The Mets are getting a tiny bit greedy here. They finally have one no-hitter in 50-plus years. Now they want two in a fortnight.
The Mets should withdraw their idea to appeal the hit that prevented the remarkable R.A. Dickey from throwing a no-hitter in his splendid one-hit 9-1 victory against the Rays on Wednesday night. There's practically no chance the MLB commissioner's office reverses the hit call on speedy B.J. Upton's chopper to third that bounced off third baseman David Wright's hand as he tried to make the barehand play, anyway.
The Mets are on a bit of a roll, and Dickey is one helluva comeback story. But it's slightly unbecoming and frankly almost a little gauche of the team to beg for an error to be given to its best player on a very tough play after the fact.
Wright is better than anyone in the game at making the barehand play, to be sure, but it is by no means a routine play, for him or anyone else. Considering Upton's speed, it's no better than 50-50 Wright throws him out even if he snags the tricky chopper. And let's say someone thinks it might be 60-40 he makes the play, or even 70-30, that's still no reason to reverse a perfectly reasonable real-time ruling.
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Upton's bouncing ball was a hit at the time, and it's no less of a hit now that it and he separate Dickey from immortality. The Mets got their great long-awaited no-hitter two Fridays ago when the great and rebuilt Johan Santana lasted 134 pitches and somehow got 27 outs without a hit against the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. That was a fitting way to break an unfathomable franchise streak of 8,019 games without a no-hitter.
This would not be a fitting way to score a second no-hitter. A grievance hearing room is no place to make baseball history.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins expects to hear by Friday about the long-shot appealSome folks claimed an asterisk accompanied Santana's masterpiece. Well, if Dickey somehow gets the call, in this case the asterisk would overwhelm the accomplishment.
To reverse a scorer's decision made honestly in real time should take an overwhelmingly compelling case. And the claim here that the chopper to Wright was routine or close to it ranks somewhere between specious and silly. Just consider that on a 50-50 play, dying and doing hold equal chances.
The Mets' chance to win this appeal surely carries infinitesimal odds, as MLB undoubtedly understands that the official scorer made a reasonable ruling without history as a consideration on the first-inning bouncer. Everything's changed now that we know there's an overwhelming rooting interest in Upton's bouncer being an error.
A true no-hitter should be one where the pitcher and fielders feel the magnitude for nine innings. The standard for reversal needs to be strong, something beyond a reasonable doubt. There's all doubt here.
What if Dickey gets his call now, 24 hours after the fact? After receiving word that his friend Wright was henceforth being tagged with an error, does Dickey leap into catcher Mike Nickeas' arms in the clubhouse a day or two later?
The very smart Dickey seeemed to grasp that a successful appeal was a long shot when he said, "A Hail Mary is a good analogy. I don't know. It's up to them. I mean, B.J.'s quick.''
But Dickey naturally carries a smidgen of hope. "I've seen David make that play a lot of times with his bare hand,'' Dickey continued. "You give him ten times, he's going to make it eight. It just kicked off his palm a little bit.''
That might be true, and it's understandable that Dickey would have those thoughts and even make that case. But you give this case to Commissioner Selig 10 times, and I would say he gets the call right and rejects the appeal 10 times out of 10.