R.A. Dickey Is Officially a Toronto Blue Jay

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by Tom Frank

Baseball Outsider, White Cover Magazine

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Most of us have spent enough saliva discussing the “R.A. Dickey + Toronto Blue Jays” equation, and we’d rather just wait until the first pitch of summer to talk about it further.

But on Tuesday, Dickey was introduced to the Canadian media (and, apparently, the entire town of Toronto judging by how many people were Tweeting live about it) and he re-entered the lexicon. The conversation now isn’t about Dickey’s knuckleball. It’s about what he brings the franchise and the city, and how good of a person he is, not just a player.

The benefit in Dickey is that he was as much of a longshot in 2012 as Toronto was. He’s as surprised as Toronto is to be in this situation, and to be behind a team favoured by Vegas to win the World Series by October.

“I was all in right then,” Dickey said on Tuesday, speaking about his first conversation with Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos. “I think this can be a special few years for this city, for the country and all the players here.”

A special few years for the city. The Jays haven’t had a guy talk like that since Roy Halladay.

“For the longest time I kind of fought who I was and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to live through that into a period where I enjoy embracing who I feel like I am… That’s taken a lot of encouragement and a lot of hard work.

“What you see is what you get. The hope is that none of it is ever manufactured.”

Well, sh*t. It doesn’t seem that way.

Here’s The Toronto Star‘s Rosie DiManno. She looks like a children’s book writer, but she churned out a pretty good sports column today:

“He had me at hello.

“With the buttery Tennessee twang and the drooping Russell Crowe eyes.

“Because last year’s National League Cy Young winner sounds genuinely delighted about landing in Toronto, the marquee acquisition in an off-season where the eye-popping riches just kept on coming from GM Alex Anthopoulos. “It’s going to be fun to call myself a Canadian for six months of the year.”

Can we extend it to 12 months, R.A.?