Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Jays' Dickey works to fight sex trafficking

DUNEDIN — Before last year, R.A. Dickey's life already made for a best-selling novel, his tale as unpredictable as the trajectory of his trademark knuckleball.

But since Dickey, 38, released his soul-searching memoir, Wherever I Wind Up, in March — revealing the sexual abuse he suffered as a child — he has experienced more than enough for a stirring sequel.

There was Dickey's breakthrough All-Star season for the Mets, which earned him the National League Cy Young Award this past season. Then came the blockbuster December trade to the Blue Jays, who handed Dickey a two-year, $25 million contract extension to be their ace.

"There was a time in my life I would think to myself, 'When's the other shoe going to drop?' " Dickey said. "Like, looking for the next trauma around the corner. Thankfully, I've grown out of that place. Now I'm just so involved with trying to invest in the moment."

Dickey has invested a lot in giving back, and he did just that last month in an eye-opening, weeklong trip to India on the behalf of the Bombay Teen Challenge, a Christian organization that rescues women and children from sex trafficking. He was there to celebrate the opening of a clinic in Mumbai's red-light district, having raised $130,000 to build the center by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro the previous year.

"People can discover that there's a different way to live than they've been living," Dickey said. "It's the poorest of the poor. No prenatal care, a lot of deformities, open sewage, rats as big as possums running around. The depravity is just otherworldly. And there's this clinic right in the middle of it."

Dickey took his two daughters — Gabriel, 11, and Lila, 9 — to give them a heart for humanity, showing them what good can be done, turning a brothel into a beacon of hope.

"I was able to play a little cricket with some of the kids that had been rescued out," Dickey said. "It was a learning experience."

The games of cricket were the extent of Dickey's throwing program for the week, but once he came to Jays camp, he felt like he "didn't miss a beat" with his knuckleball. That's good news for Toronto, which is expecting Dickey to lead a reloaded rotation that includes fellow additions Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson.

"He's that guy," manager John Gibbons said of Dickey. "We think he's going to put us over the top."

The spotlight continues to shine on Dickey, including national media interviews with the CBS News crew that has been following him around in preparation for a 60 Minutes episode that will air later this spring.

But Dickey has remained grounded, staying in the moment and keeping in perspective a whirlwind journey that's fit for a Hollywood script.

"I hadn't really put it together, how all those things have been since the book came out," Dickey said. "I don't really think about it that way. I think about: 'How can I get the most out of this very moment?' And then, ultimately, you look back and someone's told you that you've done this, this or that.

"Okay, well, what's next?"

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]y.com.

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Published: 05/23/18
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18