By Aron Nafisi, RT
Knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey put a final positive touch on the Mets 2012 season by winning the National League Cy Young Award this past week. By doing so, Dickey becomes the first Met since Doc Gooden in 1985 to win the award. If 2012 turns out to be R.A. Dickey’s final season with the Mets, he certainly made it count.
R.A. Dickey became just the third Met and first knuckleballer to win the National League Cy Young Award. Dickey also became the first pitcher in a Mets uniform to win 20 games in a season since Frank Viola did it in 1990. It’s also the culmination of an incredible career rebirth for the 38-year-old who led the NL with 230 strikeouts, five complete games, three shutouts and 233 2/3 innings. His 20 wins were one short of Washington’s Gio Gonzalez, who finished in third place, and Dickey’s 2.73 ERA was second to Kershaw’s 2.53.The highlight of Dickey’s 2012 campaign was a 44 2/3-inning scoreless streak that spanned from May 22 through June 24. The Mets won 14 of his 17 first-half starts, earning Dickey his first All-Star Game appearance.
The next step in Dickey’s career with the Mets is still to be determined. The team picked up a $5 million option for next season, but both sides remain in discussions about an extension. Despite that, both general manager Sandy Alderson and COO Jeff Wilpon have acknowledged recently that Dickey could be traded because of all the other issues the Mets face. The Mets are also in contract talks with third base superstar David Wright. Dickey has repeatedly stated he would like to stay in New York, but also understands the position the Mets are in and he has stuck to that since the season ended.
Regardless of what happens in the off-season, Dickey provided some glimmer of hope in yet another dark season for the NY Mets. The team got off to a 4-0 start, saw Johan Santana pitch the franchise’s first no-hitter, and headed to the All-Star break as one of baseball’s hottest teams. Once the break was over, that’s when the dark cloud formed over Citi Field and the tables were turned. The Mets couldn’t seem to find their first half groove as loses piled up and the team started to sink in the standings. The only bright spot for the Mets was R.A Dickey, who managed to win 20 of their disappointing 74 wins.