In reading a column from Buster Olney recently I saw the ESPN writer make a pretty bold statement regarding the Wilpon family and the New York Mets. Most of the column requires ESPN Insider access to read, but Olney makes his point pretty clear in the intro (click here to read in full):
Photo by Michael G. Baron
R.A. Dickey looked a little shaken after winning the Cy Young Award the other night, and you can’t blame him, given the crazy journey that has taken him to this place — the failures, the crushing disappointments, the renewal of a dream, and stardom, so late in his baseball life.
He thanked the New York Mets profusely for giving him a chance, for believing in him. He is a deeply thoughtful and sincere person, and he meant every word.
The backdrop to all of this, of course, is the ongoing debate about what the Mets will do with him — sign him to an extension beyond the 2013 season, when he’ll make $5 million, an incredible bargain, or trade him? The Mets have talked with other teams about a possible deal after not being thrilled with Dickey’s asking price during negotiations.
Here’s the bottom line: If the Mets don’t figure out a way to re-sign the 38-year-old Dickey, the Wilpon family ought to sell the team. Seriously. “
I’m sure most Mets fan echo Olney’s thoughts and it’s hard to argue his point. The Mets have been fortunate enough to underpay Dickey these past two magical seasons, so if they have to give a little more than what they’d consider fair market value to Dickey over the next two years then consider it back pay for giving fans a reason to come to the ballpark during two miserable campaigns. Years of free spending didn’t do the Wilpons much good under the watchful eye of Omar Minaya, but as Olney points out:
They’re the New York Mets. They exist in the biggest market in the world. They aren’t the Miami Marlins. They’re not the Tampa Bay Rays. They should be able to take some risks, especially after next season, when Johan Santana’s contract is set to expire.”
Photo by MIchael G. Baron
Updates regarding the progress the team is making with Dickey are seemingly coming every few hours and while each has to be taken with a grain of salt, we’ll do our best to follow the headlines. I think this negotiation isn’t just about R.A. Dickey and the next two seasons in New York, it’s much more than that. As Olney eludes to, it’s a look into how viable the Wilpon family will be as owners of this ball club moving forward. So, forgive us if we go all ‘DickeyZilla’ on the posts in the coming weeks, but there’s a bigger picture here and we can’t help but write about what’s on our mind.