Terry Collins to Appeal Dickey’s One-Hitter

By Matt Musico

When B.J. Upton hit a slow roller down the 3rd base line in the first inning of last night’s ballgame at Tropicana Field, it was nothing out of the ordinary. David Wright tried to bare hand the ball and get it to first quickly, respecting the speed of Upton. The ball wasn’t handled by Wright, which rarely happens on that kind of play, and it was ruled a hit by the official scorer. No big deal, right? Well, it wouldn’t have been if R.A. Dickey allowed another hit after that last night, which he didn’t.

Dickey continued his 2012 domination, holding the Rays to one hit in his complete game effort, losing his shutout bid in the 9th due to an unearned run scoring off a Desmond Jennings ground out. In fact, outside of Upton’s hit in the first inning, the Mets knuckleballer was perfect until Elliot Johnson reached base in the 9th due to a David Wright error. Terry Collins told the media after the game that he came to the conclusion before the game was even over to appeal that official scoring because they have nothing to lose:

"“We said in the ninth inning that we’ve got to appeal that play. We’re probably not going to win it, but … what the heck? What do you got to lose except to have somebody say no? You’ve just got to give him his due. He deserves it.”"

If the appeal is successful, it would be the Mets second no-hitter in two weeks. Johan Santana no-hit the Cardinals on June 1st to give the franchise their first no-no in their 50 year team history. Collins does have a point in appealing the call to the MLB, but there are a couple reasons as to why I wouldn’t be appealing if I were in his position.

First off, the best part about a no-hitter is being able to celebrate the accomplishment once that last out is recorded. We all saw how special of a moment it was when Santana struck out David Freeseto end the ballgame. The ballpark exploded with excitement, tears,

you name the emotion, you could feel it at Citi Field. That moment for Dickey has now passed. If he were awarded a no-hitter after the fact, would it still be special? Would the team still celebrate? Without a doubt, but it still wouldn’t feel the same. Plus, if I were R.A. Dickey, I would want to throw a no-hitter and celebrate it in real time on the field, not a week later after the appeal was processed.

Second, think about how bad David Wright must feel about it! Making a mistake in the field makes a position player feel bad enough as it is, but not handling that bouncer in the first inning and then watching Dickey be perfect after that through the 9th until he made another error must put him on another level. It stinks that it happened, but that’s part of the game. That’s the mantra that baseball is established upon. Bad calls happens, mistakes are made, not only by players, but by umpires and official scorers. That’s the beauty of the game.

Collins knows that it’s a long shot for the call to be overturned, but he sees no harm in trying. I can understand that, but it takes away the focus of what he actually did last night. Dickey struck out a career high 12 hitters, walked nobody (again), and broke the franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings (32.2 IP). The knuckleballer not only leads the league with 10 wins, but has a tiny 2.20 ERA and is making a case to start the All-Star game next month. When I put on ESPN this morning, Sportscenter talked more about the potential appeal than the accomplishments. If I were in Terry Collins’ position, I wouldn’t appeal it. Not only for the above reasons, but also for the fact that there is another game today that the team must be focusing on.

At the end of the day, the franchise’s 36th one-hitter and Dickeys second as a Met isn’t so bad when they already have a no-hitter out of the way. However, if Carlos Beltran‘s liner down the third base line was called fair….then it’s a different story.

Do you think Collins should appeal B.J. Upton’s first inning single?