R.A. Dickey: A Victim of New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson and the Moneyball Myth
It appears the New York Mets have wasted no time in killing any goodwill with the fans by signing David Wright long term. With the trade of NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey potentially looming (per ESPN), we are once again reminded that the Mets have a talent for making the worst out of a good situation.
If there were any possibility of the Mets shedding their new-found reputation for being cheap, general manager Sandy Alderson has squashed any such hope of it.
It’s not like this was unexpected, though. We knew the Mets would trade Dickey if they could bring back a good package of prospects. The problem is that Dickey is the victim of a philosophy that is highly overrated and extensively flawed.
Sandy Alderson came to the New York Mets under the pretense that the Amazin's would soon become a successful “Moneyball” franchise. What we didn’t realize at the time is that, when you really break it down, no MLB franchise has ever been successful using that model.
The presumption is that Moneyball is about winning via increased emphasis on statistical categories like on-base percentage and slugging percentage, while spending less money than your competitors on players that are unwanted by richer teams.
Alderson may have been a pioneer of sorts, but he never won anything with the Oakland Athletics because of Moneyball.
The A’s of 1988 to 1990 won because they had two jacked-up players in the middle of the lineup, a Hall of Fame leadoff hitter, a Hall of Fame closer, a filthy ace and one of the greatest managerial minds of all time. Any team on the planet would have employed Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Stewart and Tony LaRussa. The A’s didn’t exactly scrape the bottom of the barrel en route to success.
The A’s won the 1989 World Series with a payroll of $16.3 million, which ranked them eighth out of 26 teams. That’s not exactly getting by on a shoestring budget.
One aspect of the game that Moneyball seems to ignore is pitching. Hollywood will have you believe that Billy Beane’s A’s were a prime example of a team winning via sabermetrics.
That is simply not true.
The Athletics of the early 2000s won because they had three of the game’s top starting pitchers—Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito—in their primes.
They also had a roided-up MVP in Miguel Tejada to replace another roided-up MVP in Jason Giambi, plus Eric Chavez in his prime. Any film can be good if you base it on revisionist history.
Former pitching coach Rick Peterson has admitted that the contribution of the "Big Three” was a primary reason for the team’s success and that emotion and heart are just as big of factors as OPS in the end. If that’s true, why trade a player like R.A. Dickey, who is full of emotion and heart, when you can build around him?
Dickey’s trade value has never been higher, simply because his overall value has never been higher. He won 20 games for a team that won a total of 74. He is one of the most popular Mets in recent memory. He was the sole reason fans came to the ballpark in the second half of 2012.
Dickey pitched through an abdominal injury for the bulk of the 2012 season and still won a Cy Young Award.
Imagine what he would have done if he were completely healthy.
Now, Sandy Alderson wants to cast him off in favor of prospects, all to save a few bucks? I dare suggest that fans would pay more to see R.A. Dickey pitch once or twice a week than they would to see a bunch of young, not-ready-for-prime-time players every day.
It seems to me that keeping R.A. Dickey is not only the more fiscally responsible move but a better option if the Mets actually want to win next year. They need people like him with proven track records, and he also has genuine care for the fans and the ability to pitch until he’s 45. Giving Dickey the contract he desires would be money well spent.
Unfortunately for Mets fans, Sandy Alderson believes in Moneyball.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?