I’ll admit it. My frequency and dedication to watching the Mets has waned. You can chastise me. Work. Kid. Whatever the excuses, be they worthy or not, the fever has faded. The little team that could probably can’t. We know that. It’s not a surprise. It doesn’t detract from what they’ve done. This was (and is) a team flawed in so many ways that being merely five games under IS truly an achievement.
You could argue that there’s not much to really care about from this point on. There are no moves being made, because, no matter what mathematics say, there is no playoff run in this bunch. And that’s fine. We’d warned ourselves against any delusions of grandeur way back when this all began.
Sure, I hope the Mets can linger around the .500 mark only to prove what can be done with a team that puts it all out on the field despite their rampant deficiencies. And, yes, you watch to see players develop and try to project from their play whether some promising pieces can prove their mettle. But, for me, the season has boiled down to one thing only. One reason to continue to track…one outcome to wish for…one result to put your rooting interests behind. In fact, just one man. We are of course speaking again of Robert Allen Dickey.
The story is known. It doesn’t mean it gets any less appealing or inspiring. Yet now, it’s gotten REALLY serious. R.A. Dickey can win a Cy Young award. Repeat that again if you need to. Despite his success, it takes some getting used to. Now, it becomes a story of “will he” and “could he.” The bias against the knuckeballer remains. Call him a gimmick. Deny him an All-Star start. It’s fine. Maybe even defensible. Maybe. However, baseball is a game about statistics. For better or worse, we default to numbers more often than not to settle the score. And Mr. Dickey’s numbers are telling an awfully powerful story.
Sure, the 38 year-old knuckleballer is a wonderful tale. It’s the tale of the tape, though, that tells an undeniable story. Consider this…as of this evening, here is how Dickey rates among National League hurlers.
Wins (15): Tied for first
Strikeouts (166): Tied for first (he shares the spot with the Nats Strasburg)
WHIP (1.0): First
ERA (2.72): Tied for third
BAA (.217): Fourth
In all the “traditional” measures of a pitcher’s dominance, he is sitting near the top (if not at the summit). Could he become the first Mets starter to chalk up 20 wins in a season in over two decades? More importantly, could he become the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young award? These are the questions worth following as the Mets close out the final month-plus of the 2012 season. They’re the questions that make this team’s remaining games, at least those in which Robert Allen Dickey takes the hill, must-see TV.
Here’s to seeing the wiley old knuckler-boy get it done. G-d knows he’s earned it.
About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.