With the Russell Martin signing, some news that hasn't been talked about too much (thankfully) is that R.A. Dickey has been rumoured as a slight problem in the clubhouse. First Blue Jays radio broadcaster Jerry Howarth noted that Dickey is:
a man unto himself on an island, and you don't want that in your clubhouse
He also went on to say
(Dickey) gives you 200 innings, he goes out there and starts 30 games, that's great; but you need more than that.
This seems like much ado about nothing as broadcasters often feel the need for team chemistry is a little more important than what it seems to be. I think must people would gladly take a pitcher who starts 30 games over an extremely nice guy who has an ERA north of 5.00.
And, in an underappreciated part of this saga that soared into visibility this week, Dickey can be a handful. He clearly has enjoyed his rise from the ashes into a Flushing folk hero, and while he deserves praise and riches, there’s also the matter of him having to coexist peacefully in a workplace. His gift for self-promotion and his love of attention don’t endear himself to most teammates. Instead, his durability and outstanding results led him to be appreciated but far from beloved.
It all sounds like what we already know about Dickey, which is that the knuckleballer can be a little strange and may not have the prototypical baseball personality. I'm sure there's bigger problems with the Blue Jays team than a successful starting pitcher who weirds some people out. Thankfully John Gibbons was on the radio this morning doing his part to quash the rumours that he and Dickey had experienced a tumoltuous relationship this season. Gibbons said:
He's a different guy, a different personality. There's no problems there.
As someone who once fought a pitcher during a game, it's no surprise that Gibbons doesn't take his past disagreements with Dickey too seriously.
Players don't agree with what I do everyday, I don't agree with what they do all the time so we talk some things out.
It sounds like the former 'ace' of the pitching staff may not be shy about letting people know his thoughts and apparently it's rubbed some people (like Jerry Howarth) the wrong way. It seems doubtful that this issue has pushed a trade involving Dickey to the top of Alex Anthopoulos' priority list, but it may still weigh slightly on his mind in the coming months.
Thankfully the Martin news has overshadowed all of the usual offseason drama, freeing us from weeks of interviewers asking Blue Jays players how weird R.A. Dickey is.