Hello Blue Jays Fans!
As the former Bishop of the Church of Dickey, I wanted to formally congratulate you on yesterday's trade. I know there is some concern about the quality of prospects Robert Allen cost you. Obviously, only time will tell which team got the better of the deal.
In an ideal world, the Blue Jays will win this trade in the immediate future as your team is posed to go for it all in the here and now. Similarly, in an ideal world, the Mets will come out ahead in the near distant future, with their trio of prospects maturing and developing and fulfilling their potential.
But I'm not here to prognosticate. I just want to make sure each and every one of you appreciates the man your team landed yesterday. Yes, you've read all about him. You've probably seen him pitch. Maybe some of you even read his book or saw the documentary that he was apart of.
Even if many of you think you know Robert Allen, I still wanted you to see him through the Bishop's eyes. Robert Allen to me is much more than a baseball player or even an excellent human being. He is as close to a deity as any human being who has ever walked this earth.
Consider: One hundred or so times a game, Robert Allen will toss a baseball into the air and then relinquish all control. The knuckleball is all about the forces of nature carrying a pitch. The person who throws it is merely a vessel. Many have tried, some have succeeded. No one has succeeded to the levels that Robert Allen has. Last year he won the NL Cy Young award, something no one could ever have imagined. He did this by out-pitching younger and stronger men with abilities to hurl a baseball upwards of 95 miles per hour across selected points of home plate when they're not making it curve, sink, or slide.
Robert Allen? He tosses a baseball at relatively slow speeds without much idea of where the ball will wind up. He carefully holds the baseball on his fingertips so that the ball will not rotate. He knows if it takes even one turn, he might as well place it on a batting tee for the hitter for all the difference it will make.
Once the ball leaves his hand, it's up to the gods of nature, the forces of wind and the humidity in the air to determine what happens next. That's when Robert Allen becomes an acutely aware spectator, ready to react in a split second should the ball get hit anywhere in his direction or should a nearby fielder require his assistance.
But the hard work is done by nature, assuming Robert Allen gives nature a clean, unspinning palate to work with. Sometimes nature cooperates. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, Robert Allen doesn't deliver a clean palate.
That's three possible scenarios and two of them will bring failure. Before he even steps on the mound, he has a 67 percent chance of doom. No wonder there have been so few successful knuckleballers.
But Robert Allen continues to defy the odds which is why I am convinced he is the world's true savior. Certainly, he wasn't always viewed with such awe. Count me among the numerous Met fans who laughed when our former general manager signed him to a minor league deal. R.A. Dickey? Forget about his piss poor major league record! We're gonna sign a player named after the male sex organ? Let the jokes begin!
Many of us stopped laughing when he started getting everybody out in the early spring of 2010 pitching for Buffalo in the International League. Still, the last thing this Met fan wanted to see was a knuckleballer on our staff. You can't catch them and you can't rely on them. I've been following baseball closely for more than 40 years and I had never seen a knuckleballer I really liked and i wasn't about to start with a guy named Dickey who was desperately trying to cling on to his major league career.
But i changed my tune one Sunday afternoon in May 2010 when the Mets cable station, SNY, broadcast a Buffalo game after Mets were rained out. RA Dickey was pitching. I'd be lying if I said i caught the game from start to finish but i saw enough to be impressed.
He gave up a lead off single and then retired the next 27 batters! That's a perfect game with a do-over! But it wasn't just the fact that no one could hit him that impressed me. It was his manner on the mound, the way he went about his business. Everyone in the park knew he was going to throw a knuckleball so he wasted no time between pitches. And nearly everything he threw was for a strike. Batters didn't have a chance or a prayer that afternoon.
Shortly after he was brought up to the Mets and made his team debut in Washington. Although he didnt throw another do-over perfect game, he was very dominant. I was sold.
But many of my fellow Met fans, especially those on PSD, were not. They kept pointing to his past record, said this was just another example of an unknown pitcher having success in his first start. They shouldn't be wasting time on a 35 year old journeyman, blah blah blah.
I tried to make the case that perhaps, just perhaps, he had finally learned to master the knuckleball and that we can throw out his previous major league records. But they laughed.
When I joked that there was something godly about Robert Allen, one of my fellow PSDers suggested I become the Bishop of the RA Dickey church. The C of D was born! In the late spring of 2010, I changed my signature to reflect the Church of Dickey. All Met fans were welcome to join. Whenever someone pledged their loyalty to RA Dickey, I added their name to my signature.
I'm sorry i didnt take a final count when i closed the church yesterday (he's no longer a Met so i couldnt in good faith keep my position as Bishop) but i believe we had about 70 members. I had to abbreviate the names to fit everyone in. Needless to say, no one laughs at RA Dickey anymore.
Well, there is still something worth laughing about. I keep hearing that we traded a 38-year-old pitcher who will never again pitch like he did last season. After 2010, he was a 35 year old pitcher who will never pitch that good again. Last year he was a 36 year old pitcher who will never pitch that well again. Do you see where this is headed?
Pay no attention to his age. Deities don't end up in nursing homes. Assuming you sign him to an extension after the 2015 season, he can succeed for the Blue Jays well into his mid to late 40s.
I say mid to late 40s because by then, he'll probably want to do something else with his life.
At any rate, I just hope you guys enjoy him on your team as much as we did on ours.
All the best,