Difficult end to Blue Jays career 'stoked the fire' in Dickey
As any competitor would be, R.A. Dickey wasn't happy with how his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays ended - ultimately being left off the postseason roster after the team acquired Francisco Liriano at the trade deadline.
The disappointing end to his fourth season in Toronto fueled Dickey's desire to put off retirement and sign a one-year, $8-million deal with the Atlanta Braves. He said that while he wasn't thrilled with the final few months of his Blue Jays tenure, Dickey maintained an impressive level of professionalism.
"I would probably have responded differently earlier in my career, I probably would have been more externally upset," Dickey said, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi. "But I’ve grown from that place into a place where in the twilight of my career the only singular focus I have is how can I win a championship. When that’s what you care for, it’s easy to lay down ego and embrace what’s best for the team.
"Now, if I thought I was better than the guys they picked, then I probably would have went into John Gibbons’ office or Mark Shapiro’s or Ross Aktins’ and said as much. But those (other pitchers) deserved to be there – that’s who I wanted out there. When it’s like that, it’s easy to not emote as much as you might otherwise."
While the 42-year-old did ponder retirement, he didn't want his career to end on a sour note.
"From a personal standpoint, I was a competitor and I wanted to play and I felt like if I were to leave the game at that point, it wouldn’t really be on my terms. This is another opportunity to do what I know I’m capable of when someone gives me the ball every fifth day and gets out of the way."
In seven starts with the Braves this year, Dickey has posted a 4.22 ERA with 18 walks and 22 strikeouts.