Dickey's place in history in MLB's hands

Dickey's place in history in MLB's hands

Dickey's place in history in MLB's hands
ST. PETERSBURG -- R.A. Dickey joked that if Major League Baseball does transform his one-hitter into a no-no, he and catcher Mike Nickeas will have to orchestrate a faux celebration back at Citi Field, celebrating on the pitcher's mound as if the feat just happened.

"It would be weird," Dickey said Thursday, one day after his controversial one-hitter. "I don't know if it would be quite as satisfying. I think the asterisk beside the no-hitter would get more attention than the no-hitter."

Neither the no-no nor the asterisk is likely to come, though the Mets have officially petitioned MLB to change B.J. Upton's first-inning single to an error on third baseman David Wright. A successful appeal would give the Mets their second no-hitter in 12 days, after going more than 50 years and 8,000 games without one.

But manager Terry Collins, who put the process in motion, estimated the chances of a successful appeal at less than 5 percent. Collins expects to hear back from MLB by Friday, now that assistant general manager John Ricco has filed the appropriate paperwork to the league.

"We're just taking a shot," Collins said. "We're just taking a stab. What do we have to lose? Nothing."

Dickey was not so sure, sounding somewhat embarrassed that MLB would consider overturning the ruling.

"A part of me would love a no-hitter," said Dickey, who pitched two no-hitters in high school but none since then. "Regardless of how you get it, it's still a no-hitter. And then a part of me thinks it would be cheap."

The play in question came with two outs in the first inning, when Upton hit a slow two-hopper down the third-base line. Believing he had no shot to field the ball with his glove and throw out the speedy Upton, Wright attempted to barehand it but could not do so cleanly. Within seconds, Tropicana Field's official scorer ruled it a hit.

"It's a little awkward when a team wants an error on its own player," Wright said. "I wish I could have made the play. I just didn't. It's a very difficult play."

It did not seem notable until Dickey mowed down the next 22 batters in succession, allowing no other baserunners until Wright committed a more obvious error in the ninth. Dickey capped his one-hitter shortly thereafter, striking out 12 and walking none in a performance arguably more dominant than Johan Santana's no-hitter.

But the knuckleballer noted that the later innings might have unfolded entirely differently with a no-hitter intact. Unlike Santana, who was cognizant of history as he finished off his June 1 no-no against the Cardinals, Dickey faced the Rays without any pressure of a potential career-defining feat.

Now, his legacy is up to Major League Baseball. The league's executive vice president of baseball operations, Joe Torre, said Thursday that he expected to consult former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, among others, before coming to a decision.

"Even though I make these decisions on scoring on a daily basis, obviously what's at stake here, I just want to make sure we give the decision every opportunity to get more than my opinion," Torre said on a conference call to discuss his appointment as Team USA's manager in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. "I have an opinion, from what I've seen."

So does Wright.

"If they want to give me an error, they can give me an error," the third baseman said. "It's a very difficult play, and I feel terrible that that's the one hit. But I did what I can do. There's not much more than I could do than that."