The Dickey strikes back! After being snubbed as the starter for the National League in this year’s All Star game, R.A. Dickey now has the last laugh.
Dickey, the Mets cult-followed ace, was officially awarded for his historic and magical season on Wednesday, getting 27 out of the 32 first place votes needed to be named the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner.
Dickey propelled the Mets all season, finishing with a 20-6 record. The pitcher, who is also the first knuckleball pitcher to win the coveted hardware, had three shutouts, led the league in quality starts, strikeouts and innings pitched while finishing second in ERA with a commanding 2.73 mark.
R.A. unmistakably deserved the honor, which essentially anoints one pitcher in the league as the top in their craft, and received 209 overall points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in their Cy Young ballots.
The knuckleballer’s Cinderella-like rise to National League dominance is one of the most inspiring stories the league has to offer – ascending from a draft-bust in the Texas Rangers organization to Mets fringe pitcher who was cut in Spring Training to now atop the baseball world.
Since being called up to the major leagues by the Mets in 2010, Dickey has posted a 2.95 ERA over 94 games with the team.
The 38-year-old pitcher became the third Met to win the Cy Young award. Tom Seaver won the award three times, in 1969, 1973 and 1975, while Doc Gooden secured the award in 1985. In addition, Dickey’s 2012 season marks the first time since 1990 the Mets have had a 20-game-winner.
Dickey’s dominant 2012 season tossed a franchise record 32 2/3 innings of shutout baseball during the first half of the season and seemingly invented an unhittable knuckleball that baffled hitters until the last day of the season.
Capping all of this off, Dickey became the first pitcher in modern baseball history to record consecutive one-hit shutouts while also striking out at least 10 batters in each start when he dominated Tampa Bay and Baltimore in June.
While the Mets have Dickey locked up for at least another season after picking up his $5 million team option days after the World Series, the team faces an uncertain future with their ace.
The team is reportedly attempting to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Dickey, however the possibility of the 20-game winner coming back to Queens is murky. The two sides are apparently far off on what they believe Dickey’s contract extension should be, and if a deal cant be reached, General Manager Sandy Alderson could consider trading Dickey for a package of promising prospects.
If that is the case, the Mets will need to justify sending the reigning Cy Young award winner to another team and the returning players will need to fill in the emotional gap that Dickey provides to both the team as a whole and the fan base.
But, that situation wont be solved for a few weeks — or at all. So for now, Mets fans need to celebrate the accomplishment of their loveable ace and reflect on the truly magical season he turned out in 2012.