Monday, April 9, 2012

R.A. Dickey and Transparency

  After watching my beloved Braves get swept in New York this past weekend, the last thing I want to do is talk about the M-E-T-S, Mets Mets Mets. And while this post isn't about the devil's team (well, one of the teams of the prince of darkness), I will take a moment to suggest you pick up a copy of pitcher R.A. Dickey's recently released memoir, "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball."

  Authenticity is something that many of us claim to desire, but only few attain. Whether it's in the clothes we purchase (brand-new pants that look well worn, ballcaps with a frayed bill), the relationships we develop (how many people do I REALLY know?), or the cards we buy (I'll take a '91 Topps Archives Eddie Mathews, please), true authenticity is scarce. Especially among the 'beautiful people' in the sports and entertainment business, where artificial enhancement, boob-jobs and nose jobs reign.

 But perhaps the title of Dickey's book should have read Transparency, rather than Authenticity. That's because it is exactly what you will find in the 352 page book.

 As you have probably heard by now, Dickey, the former Texas Ranger first round draft pick, brings to light many dark secrets from his childhood which shaped a broken, angry man. And because there has been so much publicity proceeding the release of the book, I will not provide a review here-just a recommendation. In an age where our sports heroes often display an inflated sense of self-importance, Dickey's reflections on his past, present, and the hope that the future holds are a breath of fresh air (sorry for the cliche). If you read one book this year-make sure it's this one; you will not be disappointed.

  Finally, as a husband and father who struggles with anger at times, I would be remiss not to include the following quote from the book. The context is Dickey visiting a counselor, who gives the pitcher the following wise words, "If you aren't willing to face your demons-if you can't find the courage to take on your fear and hurt and anger-you might as well wrap them up with a bow and give them to your children. Because they will be carrying the same thing...unless you are willing to do the work."

 May God grant me the grace to do the same.


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