Wednesday, April 11, 2012

R.A. Dickey, Unlikely Fan Favorite

I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet, but I'm going to post it sight-unseen (sound-unheard?) since there's really very little chance it won't be good. It's our own R.A. Dickey on NPR's Fresh Air talking about his book, the marvelously titled Wherever I Wind Up (see what he did there?).

Listen to the interview on the NPR site.

At this point, I think it's nearly impossible not to like Dickey. He's more than the classic "quirky" knuckleballer, though he's that too. He's more than the stereotypical Jesus-y athlete, though he's up front with his faith. I went to Opening Day with Jon, and I was warmed (briefly; it was freezing) during the pregame player introductions that the crowd's biggest cheer was for Dickey. After an offseason in which he — contra the team's request — climbed Kilimanjaro; published a tell-all memoir; and in general, while not doing anything wrong, behaved in a way that was wholly himself — not in the controlled, constricted way normally insisted upon by New York's media and fan culture — he was welcomed with heartfelt appreciation. Maybe it's only because he pitched well last year and the fans don't care about the other stuff, but I like to think that we're appreciated something else about him.

For some shorter-form Dickey (heh), here his is on a recent ESPN Baseball Today podcast with Eric Karabell and Mark Simon.

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