Putting An Individual Award Over The Team’s Best Interest?
Remember all the Hater-Ade that gushed out of Mets Nation when Jose Reyes took himself out of his last game of the 2011 season following a bunt single, so that he could preserve his lead in the batting race and win a batting title?
Some Mets fans were so turned off and fuming, that they decided to completely forget the other 1,049 games Jose Reyes played as a Met all because of that one last game. Reyes went from beloved Met, to a pariah in the blink of an eye. He was vilified unmercifully, especially when it was learned that Terry Collins was in on it and that they had worked this out before the game even started.
Today it was learned that the powers that be are now working out a way to ensure that R.A. Dickey gets those 20 wins and with it the 2012 NL Cy Young Award.
According to Adam Rubin, Terry Collins said that he reserves the right to use Dickey on three days’ rest at the very end of the season if an extra start or two would nudge him to 20 wins and perhaps the Cy Young Award.
Collins said he would be tempted to have Dickey pitch on short rest a couple of times at the end of the season if it increases the knuckleballer’s likelihood of winning the Cy Young Award — even after the manager received flak for abetting Jose Reyes’ batting title last season by pulling him after a leadoff bunt single in the final game last year.
Collins was asked about the perception fans will have about the motivation behind this.
“That truly is one of the real good questions I’ve been asked and I will tell you: R.A. Dickey does not want the perception that he’s pitching for the Cy Young Award. That’s not the perception he wants out there, by any stretch of the imagination.”
It’s not that different than what happened last season with Jose Reyes, where the player’s individual gain was put ahead of the team’s best interest. It was wrong then, and it seems wrong now.
But even if you disagree with me on that, you can’t argue that this means the team is ready to throw caution to the wind and risk injuring their team’s ace and number one starter just so he could win an individual award.
As it stands now, ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor has R.A. Dickey ranked at the No. 1 spot. (click to enlarge image)
Why not leave well enough alone and not risk tarnishing a magical season?
In this age of Twitter madness and the extreme Social Media blitz, the price the Mets could pay will be an all-out media crucifixion and more negative press for a team that already has too much of it.
Why would you risk injuring the one sure thing we have in the rotation for the 2013 season?
I implore Collins and Alderson not to make the short-sighted decision to overwork and abuse R.A. Dickey like we did with Tim Byrdak resulting in what could be the end of Byrdak’s baseball career.
Haven’t you learned your lesson yet?
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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