Posted by: mdegeorge | August 31, 2010

The next installment of the Great Ball Man experiement?

We thought the Great Ball Man experiment had died over a decade ago with Cosmo Kramer lying at the feet of Monica Seles.

But there’s one person looking to bring it back: Mets’ starting pitcher R.A. Dickey.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=ra+dickey&iid=9544239″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9544239/new-york-mets-dickey/new-york-mets-dickey.jpg?size=500&imageId=9544239″ width=”500″ height=”379″ /]

The 35-year-old knuckleballer is having a career season with a 9-5 record and a 2.57 ERA for the middling Mets, but he still has his eye on alternative careers for when his arm wears out.

In a New York Times article this week, Dickey’s quoted as saying it would be, “really cool” to work the courts at the U.S. Open.

It’s not all that far-fetched of an idea, despite the famous failing of the K-Man. The Times quoted United States Tennis Association’s director of ball boys and ball girls (yes, that’s a real title) Tina Taps as keeping the door to the ball boy’s locker room open for Dickey:

That would be really exciting. It’s obviously too late for this year, but if he’s really willing to go through the process, we would love to have him. I think he would be great at it.

The major sticking point would be Dickey’s wage demands. The journeyman, who spent 10 years in the Rangers’ system, one of five organizations he’s been with, is making around $500,000 this season. With arbitration coming up, he should be in line for a major raise. The ball boys however, make a lowly $7.75 an hour, just above minimum wage.

It seems like an easy job, but after at least one high-profile accident (literally), the pressure has been ratcheted up. Between the fame of Dickey outside the lines and the middle school humor of a guy named Dickey chasing balls around, I’m rooting for him to succeed.

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