Man Crush of the Week: R.A. Dickey
R.A. Dickey has no business playing professional sports. He’s a gimmick. He doesn’t do incredible things with the gifts he was born with. In fact, he was born without ligaments in his arm. Watching him isn’t overly impressive by any stretch, other than how it’s impressive because it’s not.
And he won the Cy Young, capping off the best story of the year.
I’ve written about Dickey before and so many others have as well. You know the story, the knuckleball, climbing a mountain, the whole deal.
Not much I could really add would be new or really capture how awesome this year was for a guy who is the biggest underdog I can remember.
When Dickey was going for his twentieth win at Citi Field, I bought a cheap seat to the game (with free popcorn, the Mets were desperate at this point) and moved behind the plate of the upper deck to watch him. The stadium was pretty packed for the last home game of the season, especially for a Mets team that was a as soul-sucking as usual. And here was Dickey, getting the crowd on its feet the every time he had two strikes. It was a feel-good story to the point it actually made me, usually a cynical and pessimistic guy, into a sappy mess at the game. I wanted Dickey to get his twentieth win because I knew it would probably get him the Cy Young and eternal recognition of overcoming every odd imaginable. It would be a win for every person who has failed miserably and never given up. For anyone who had horrible things happen to them and to make the most of it.
And he got it. And I couldn’t be happier.
Douchebag of the Week: Miami Marlins
The trade that sent the basically any Marlin making money to the Toronto Blue Jays is completely fascinating and for many reasons, namely how the Blue Jays, a potential sleeping giant, are going for in when the AL East is at its most vulnerable.
But moreover it exposed the harsh truth about sports, the one we always overlook and pretend doesn’t play much of role in the day-to-day decisions of organizations and their players. Sports are all about money. Everything else be damned. The Marlins have taken this to a nauseating level yet again. In 1998 they gutted a championship team. In 2005 they did so again. This year, after making promises things would be different, making real efforts to build a fan base out of what has amounted to basically nothing in the Miami area, the Marlins built a new ballpark, long the excuse for what ailed the team from sustained success (and with a price tag that will only cost taxpayers about $2.4 billion!). They went out and signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, all stars and all for big money. Yet the new park was often empty and wasn’t helped by trading their franchise player in Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers.
Make no mistake, this was not a good team. There were some promising pieces, but the spending did little to help. So once again the Marlins did what they do best and tore apart the team again, sending Josh Johnson, Reyes, Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonaficio to the Jays for a bunch of meh prospects and a guy who write homophobic things on his face. Bravo.
I would talk about how this destroys the fan base, but there wasn’t any to speak of. Miami is a black hole of baseball now. Why would anyone pay to see this team which the organization has just thrown out? Why would any player sign with a team that is liable to deal them again within a year to Canada? Why is there even a team in Miami at this point? Just ask new franchise player, Giancarlo Stanton, had this to say.
Money. Owner Jeffrey Loria is going to make a bunch of it. With the money he shed in the deals plus all the revenue sharing and television deals, Loria is going to be making bank. And not even trying to win. Winning would just hurt the profit margin. Loria is pure evil, crushing any enjoyment out of sports for the sake of a couple more dollars. His new prized ballpark (which he barely paid for) will now be a joyless place for those who did pay for it when they actually show up. This is how you destroy sports. And baseball is destroyed in Miami for a long, long time.
Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan