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RA Dickey becomes first Met since Frank Viola to win 20 games

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#1 jokin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

Nice article about Dickey, on overcoming long odds and many doubters (MN Twins org among them) with class and gritty perseverance: http://espn.go.com/n...tacles-20th-win

I don't believe a knuckleballer has ever won the Cy Young award. Dickey's overall numbers on a bad team certainly merit strong consideration. Will he overcome the built-in bias against knuckleballers and win the award?

#2 Thrylos

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

I hope he does.

There should be another question also: Should the Twins' manager and pitching coach be held accountable for letting R.A. Dickey go, while they were planning a season (2011) with Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn as starters ahead of him?
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#3 Roncoomerfan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:21 PM

Tough to pin this one on Gardy/Anderson.

#4 Thrylos

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:31 PM

Tough to pin this one on Gardy/Anderson.


ok, Pin it on the Twins. But someone has to be accountable. Who would that be in your mind?
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#5 jokin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:01 PM

I hope he does.

There should be another question also: Should the Twins' manager and pitching coach be held accountable for letting R.A. Dickey go, while they were planning a season (2011) with Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn as starters ahead of him?


I'm not sure what the Twins were thinking back in 09 when they cut Dickey. Likely what most everybody else in baseball didn't see, as well. Give the Mets credit for understanding the evolution of a knuckleballer learning on the job. The guy has averaged 200+ innings, 30 starts/yr, 22.33 quality starts/yr, 2.91 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 6.8K/9 in his 3 years as a Met starter. The Mets obviously saw a huge opportunity with a cheap asset and made the most of it. Regarding Gardy/Anderson, they certainly had input and the ability to tell Bill Smith "thumbs up/thumbs down" on sticking with him. Whoever originally signed Dickey on the Twins has to be credited for signing him by seeing the potential, hopefully whomever that was still is a voice to be listened to in the Twins FO.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

I guess I don't feel the need to place blame on an organization who let go of a minor league free agent who, in 35 games for the Twins in 2009, posted a 4.62 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP, who in 64.1 innings gave up 74 hits, walked 30 and struck out just 42.

Blackburn was coming off of his second straight 11-11 season with an ERA just over 4 .He also threw 205 innings.

Duensing was thrown into the rotation in mid-August and went 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA down the stretch of a pennant race.

#7 jokin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:08 PM

I guess I don't feel the need to place blame on an organization who let go of a minor league free agent who, in 35 games for the Twins in 2009, posted a 4.62 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP, who in 64.1 innings gave up 74 hits, walked 30 and struck out just 42.

Blackburn was coming off of his second straight 11-11 season with an ERA just over 4 .He also threw 205 innings.

Duensing was thrown into the rotation in mid-August and went 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA down the stretch of a pennant race.


That fails to account for what the Mets were able to get out of Dickey, immediately, inserting him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. The Mets obviously saw a lot more in working with, and developing Dickey, and understanding the evolution of knuckleball mastery than in trying to acquire just more mediocrity in guys like Blackburn and Duensing.

#8 Thrylos

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:21 PM

Whoever originally signed Dickey on the Twins has to be credited for signing him by seeing the potential, hopefully whomever that was still is a voice to be listened to in the Twins FO.


Little inside dirt here (and this is kinda "common" knowledge: ) The same person who pushed for Dickie to come in is the same person who practically showed him the door.(and GardyNAndy gave the thumbs up.) Here goes the story: Since the early parts of last decade a certain General Manager was so obsessed to prove a point from his scouting days that a knuckleball is a formidable weapon indoors, which made him actually bid the sky for an average free agent knuckleballer and made his team match it in every opportunity he saw. Google "Twins" and "Wakefield" and you will find some interesting stuff about Terry Ryan's "love affair" with knuckleballs indoors. Wakefield re-signed with Boston (a couple of times), the opportunity arose. RA, Dickey was around... he can throw the knuckleball. So that happened. Then the new stadium happened. So the Twins did not play outdoors any more so a knuckleballer was not needed to prove the interim's theory. So bye bye RA, welcome Mr Marquis, (you know those outdoor stadiums have underground rodents so you need ground ball pitchers to kill them...)

And, yes it bugs me, and I did lay out the math about knuckleballs 3-4 years ago, but I am still surprised how Mr Interim GM, the manager of the millennium and the pitching coach of the millennium can keep their tails clean of this
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#9 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

That fails to account for what the Mets were able to get out of Dickey, immediately, inserting him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. The Mets obviously saw a lot more in working with, and developing Dickey, and understanding the evolution of knuckleball mastery than in trying to acquire just more mediocrity in guys like Blackburn and Duensing.


---The Mets deserve some credit for picking him up. But they did not insert him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. They signed him to a minor league contract in January, and he started the year in AAA.

I'm happy to see RA have the year he's having. He's obviously had some real personal demons to deal with along the way.

I'm not sure how much you can fault the Twins any more than you can fault the 28 other major league teams that passed on him. It's not like there was a rush to sign this guy when he went on the market. And I doubt the Mets even thought he'd do as well as he has.

He was a journeyman in his mid-30's when the Twins decided not to bring him back. I don't recall a groundswell of support for doing otherwise, and certainly not anyone claiming that if we just waited a few more years, we'd have a Cy Young contender on our hands.

#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:58 PM

Yeah, I just think it's a nice story. We knew that the Twins had long talked about wanting a knuckleballer in the Dome. In fact, they had signed Dickey the year before (2007-08 offseason) to a minor league contract, but they signed him too early and he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by Seattle. They waited until after the Rule 5 draft in 2008 to sign him.

Dickey's knuckleball is unlike any other knuckleball in history. He throws it 10-15 mph harder than typical knuckleball pitchers. There was certainly a thought that, if he ever was able to make it work, he could be very good. Nothing in 2009 showed that was going to happen any time soon.

#11 jokin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

[quote name='one_eyed_jack'][quote name='jokin']That fails to account for what the Mets were able to get out of Dickey, immediately, inserting him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. The Mets obviously saw a lot more in working with, and developing Dickey, and understanding the evolution of knuckleball mastery than in trying to acquire just more mediocrity in guys like Blackburn and Duensing.[/QUOTE]

---The Mets deserve some credit for picking him up. But they did not insert him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. They signed him to a minor league contract in January, and he started the year in AAA.

I'm happy to see RA have the year he's having. He's obviously had some real personal demons to deal with along the way.

I'm not sure how much you can fault the Twins any more than you can fault the 28 other major league teams that passed on him. It's not like there was a rush to sign this guy when he went on the market. And I doubt the Mets even thought he'd do as well as he has.

He was a journeyman in his mid-30's when the Twins decided not to bring him back. I don't recall a groundswell of support for doing otherwise, and certainly not anyone claiming that if we just waited a few more years, we'd have a Cy Young contender on our hands.[/QUOTE]

Dickey started the year in AAA because of money previously committed to John Maine ($3.3M), but especially to Oliver Perez ($12M). Dickey started out of the gates in AAA with a series of dominating performances, by far producing the best MiL numbers in his career. As Perez and Maine self-destructed, Dickey first started for the Mets on May 19 and ended up with the third-most innings on the staff (174), the best ERA (2.84- better than Johan) and only 1/100 higher WHIP than Johan (1.18).

As I stated in my previous post:

"I'm not sure what the Twins were thinking back in 09 when they cut Dickey. Likely what most everybody else in baseball didn't see, as well. Give the Mets credit for understanding the evolution of a knuckleballer learning on the job."



The Mets saw something that the other clubs didn't. For one thing, as there is little strain on a pitching arm from tossing knucklers, age is irrelevant to consideration of potential value. Mastering the knucker requires years of practice and great patience from the club that has his rights. It's fairly obvious that through a combination of Dickey's pitching maturation and possibly some credit to the Mets coaching staff- along with their willingness to show confidence in him, they found themselves a great bargain.

#12 70charger

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:06 AM

[quote name='jokin'][quote name='Seth Stohs']I guess I don't feel the need to place blame on an organization who let go of a minor league free agent who, in 35 games for the Twins in 2009, posted a 4.62 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP, who in 64.1 innings gave up 74 hits, walked 30 and struck out just 42.

Blackburn was coming off of his second straight 11-11 season with an ERA just over 4 .He also threw 205 innings.

Duensing was thrown into the rotation in mid-August and went 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA down the stretch of a pennant race.[/QUOTE]

That fails to account for what the Mets were able to get out of Dickey, immediately, inserting him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. The Mets obviously saw a lot more in working with, and developing Dickey, and understanding the evolution of knuckleball mastery than in trying to acquire just more mediocrity in guys like Blackburn and Duensing.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, his crappy record as a Twin fails to account for how he did with the Mets. Granted, that was in the future at the time you were supposed to have know about it. Don't you know you should have a crystal ball?

#13 old nurse

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:59 AM

[quote name='jokin'][quote name='one_eyed_jack'][quote name='jokin']That fails to account for what the Mets were able to get out of Dickey, immediately, inserting him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. The Mets obviously saw a lot more in working with, and developing Dickey, and understanding the evolution of knuckleball mastery than in trying to acquire just more mediocrity in guys like Blackburn and Duensing.[/QUOTE]

---The Mets deserve some credit for picking him up. But they did not insert him as one of their starters coming out of the gate in 2010. They signed him to a minor league contract in January, and he started the year in AAA.

I'm happy to see RA have the year he's having. He's obviously had some real personal demons to deal with along the way.

I'm not sure how much you can fault the Twins any more than you can fault the 28 other major league teams that passed on him. It's not like there was a rush to sign this guy when he went on the market. And I doubt the Mets even thought he'd do as well as he has.

He was a journeyman in his mid-30's when the Twins decided not to bring him back. I don't recall a groundswell of support for doing otherwise, and certainly not anyone claiming that if we just waited a few more years, we'd have a Cy Young contender on our hands.[/QUOTE]

Dickey started the year in AAA because of money previously committed to John Maine ($3.3M), but especially to Oliver Perez ($12M). Dickey started out of the gates in AAA with a series of dominating performances, by far producing the best MiL numbers in his career. As Perez and Maine self-destructed, Dickey first started for the Mets on May 19 and ended up with the third-most innings on the staff (174), the best ERA (2.84- better than Johan) and only 1/100 higher WHIP than Johan (1.18).

As I stated in my previous post:

"I'm not sure what the Twins were thinking back in 09 when they cut Dickey. Likely what most everybody else in baseball didn't see, as well. Give the Mets credit for understanding the evolution of a knuckleballer learning on the job."



The Mets saw something that the other clubs didn't. For one thing, as there is little strain on a pitching arm from tossing knucklers, age is irrelevant to consideration of potential value. Mastering the knucker requires years of practice and great patience from the club that has his rights. It's fairly obvious that through a combination of Dickey's pitching maturation and possibly some credit to the Mets coaching staff- along with their willingness to show confidence in him, they found themselves a great bargain.[/QUOTE]

The majors are not filled with many knuckleballers. The Twins gave him a year. His statistics were not great. Nor were they much different than at any other stop he made since he went to the knuckler. It would be likely that someone with the Mets taught him something. Is it the control of the knuckleball that improved or is it they improved his other pitches so they did not get pounded. Did he change his approach how he pitched? To say it is is maturation of the knuckler is an assumption you are making without bassis. Look back at the careers of the Niekros. They went to the knuckler without a 4-5 year period on the fringe. Wakefield did not even start out as a pitcher and made the transition within a few years from low minors to the majors. Not the

#14 twinsnorth49

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:43 AM

Hindsight makes a genius out of everybody.

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

I have a hard time faulting the Twins too much or giving too much praise to the Mets for Dickey. In everything I've read about the guy, one day things just "clicked". It doesn't appear it was anything done by the Mets or that even Dickey himself knows what happened.

Every team had multiple chances at Dickey. Several of them signed him and then let him go. There was no indication that he'd suddenly figure it out or when that would happen. Kudos to Dickey for turning the corner but trying to lay blame on the Twins for letting him go is the worst form of after-the-fact armchair GMing.

For those of you who criticize the move, where were you two years ago? Because I didn't hear a peep from the Twins community at large. Nobody cared about Dickey.

#16 Willihammer

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

I'd sooner fault the TWins for letting Crain walk. He clicked while he was still a Twin.

#17 JB_Iowa

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:31 AM

And to think that the Mets didn't want him to climb Kilimanjaro. Guess that didn't hurt his legs any.

Hats off to you, Mr. Dickey.

#18 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:57 PM

[quote name='thrylos98'][quote name='Roncoomerfan']Tough to pin this one on Gardy/Anderson.[/QUOTE]

ok, Pin it on the Twins. But someone has to be accountable. Who would that be in your mind?[/QUOTE]
This is the 40th time you have blamed the Twins for Dickey and this is the 40th time everyone tells you, you are incorrect, please stop beating this poor dead horse.

#19 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:59 PM

I have a hard time faulting the Twins too much or giving too much praise to the Mets for Dickey. In everything I've read about the guy, one day things just "clicked". It doesn't appear it was anything done by the Mets or that even Dickey himself knows what happened.

Every team had multiple chances at Dickey. Several of them signed him and then let him go. There was no indication that he'd suddenly figure it out or when that would happen. Kudos to Dickey for turning the corner but trying to lay blame on the Twins for letting him go is the worst form of after-the-fact armchair GMing.

For those of you who criticize the move, where were you two years ago? Because I didn't hear a peep from the Twins community at large. Nobody cared about Dickey.

Exactly, the guy had a 5/4 K/BB Ratio in his time with pretty much every team before the Mets. (and had a 5.13 ERA in AAA for the Twins) its not like they were letting go a 25 year old kid with promise, they were letting a 35 year old pitcher who at no time had shown any reason to think he would be anything more then organizational depth.

#20 snepp

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:14 AM

This is the 40th time you have blamed the Twins for Dickey and this is the 40th time everyone tells you, you are incorrect, please stop beating this poor dead horse.


40th? Ridiculous hyperbole like that doesn't serve any purpose.



It's only the 36th time.
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#21 John Bonnes

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:42 AM

[quote name='thrylos98'][quote name='Roncoomerfan']Tough to pin this one on Gardy/Anderson.[/QUOTE]

ok, Pin it on the Twins. But someone has to be accountable. Who would that be in your mind?[/QUOTE]


Thryloss, I don't think you're being intellectually honest on this, or that hindsight is clouding your mind. You were blogging in 2009 and wrote about Dickey several times. If you had a post after the 2009 season that expounded on why the Twins should keep Dickey, I can't find it. In fact, I find just the opposite - an 8/21 post in which you're advocating calling up Johan Pino in September over Dickey.

Seriously, Thryloss, I'm not picking on you. The fact is that NOBODY saw this coming. Not me, not you, not the statheads, not the prospect hounds, not the Twins, not any other major league team and not even the Mets. He signd a minor league deal, for chrissakes!

And there is a reason for all of that. He was TERRIBLE past June that year. I rember having high hopes for him going into that St. Louis series and he completely imploded shortly therafter. He had an ERA over 9 starting July 1. He was demoted. He had an ERA over 5 in Rochester. I don't even think he got a September callup. And the next year he was every fantasy baseball player owners lucky pick of the year.

Gardy and Anderson might have missed it, or Ryan, or Smith, but so did you and I and the entire baseball watching world. (I remember advocating his demotion). So, if you want to pin it on someone, you're going to need a LOT of pins.

#22 Thrylos

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:10 AM

Gardy and Anderson might have missed it, or Ryan, or Smith, but so did you and I and the entire baseball watching world. (I remember advocating his demotion). So, if you want to pin it on someone, you're going to need a LOT of pins.


Yes we all missed it. I missed it, you missed it we all missed it. But unlike the 4 you mention by name, a. we are not paid to not-miss it and b. we are kinda powerless to make any difference; unlike those 4. That is the difference. And also look at the names of the immortals who the Twins signed as MiLB FA Ps that season: Brad Hennessey, Yoslan Herrerra, Mike Maroth, Charlie Zink.
Dickey's 2009 numbers in the majors: 4.62 ERA, 1.617 WHIP, 5.9 K/BB, 1.4 K/9. Not exactly earth shaking by any means but better than the four mentioned. Plus he made to the majors for a division winning team (remember those years? ;) ) unlike the aforementioned.

Also, here are Samuel Deduno's numbers so far this season: 4.44 ERA, 1.544 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 1.08 K/BB . Not that much different and pretty much equivalent if you look at their relative BABIPs: .267 for Deduno this season vs. ,319 for Dickey in 2009. I suspect that the Twins (pretty much the same people who let Dickie go) will not learn Deduno go.

Frankly, if you look at the differences between the Twins' Dickie and the Mets' Dickie are:

- He was one more season removed (and now 3) from injury
- He has been used as a starter with the Mets vs. as a reliever with the Twins
- National League vs. American League
- Different manager, coaches, trainers and staff.

I suspect all 4 contributed to his suggest; what contributed more and what less, I cannot tell. And, interestingly enough, if you look at Jason Marquis this season and his resurgence after he left the Twins, the last 2 factors are there for him as well. So when there is enough smoke, there must be some fire, don't you think?

The Twins seem to be overtly coddling the players they drafted and tend to keep them over players who they got in a trade or via minor league free agency. I guess it has to do with what they have invested into them and hope if they keep them longer they might get some return (Blackburn, Manship Perkins come to mind.) Perkins worked pretty well, I am not sure about the other 2... But, again, look at Dickey's numbers in 2009 vs those of the mentioned 3.

There is a lot of frustration with the way the Twins have been performing the last 2 seasons.
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#23 John Bonnes

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:27 AM

Deduno and Dickey are decent comps. But there are differences in context. First, any success Dickey had was in the first three months of the season. I don't think we can overstate just how bad he was from July through September. Deduno's rise has been in the last half, except recently, and that has certainly jeopardized his status for next year. Like I said, he was bad enough in Rochester and the latter halfof 2009 that nobody had a problem keeping him of the Sept roster.

As for Marquis, that's a different data point in my mind. I know you're opposed to Gardy and Anderson and I can see valid points on them - especially Anderson, for whom I used to write glowing reports. But Dickey is such a weak data point in my mind as to negligible. If I was making an argument against Anderson's work, I'd personally leave it off because it so easily refutable and make me look biased. I'd feel like a pro-Romney guy talking about where Obama was born.

#24 kab21

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

I knew this thread would be about the Twins cutting Dickey. How could they not see that a 35 yr old knuckleballer with no positive signs of improving on his 5+ career ERA was going to cut his BB rate in half and become one of the better pitchers in the league? This should have been perfectly obvious to anyone that saw him pitch.

#25 Monkeypaws

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:43 PM

Knuckeballers are nothing if not late bloomers -- I'm glad for his success, and attribute a large part of it to maturity, National League, and perhaps a bit of short-sightedness on the Twins part.

I like a rotation with variety, and Liriano - Dickey would have added a nice contrast to soft throwing pitch to contact righties. Throw in Diamond, and that could have been an interesting rotation.

#26 kab21

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:37 PM

I would have loved to have seen these posters that think the twins were shortsighted after a guy like Dickey was given 150 innings the following season and posted 5+ ERA.

These same guys came out of the woodwork after Humber's perfect game this season. He finished up with a 6.50 ERA.

#27 Nick Nelson

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:17 PM

Thrylos is so smart. I wish he was running the Twins. :(