I was sad to see him go, but my philosophy was that if the Mets could finish in 4th place with him, they could certainly finish that way without him.
R.A. Dickey also played on a 4th place team, but it was despite him not in spite of him. He tried his durndest to put the Mets in the best position to win every fifth game.
That to me is a guy you try your very best to hold onto, regardless of what jackasses like Ken Davidoff say otherwise. R.A. Dickey was OUR **real** Sidd Finch, the mythical character who could be down-to-earth who represented all blue-collar Mets fan, who talked like an English professor but played a sport we all wax intellectual over. In fact, Jason Fry over at Faith and Fear in Flushing said much of the same, so I won’t bear to repeat it here, just read it over there.
Yes, the Mets needed a cleansing, a douche and overhaul of the team’s dynamic. And it was unfortunately at the expense of a popular player, one of the most popular in our history, who just had a career year. And is now going to a team that could potentially put all their house money on 2013.
Best of luck to him.
Other news in Metsopotamia is the loss of Mike Pelfrey. Those of you may say, “That’s no big loss.” To me, though, it’s as big of a loss as R.A. Dickey. Dickey was someone you wanted to be buddies with. I always kind of imagined myself smoking pipes (if I were into that type of thing) and discussing fine literature with him in his library, which I imagine houses the works of Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, even Salinger.
Mike Pelfrey to me is my generation’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams player. Throw Doc and Darryl aside, who lost their careers to outside elements. Pelfrey remains, to me, the cautionary tale of rushing a highly touted prospect through the system, and ruining his career.
Something that needed to be done was parting ways with Pelfrey as well, as he signed with the Minnesota Twins.
Most will say that’s no real loss to them. To me, it just crushes me. I have had some Stockholm Syndrome with Pelfrey, ever since I saw him make his debut in June of 2006, in a second game of a double header. I believe that was the day I decided to become a season ticket holder.
Many Mets fans had high expectations for Pelfrey. It turned out, however, that rushing a prospect (something the Mets have lots of experience in) is never a good thing, especially when he is a pitcher.
Even with a strong start last year, I still believed he had it in him to be a good starter. Now, I’ll have to see him succeed as a Twin.
My husband and I were discussing some road trips we wanted to take in 2013 for baseball, and one of the places the Mets are visiting in April is Target Field, definitely on our bucket list of stadiums to visit. However, I have a conflict and wouldn’t be able to go. I did say, perhaps we can go when they play Toronto, for the potential of seeing Reyes and maybe Dickey. Turns out, I’d have a double reason to see a series there. I did make this observation PRIOR to Pelfrey signing there. (Please note: as of now, it’s “sources say,” but I’m pretty sure he’ll end up there).
Perhaps in my literary dreams, I’ll see the most-Metsian pitcher of this last generation (Pelfrey) versus the Mets pitcher that represented all our hopes and fears (or “faith” and fear) as fans (Dickey). If not in my dreams, than in reality. Who’s comin’??
Most Mets fans are mourning the loss of R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, and at the same time hopeful for a future with Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.
As Span wrote, this is a case of one team going for it now, and a team going for it later. I sure am glad there are grown ups in the room who can make this decision. I know I wouldn’t have.
Yet as they say, the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and getting different results. Something had to change.
Once upon a time, fan favorite Lee Mazzilli was traded for two young pitchers, one of whom turned into Ron Darling (now himself a cult hero and Mets announcer) and the other was turned into Howard Johnson, another Mets fan favorite. Sometimes the tough decisions need to be made.
This was one of them.
I’m not going to like it now, and it remains to be seen if I will like it later. I just have to accept it now.