Before R.A. Dickey could win a Cy Young, he trudged through a career path that nearly left him for dead time and time again. Likewise, before Mike Francesa could own the New York airwaves all his own, he had to trudge through almost 20 years with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who abdicated the drive-time throne for satellite radio. Since Dickey’s success and Mad Dog’s tenure on WFAN never overlapped, Russo only treated New York listeners to pre-resurrection Dickey, and here’s what the shock jock thought of him in 2008:
OK, so here’s some clarification. This came a few days after he actually beat the Mets as a member of the Seattle Mariners. It was an uncharacteristically good day for the then-presumed-to-be-washed-up Dickey, and since he was middling, relatively unknown at the time, and had a funny name, Russo was really making fun of the Mets for losing to such a player, more than he was Dickey. Fair, considering the circumstances.
Still, Russo was teasing Dickey, otherwise he wouldn’t have said his name over and over again like one of the cackling hyenas from The Lion King (he actually topped his mini-rant off with a bona fide cackle). Now, he couldn’t have predicted the inspiring, truly impressive story Dickey would write in a few years’ time, but Mad Dog really let him have it. And any chance we have to embarrass Chris Russo, we’re gonna let him have it. In the words of the greatest chocolate pioneer who never lived, “YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY SIR!”
Either way, congrats to R.A. Dickey on becoming the first knuckleballer to ever win the Cy Young Award. This is a guy who only a few years ago, almost drowned while trying to swim across a river on a road trip with a minor league club and had to be rescued by Grant Balfour. He might also be the first Cy Young winner to ever have that happen to him, so there’s something for him to hang his hat on, too.