R.A. Dickey is the bright spot in a dark and dismaying season for the NY Mets. You can talk about Ike Davis and his 30+ homers, or David Wright's solid play and 90+ RBI and .300+ average, but none of that matters as much as what Dickey has done. His winning 20 solidifies his standing in the CY Young race, and more importantly it gives fans a little something to cheer about at the end of another disappointing year of Mets baseball.
What happened since the Mets were 46-40 and the All-Star break? Well, they have had lots in common with the Biblical Job to be sure. Every bad thing that could happen occurred, including the loss of Johan Santana for the season after his amazing no-hitter back in June. While that in itself made Mets fans delirious, it came when the Mets were riding high. Dickey's 20 wins came when they were lower than Death Valley, like a life preserver thrown to a survivor of the Titanic.
There have been many disappointing years for Mets fans, but it seems like only yesterday that young players like Duda, Thole, Davis, Niese, Tejada, and Parnell had visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. We thought we were David slaying Goliath before the All-Star break, but since then the Mets have gone 27-44 and the air popped out of our collective playoff hopes.
None of that mattered in the last game played at Citi Field this season. 35,000+ fans cheered on Dickey (20-6), who has become the fan favorite. His story of turning around his career, of being an author of an inspiring book Wherever I Wind Up, his climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity, and his overall charm has claimed him a spotlight he richly deserves.
And don't think the talk about Cy Young is all bluster by this Mets fan. Dickey is ahead of his nearest competitor, Johnny Cueto (19-9) of the Cincinnati Reds, in wins, and he leads the league in strikeouts, innings pitched, and ERA. If Dickey wins the Cy Young, as he deserves to do, it will give the pain of "wait until next year" a little less sting for Mets fans.
Winning 20 games on a winning team is one thing, but getting 20 on a losing team is even more impressive. If you like to see the underdog win, then you have to enjoy Dickey's success. R.A. Dickey has not been just the best story in New York this year but in all of baseball.
Photo Credit - NY Times