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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Gettin' Dickey Wit It

I know, I know…the Mets are yet again revealing themselves an unserious and possibly inept organization for not (or not yet) signing an impact free agent while instead laying in a supply of R.A. Dickeys for the hard winter ahead. It’s an easy enough charge to level.

Still, can I say something in some combination of the Mets’ and Dickey’s defense?

There’s nothing wrong with signing R.A. Dickey.

Oh, eventually there might be. There might come a time when he knuckles under rather than hunkers down as his most unusual pitch flutters past one of our many backup catchers — or, worse yet, over one of the league’s many outfield fences — but we don’t know that. I don’t know a damn thing about R.A. Dickey other than what I’ve been reading regarding his lack of elbow ligament…which, I admit, doesn’t inspire oodles of confidence…and his inglorious track record. I kind of recall his excelling against the Mets one June night not long ago when Oliver Perez was decidedly doing no such thing against the Mariners. I recall it being considered aberrational (the Dickey part, not the Perez part).

But so what? He’s a minor league signee who will either descend into the land of forgotten relievers or surprise us with his effectiveness. The problem is not R.A. Dickey or Ryota Igarashi or Henry Blanco or Chris Coste. If those are the guys on the cover of the media guide, yes, that’s bad news. But they’re spare parts at the moment, and who honestly cares if we pick up our spare parts before we finalize our engine shopping?

You never know when a spare part will become essential in the short or long term. Rick Reed, Brian Bohanon, Darren Oliver and Omir Santos, to name four, all raised yawns in their time of acquisition. Then they each gave us some big innings and great swings down the road. I don’t know that the unexciting signings of late 2009 will remotely approach the contributions those guys made…but maybe they will. If not, they won’t be here or relied upon forever and a day.

R.A. Dickey isn’t why the Mets didn’t go harder for Jason Marquis or somehow get involved for Javier Vazquez or get around to landing Jason Bay. He’s just R.A. Dickey. He’ll report to St. Lucie before too long, he’ll be the subject of a few “look, it’s a knuckleballer!” stories and we’ll either be glad we got him or practically forget him as soon as we can. It’s not like we traded Bubba Trammell for Donne Wall or, for that matter, Jason Bay for Steve Reed here. It’s a minor league contract. It’s low-risk. It’s simply one of those things.

The Mets need to do more of the bigger things, but until then, get out the oversized mitt and make R.A. Dickey feel at home. What the hell? Consider it in the spirit of the holiday season.

8 comments to Gettin’ Dickey Wit It

  • Nice new commenting format.

    It’s just sad that the Mets have become a target. People are ‘grading’ the Mets offseason like it’s a failure. But you can’t fail a test until it’s over. Imagine yanking a kid’s test away from him 10 minutes in and saying “Sorry, you fail.” Omar does have a history of filling big holes in the offseason, actually the biggest knock on him in the past has been the bench and depth. So shouldn’t we be praising Iggy and Dickey?

  • Jason Bilt

    I realize this is probably not the place for this, but how do I add the new site to my RSS feed?
    My apologies and thanks in advance.

  • Hi Jason — you can find it at http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/feed/rss. No apology necessary; we’re sorry for the construction dust.

  • CharlieH

    The new site looks amazin’, amazin’, amazin’, amazin’, amazin’…

    As for Mr. Dickey, my initial reaction was “Great! We just signed Jim Bouton…”

    And how do I add a spiffy avatar?

  • tim

    R.A. Dickey, yet another cog in Omar Minaya’s “Draft Bryce Harper” machine. And the Nats got Matt Capps! A red-letter day for Omar all around.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Congratulatons on the transition and best of luck with the new website.

    If the Mets were still playing at Shea, am sure Jason Bay would have signed with them by this time.

    • And then we could call him Jason Shea. Or could have had somebody not traded him for Steve Reed (and Jason Middlebrook).

      Say, if anybody wants to try to create one of those nifty avatars Jason and I did, we did ours via Gravatar.

      Thanks for the good wishes, Joe.