Senator Gracchus from the movie Gladiator: ”Rome is the mob.”
Proximo from the movie Gladiator speaking to Maximus: “Listen to me. Learn from me. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.”
Senator Gracchus from the movie Gladiator: “I don’t pretend to be a man of the people. But I do try to be a man for the people.”
R.A. Dickey has won the crowd. Rome is now Queens, New York. The mob is Met fans. The Coliseum is now Citi Field. R.A. Dickey is the “Maximus” of Queens. So which character will Sandy Alderson be? Will he be the “Senator Gracchus” and be a man for the people and sign Dickey, or will he be the “Commodus” who took over Rome and made a martyr of “Maximus?”
By now, you know all about the feel-good story that is R.A. Dickey. How can you not root for a guy that has persevered as he has throughout life and his career? The question that remains now is: Did the Cy Young Award add millions to his contract asking price, and if it did, why did the Mets not take care of his contract situation earlier, knowing that this could very well happen?
Dickey is now part of Mets lore. He is as popular a Met as there has been. He has now joined the Rusty Staub, Ed Kranepool, Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver “we love you as Mets for life” club. He even thanked the fans during his press conference. Met fans showed Dickey love that they haven’t been able to show any player for quite some time. If it’s one thing New Yorkers love, it’s an underdog…and no one fits the bill better than Dickey.
So, now it’s the Mets move. They had better sign Dickey and do it fast. I understand that long-term, David Wright’s contract is more important, but Met fans know that chances are good that Wright will resign. But this is an organization that let Jose Reyes walk, allowed Mike Piazza to leave rather than retire as a Met, and even allowed Tom Seaver to be claimed off waivers. So it’s no slam dunk that Dickey will remain a Met.
And so, is Sandy Alderson the “Commodus” of Queens, or is he the “Gracchus”? Will Alderson be a man for the people? Remember this Mr. Alderson: “Commodus” died at the end of the movie….Gracchus survived and retained control of Rome. You can re-write this movie and keep our “Maximus” in Queens. Our coliseum wants to see our gladiator at Citi Field every fifth day. We, the mob, deserve that. And most importantly, our Maximus deserves it!