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The R.A. Dickey Era Begins

Courtesy of Yahoo/AP

For some reason, I still have great difficulty processing the
fact that R.A. Dickey is now a member of Toronto Blue Jays. In some
ways, it seemed like a pipe dream somebody cooked up, but something
that never in reality come to fruition in this era.

But it did.

It
no longer was an apparition after officially witnessing R.A. Dickey in a
Blue Jays uniform for the first time yesterday. Once receiving visual
confirmation, it finally sunk in … and yet I still can’t
believe it.



The trade with the Marlins was definitely a
blockbuster; one that undoubtedly could shift the entire dynamic of the
Toronto Blue Jays. But the R.A. Dickey trade was something completely
different altogether. It was the signal of a new era.

I think the main reason why I have such difficulty wrapping my head around the reality of the R.A. Dickey trade is it’s the beginning of a culture change. The Dickey deal is a changing of the guard with the Toronto Blue Jays.

It hearkens back to the deals made by the Blue Jays teams of the early nineties that helped solidify their bid for contention. The signing of Jack Morris and Dave Winfield prior to the 1992 season, and the signing of Paul Molitor and Dave Stewart prior to the 1993 season. The Dickey trade has the very same air as those transactions that helped set up the Blue Jays for consecutive World Series titles.

Alex
Anthopoulos is no stranger whatsoever to making trades. It has essentially become his calling card over the course of the past three
years. But the Dickey deal was unlike any other trade he ever made
before. It truly was the atypical acquisition for the Blue Jays; the
“anti-Anthopoulos trade”.

While Anthopoulos has had experience in dealing away a cornerstone player like Roy Halladay, never before has he dealt for
one. At the age of 38, R.A. Dickey is arguably in the prime of
his career and has the potential to be the next cornerstone for the
Blue Jays.

Most trades made by AA have been in the
hopes the player they target might eventually reach their prime down the
road. However, the Marlins blockbuster and the Dickey deal clearly
demonstrated that the window of opportunity is now for the Blue Jays.

It’s
funny how Dickey mentioned Joe Carter during his press conference
because it really is like a bridging of the gap between two eras. Many
people feel like this coming season could potentially be the beginning
of the second Blue Jays dynasty; the first of course being the one of
the late eighties and early nineties.

If the presser was
any indication, R.A. Dickey is going to quickly skyrocket as one of the
fan favourites on the Blue Jays roster. Dickey
came off as a very genuine person, extremely charismatic and astute.

The
unique thing about R.A. Dickey is he’s not just interesting as a
baseball player, but as a person as well. I
don’t mean to sound like I’m gushing about him, but it was fascinating
to hear those anecdotes about Dickey’s career … so I can only imagine
what a great read his book must be.



R.A. Dickey may
be able to tell a great story, but what it will all ultimately boil
down to is whether he can better the Blue Jays. He will likely become
one of the new faces of this franchise, and the overall success of the
Blue Jays hinges on the success of R.A. Dickey.

To
use the old, tired poker analogy, the Toronto Blue Jays are truly going
all-in with the acquisition of R.A. Dickey. If the blockbuster deal
with the Marlins was the equivalent of making a huge bet on the turn,
the Dickey deal is same as the Blue Jays throwing in the remainder of their chips and hoping for the best on the river.

Going
out and getting R.A. Dickey wasn’t necessarily a Hail Mary play, but I
can’t foresee the Blue Jays having any other big moves beyond this in the foreseeable future. The
collection of players they have on the roster right now will either lead
them to the promised land or they will just repeat the same fate as the teams from the past 20 years.

With that, the R.A. Dickey era has officially begun in Toronto. If anything, at least it’s going to be an exciting one.

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Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his son for the next 20 years.

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3 Comments

  1. Damasos Burnt Shirt

    January 9, 2013 - 5:13 pm

    After watching this last night, I understand why Mets fans were upset at losing him.

    If you get a chance, watch the documentary Knuckleball.

    1. Ian - BJH

      January 9, 2013 - 5:17 pm

      It's on my "to watch" list for this evening! Heard nothing but good things about it, can't wait to check it out.

  2. Anonymous

    January 29, 2013 - 10:54 pm

    It is the Blue Jays and it is not Torontos' team .
    The team belongs' to all Ontario and it is all of Ontario that watches and goes to the center. It is the rest of Ontario and New York State border areas who fill up the seats.
    This athlete is just one of many and i just hope and pray that all of them can sync as a team. We will know around the end of June and not until then. It will still take another year to bolt it all down.
    I definetely want them to do great and they will if the press keeps in mind that anything can and does happen to any player on any team…lets keep it simple and no matter what if we can…cheers

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