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The newest Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey recently wrote a heartfelt thank you letter to the fans of the New York Mets.  If I’m to believe that these words are heartfelt (and let’s face it I’m no position to believe otherwise) than I have even more optimism than I already did about his acquisition.

The word chemistry is thrown around in pro sports a lot. When you are winning teams are always said to have “good chemistry”.  When the same roster is languishing the “chemistry” is now suspect.  So I must tread lightly when thinking Dickey’s presence will enhance any type of chemistry issue within the Jays clubhouse.  However these words that Dickey wrote do speak volumes of the type of individual the Jays have acquired and I’m a firm believer that you can never have enough stand up and solid folk around.

I applaud Dickey for his kind words in his letter and I’m even more eager for the baseball season to begin.  Here’s R.A Dickey’s letter in it’s entirety.

A little over a year ago I was knocking around book titles with my publisher  when we finally found a keeper. The minute I heard the words, “Wherever I Wind  Up,” I liked the cadence of them. I liked the mystery of them.

Most of  all, I liked the way they captured the essence of my nomadic pitching life — which has now taken another completely unforeseen turn.

I never expected  to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be  doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and  looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an  organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:

A  chance.
A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on  a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread  with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of  financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed  contract to go pitch in Korea.

The Mets gave me that chance almost  exactly three years ago, and I will always be grateful to them for that. Only  God could’ve written the narrative that has played out in the three years since.  That is what I want to focus on, and what I want to hold in my heart.

I  am not going to lie to you, though. The trade was hard for me at first. This is  where my heart was, where I wanted to be, where I lived out a story of  redemption and felt that every one of you shared it with me in some form or  fashion. I loved pitching for you. I loved your passion, the way you embraced me  from the start, and the way you seemed to appreciate the effort I was putting  forth. Every time I’d walk off the mound after an outing, I’d look in your  faces, the people behind the dugout, and felt as if all your energy and support  was pouring right into me — even when I was lousy. It gives me chill bumps  thinking about it even now.

Every organization has to do what it feels  is in its best interest, and I have no doubt that that’s what the Mets did by  trading Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas and me for two young players who, by all  accounts, are terrific prospects. It doesn’t make saying goodbye any  easier.

From the beginning of last season to the end — when you cheered  with all you had that Thursday afternoon when I won my 20th game — I felt that  this was a shared journey, that we were all in it together. What a great way for  an athlete to feel.

There were so many special relationships I formed  that made my time with the Mets so much richer. Not just in the clubhouse,  either. I enjoyed talking with Bill Deacon, the head groundskeeper, about his  craft, and all that went into it. The security people who helped my wife and  kids get in and out of the family lounge, the policemen who helped me get out of  the parking lot, the folks at the Hodges Gate — so many people went out of their  way to be kind to me, and they should know how much it was, and is,  appreciated.

I was going to take out an advertisement to express these thank yous, but  decided in the end that there was too much I wanted to say. So I am writing this  instead.

As I move beyond the sadness over leaving here, I know I have a  tremendous amount to look forward to. The Blue Jays may need name tags on the  first day of spring training, but once we get acquainted, well, this team could  be something. I appreciate the welcome I’ve already gotten from them, and what  they’re trying to build. We’ll see how it all unfolds.

God has blessed  me in so many ways. His grace and mercy are at the center of my life. I may not  pitch for the home team anymore (a friend told me I now have to start calling  myself a Canuckleball pitcher ) but wherever I go from here — wherever I might  wind up in the future — I hope you know that I will never forget my three years  in New York, and never be able to adequately thank you for everything you’ve  given me.

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I’m a creature of habit thus I don’t usually start to pay attention to the baseball offseason until the general manager winter meetings (which take place starting monday).  However this year The Toronto Blue Jays and their general manager Alex Anthopavowels (I realize that I’m not that clever but I almost always make a mistake in spelling this long greek last name so this turns out to be easier) turned the MLB on it’s ear with a roster shaking 12 player trade with the Miami Marlins (thanks again Mr. Jeffrey Loria).

The trade has all the earmarks of being a franchise changer for the Blue Jays.  They have instantly gained some credibility with the acquisitions of Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonafaccio and to a lesser extent John Buck (sorry Mr. and Mrs. Buck don’t hold it against me).  The pieces are starting to fall into place to make Toronto relevant again in the AL east and hopefully throughout MLB.

As a Blue Jays fan it’s hard not to be thrilled with the stealth like nature that Anthopolous carries out his business.  Little known fact my friendsis that Alex Anthopolous stayed in the same residence as I did ( also along for the ride was my roomate the Somalier to the stars @alcohol_ist if you don’t already follow this silver fox on twitter you should) at McMaster.  As stealth as he is I doubt that Anthopolous was a stealth as @alcohol_ist and I were in accepting panzerotti orders at the front door of Hedden Hall that were clearly not ours (“Mr. Pizza Pizza delivery guy are you claiming that we aren’t Abbas Mohammed and Manvince Nanda?”).

As is my policy I always err to the side of the more talented when it comes to writing so instead of continuing to read my rambling thoughts I think you should read the Toronto Star’s Brendan Kennedy’s account of the Blue Jays general manager.    It’s a far better read. Enjoy!

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