A couple of R.A. Dickey nuggets

I’ll be writing about R.A. Dickey in advance of his start Sunday night, and that’ll appear on Mets.com and MLB.com at some point in the next 24-48 hours, so I attended his news conference at Citi Field today.

 

It was, in a word, fascinating. He’s one of the most interesting, thoughtful players I’ve heard speak, and there was a lot of good stuff in the presser. Most of it I’ll save for the story, but I wanted to pass along two things that I thought were particularly of interest.

 

* The first is an anecdote. He was asked whether he takes note of, or enjoys, or whatever, the reactions of hitters to trying to hit the flutterball. And, well, let’s just say the answer is yes.

 

“I do look at reactions of hitters,” he said. “Not only their swing reaction to the pitch I’m throwing, but their facial expressions. For instance, Adam Jones, the first at-bat [on Monday], I saw him talking to Josh [Thole, catcher] and Josh told me what he said. I saw him giggling after a couple pitches, and that right there tells me that he’s going to be struggling with it all night. That’s a bullet in my gun. I’m out there to win the game, and I’m out there to make him go back to the dugout as quickly as possible. So if I have that, that certainly is ammunition.” (emphasis added)

 

He’s a nice guy and an interesting guy. He throws a pitch that has kind of a “cute, cuddly” connotation. He’s also a competitor, and if you give a competitor an edge like that, well, that’s what happens.

 

* Second was something that I saw brought up on Twitter a couple of days ago (I forget who I saw mentioning it, sorry about that). Dickey was asked whether writing a book this winter, and revealing some traumatic experiences (most notably sexual abuse that he suffered as a child), might be contributing to his success this year. In short, whether having that off his chest might help him, or whether that was a stretch.

 

The response: “I don’t think that’s a stretch. I think that’s good insight. I think any time you feel the freedom to be yourself, it’s going to enhance the other aspects of your life. Whether it’s how you are as a father, how you are as a baseball player. That was certainly one of the things that I was hoping for when I wrote it. And as far as the attention that it’s gotten, I’m certainly flattered and my hope in that is that people will learn from my mistakes.”

 

-M, blogging fiend today.

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