Exclusive - R.A. Dickey Extended Interview Pt. 1

  • Aired:  12/04/12
  •  | Views: 82,995

In this exclusive, unedited interview, Mets ace R.A. Dickey discusses the dysfunctional life of a professional ballplayer and the vagaries of the knuckleball. (6:56)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT IS 2012 CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "WHEREVER I WIND UP" AND HE'S THE SUBJECT IN THE DOCUMENTARY FILM

"KNUCKLEBALL."

>> YOU'RE CONSIDERED A FLUKE IS BASICALLY WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO.

I WANT TO COMBAT THAT BECAUSE I THINK IT'S A VERY VALID PITCH.

>>

>> R.A. IS COMMITTED TO PROVING THAT IT'S NOT A GIMMICK.

THAT IT'S-- TO USE ONE OF HIS FAVORITE WORDS-- AUTHENTIC.

AND I THINK HE'S REALLY ON A MISSION TO PROVE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE KNUCKLEBALL.

>> Jon: SWEET!

PLEASE WELCOME R.A. DICKIE DICKEY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

(APPLAUSE) WHAT A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW.

CONGRATULATIONS.

THE CY YOUNG AWARD, NEW YORK OBVIOUSLY EMBRACES -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THIS TREMENDOUS STORY, THIS

TREMENDOUS SUCCESS I GUESS MY QUESTION IS "HOW WILL THE NEW YORK METS SCREW THIS UP?"

(LAUGHTER)

>> I'M HOPING TO BE HERE, MAN.

I WILL HAVE IT HERE.

>> Jon: THAT WOULD BE VERY NICE.

WE WOULD ENJOY THAT.

(APPLAUSE) IT DOES CREATE A DILEMMA BECAUSE WHEN A PLAYER SUCH AS YOURSELF COMES ALONG AND HAS SUCH GRAND

SUCCESS THERE IS IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND A FEELING OF, LIKE, NO NO, DUDE, DON'T WIN THE CY YOUNG

BECAUSE IF YOU DO THEY WILL SELL YOU ON THE OPEN MARKET.

(LAUGHTER) YOU WANT TO BE GOOD BUT NOT SO GREAT.

>> WELL, I'VE BEEN THANKFUL, I DIDN'T HAVE THAT THOUGHT.

I WAS GOING FOR IT THE WHOLE TIME.

BUT HE'S GOT A JOB TO DO, HE'S PAID TO MAKE THE METS BETTER.

I'VE GOT TO BE AS PROFESSIONAL I CAN, UNDERSTAND THAT.

>> Jon: IT MUST BE TREMENDOUS PRESSURE TO HAVE YOUR NAME BEING WRITTEN ABOUT AS SOMEONE WHO MAY

HAVE TO MOVE.

YOU'VE GOT A FAMILY, YOU'VE GOT A LIFE.

IS THAT A DIFFICULT THING TO --

>> IT'S HARD.

BASEBALL IN GENERAL IS SO DYSFUNCTIONAL AS A LIFE-STYLE.

YOU PLAY IN 162 GAMES IN 183 DAYS AND NOT TO MENTION SPRING TRAINING IS ANOTHER 40 DAYS.

SO THE THOUGHT OF TAKING YOUR FAMILY TO TORONTO OR L.A., THAT TAKES A LOT OF THOUGHT POWER,

YOU KNOW?

>> Jon: I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT IT'S STRANGE.

YOU'RE A GROWN MAN WITH PINSTRIPES AND GUYS ARE THROWING THINGS AT 100 MILES AN HOUR AT

YOUR HEAD AND YOU JUST -- WHAT IS THE DOWN TIME IN THESE CITIES?

ESPECIALLY FOR A PITCHER?

>> WELL, IF WE ARE A THREE-GAME SET AGAINST THE NATIONALS IN WASHINGTON, IT'S A GREAT CITY,

SO I MIGHT GO SEE A MUSEUM OR I'LL TRY TO EXPLORE THE CULTURE OF THE CITY.

IF I'M NOT PITCHING THAT DAY.

BUT YOU'RE AT THE PARK FOR A 7:00 GAME, I'M NEVER AT THE PARK ANY LATER THAN 2:30.

I MEAN, I'M TRYING TO PREPARE FOR WHAT I HAVE TO DO IN A COUPLE DAYS.

>> Jon: DO A LOT OF GUYS GO OUT AND SEE THE MUSEUMS OR -- (LAUGHTER) WHEN YOU COME BACK ARE THEY ALL

LIKE "HEY, POINDEXTER, WHAT'S GOING ON?" (LAUGHTER)

>> THEY RESPECT THEIR ELDERS, IT'S OKAY.

>> Jon: THAT'S AN INTERESTING POINT.

SO HERE'S WHAT'S ON -- IT'S INCREDIBLE ENOUGH THAT A NEW YORK METS PITCHER WINS 20 GAMES

WHICH HASN'T BEEN DONE SINCE FRANK VIOLA IN 1980 SOMETHING.

YOU WON THE CY YOUNG AWARD BUT YOU DID IT AT YOU'RE 38 YEARS OLD MASTERING A PITCH THAT SO

FEW PITCHERS CAN MASTER THEY'VE MADE A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE MAYBE SIX OR SEVEN OF YOU THAT

HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PITCH PROFESSIONALLY AT THAT LEVEL WITH THAT PITCH.

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY, MY CAREER HAS BEEN CIRCUITOUS AND THE WAY I'VE GOTTEN TO THE BIG

LESION SO IT'S ALMOST POETIC THE WAY THAT I'VE EMBRACED THE KNUCKLEBALL AND MY CAREER

TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN ALMOST KNUCKLEBALLISH.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> IT'S NICE TO BE AT A PEAK, I CAN TELL YOU.

>> Jon: THE OTHER KNUCKLEBALLERS IN THE FRATERNITY, WHEN THEY SAW YOU ARRIVE ON THE SCENE HOW DID

THEY SHOW THEMSELVES?

DO YOU GET A CALL AND DOES A GUY STAND WITH A RAINCOAT LIKE "FILE THOSE NAILS, KID, FILE THOSE

NAILS." HOW DO THEY REACH OUT TO YOU?

>> YOU KNOW, I REACHED OUT TO THEM.

THE KNUCKLEBALL FRATERNITY IS SO TIGHT AND THE BOND IS TO SO STRONG BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE

TRYING TO DO SOMETHING AS THROW A KNUCKLEBALL THERE'S ONLY A FEW PEOPLE THAT HAVE WALKED THE

EARTH THAT HAVE DONE WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO.

SO I WAS SO FORTUNATE TO BE EXPOSE POD-TO-WHAT I CALL THE J.D. DI COUNCIL OF KNUCKLEBALLERS.

(LAUGHTER) I HAVE TIM WAKEFIELD AND CHARLIE HUFF AND PHIL NIEKRO.

>> Jon: CAN CURVE GUYS GET IN THERE OR WHEN THEY COME ARE PEOPLE LIKE "YEAH, THAT'S GREAT,

SONNY?" IS THAT NOT CONSIDERED THE PURE PITCH.

>> IT'S A DIFFERENT PITCH ALL TOGETHER.

IT'S NOT EVEN THE SAME CATEGORY, REALLY.

I'M TRYING TO TAKE SPIN COMPLETELY OFF THE BALL.

WITH THE KNUCKLE CURVE YOU'RE STILL TRYING TO MANIPULATE THE SPIN TO GET THE BREAK THAT YOU WANT.

BUT THE KNUCKLEBALL YOU'RE TAKING IT OFF IN HOPES THAT THE CHAOS OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE

PITCH IS GOING TO BE ENOUGH TO UPSET THEIR TIMING AND RHYTHM OF THE HITTER.

>> Jon: AND YOU THROW IT TEN TO 15 MILES AN HOUR HARDER THAN ANYBODY ELSE HAS THROWN IT.

YOU'RE THROWING IN THE 80s, YES?

THERE ARE MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHERS THROWING THEIR REGULAR STUFF IN THE 80s, YOU'RE THROWING

KNUCKLEBALLS IN THE -- IS THAT WHAT MAKES YOURS SO DIFFICULT ON THESE HITTERS?

>> MOST GUYS THROWING IN THE 80s AREN'T THROWING VERY LONG, UNFORTUNATELY.

THAT'S WHY I BECAME A KNUCKLEBALLER BECAUSE I HAD -- MY CONVENTIONAL REPERTOIRE HAD

DEPLETED TO THE POINT WHERE IF I WAS GOING TO STAY A BIG-LEAGUER I HAD TO COME UP WITH A WEAPON I

COULD GET GUYS OUT WITH.

THE KNUCKLEBALL WAS MY TICKET.

>> Jon: YOU DON'T HAVE LIKE -- YOU'RE MISSING LIGAMENTS IN YOUR ELBOW AND YOU DON'T HAVE --

THERE'S NO BONE THERE, IT'S JUST -- YOU JUST FLOP IT AROUND?

SOMETHING GOING ON IN THERE --

>> I'M PLASTIC MAN.

I CAN -- I HAVE'VE GOT NO LIGAMENT IN MY RIGHT ELBOW.

SO THAT COUPLED WITH BEING A KNUCKLEBALLER I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PITCH UNTIL I'M 70 OR 80, PROBABLY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: AUDIENCE LIKES THAT, CAN YOU STICK AROUND FOR A LITTLE BIT?

>> SURE.

>> Jon: "KNUCKLEBALL" THE D.V.D.

IS AVAILABLE THROUGH ITUNES.

YOU CAN GET THE BOOK "WHEREVER I WIND UP" IS ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

R.A. DICKEY, WE'RE GOING TO TALK A L

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