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But it did.
It no longer was an apparition after officially witnessing R.A. Dickey in a Blue Jays uniform for the first time yesterday. Once receiving visual confirmation, it finally sunk in ... and yet I still can't believe it.
The trade with the Marlins was definitely a blockbuster; one that undoubtedly could shift the entire dynamic of the Toronto Blue Jays. But the R.A. Dickey trade was something completely different altogether. It was the signal of a new era.
I think the main reason why I have such difficulty wrapping my head around the reality of the R.A. Dickey trade is it's the beginning of a culture change. The Dickey deal is a changing of the guard with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It hearkens back to the deals made by the Blue Jays teams of the early nineties that helped solidify their bid for contention. The signing of Jack Morris and Dave Winfield prior to the 1992 season, and the signing of Paul Molitor and Dave Stewart prior to the 1993 season. The Dickey trade has the very same air as those transactions that helped set up the Blue Jays for consecutive World Series titles.
Alex Anthopoulos is no stranger whatsoever to making trades. It has essentially become his calling card over the course of the past three years. But the Dickey deal was unlike any other trade he ever made before. It truly was the atypical acquisition for the Blue Jays; the "anti-Anthopoulos trade".
While Anthopoulos has had experience in dealing away a cornerstone player like Roy Halladay, never before has he dealt for one. At the age of 38, R.A. Dickey is arguably in the prime of his career and has the potential to be the next cornerstone for the Blue Jays.
Most trades made by AA have been in the hopes the player they target might eventually reach their prime down the road. However, the Marlins blockbuster and the Dickey deal clearly demonstrated that the window of opportunity is now for the Blue Jays.
It's funny how Dickey mentioned Joe Carter during his press conference because it really is like a bridging of the gap between two eras. Many people feel like this coming season could potentially be the beginning of the second Blue Jays dynasty; the first of course being the one of the late eighties and early nineties.
If the presser was any indication, R.A. Dickey is going to quickly skyrocket as one of the fan favourites on the Blue Jays roster. Dickey came off as a very genuine person, extremely charismatic and astute.
The unique thing about R.A. Dickey is he's not just interesting as a baseball player, but as a person as well. I don't mean to sound like I'm gushing about him, but it was fascinating to hear those anecdotes about Dickey's career ... so I can only imagine what a great read his book must be.
R.A. Dickey may be able to tell a great story, but what it will all ultimately boil down to is whether he can better the Blue Jays. He will likely become one of the new faces of this franchise, and the overall success of the Blue Jays hinges on the success of R.A. Dickey.
To use the old, tired poker analogy, the Toronto Blue Jays are truly going all-in with the acquisition of R.A. Dickey. If the blockbuster deal with the Marlins was the equivalent of making a huge bet on the turn, the Dickey deal is same as the Blue Jays throwing in the remainder of their chips and hoping for the best on the river.
Going out and getting R.A. Dickey wasn't necessarily a Hail Mary play, but I can't foresee the Blue Jays having any other big moves beyond this in the foreseeable future. The collection of players they have on the roster right now will either lead them to the promised land or they will just repeat the same fate as the teams from the past 20 years.
With that, the R.A. Dickey era has officially begun in Toronto. If anything, at least it's going to be an exciting one.