For those who believed the New York Mets’ options with Cy Young Award winning SP R.A. Dickey were limited to trading the 38-year-old, signing him to an extension or allowing him to walk after the 2013 season, there is another approach. Namely, assail Dickey’s otherwise sterling character with a pathetic whispering campaign.

Dickey and teammate Ike Davis were on hand to greet kids from P.S. 43 and the Scholars’ Academy in Far Rockaway, Queens at the Mets’ annual holiday party Tuesday, with the former taking the opportunity to answer reporters’ questions about the protracted contract negotiations and what he considers a below-market-value discount he’s offered the club.

(video link swiped from MetsBlog)

Given that one of those reporters was Kevin Burkhardt from the Mets-owned SNY, surely someone could’ve said, “hey, let’s not talk about the contract situation — even though that’s the most obvious line of questioning and we’d be fools to ignore it.” Or perhaps the club could’ve said to Dickey, “you might be an ex-Met in 24 hours. Maybe you should sit this party out — Frank Francisco can hand out presents.”

Instead, the often-forthright Dickey spoke his mind, and the club has let it be known via the New York Post’s Mike Puma they’re “unhappy” he used this most sacred of community events as a vehicle to lobby his case.

Putting aside for a moment that the Mets are unwilling to pull the trigger on a 2-year, $26 million extension for Dickey when the Kansas City Royals can find $25 million over 3 years for Jeremy Guthrie (2012 ERA : 4.78), can Dickey really be blamed for saying what everyone else is thinking? Sandy Alderson wants other clubs to give up players of serious value for Dickey, but not only is he unwilling to pay the player what he’s worth, the club is dopey enough to try and poison the reservoir of goodwill he’s established.

Of course, this comes courtesy of the same ownership group that thought Anna Benson would make a great Mrs. Claus at a kids’ party.