I imagine that batting against R.A. Dickey is an emotional roller coaster. Hang in there with me on this one:You're in the on-deck circle, sizing up R.A. There's nothing particularly striking about his appearance. He's not physically imposing, he's an average-looking guy, he's got a cool beard - no big shake. So you figure "ok, I got this." You step into the batter's box, get comfortable, and wait for the pitch. Your initial impressions are quickly reinforced: he doesn't look any more intimidating now that you're actually facing him, and his windup is understated as to be almost non-existent. "Dude, I got this!" you think to yourself.
And then you get the first inkling that something's wrong: The Face. "Whoa, what is that?"
Your concern doesn't last long, however, because the ball, instead of screaming toward the plate, floats - FLOATS - out of Dickey's right hand. Instant relief: "All I've got to do is sit back and crush it." And then R.A. Dickey proceeds to systematically deconstruct your once-solid psyche. The ball floats, yes, but it breaks the laws of physics in the process. It darts, it dives, it looks like a strike, so you swing, and...you whiff. Badly. "Uh-oh..." you think to yourself.
The catcher, snickering (he himself had a hard time corralling the pitch), tosses the ball back to R.A., who, in spite of successfully making you look terrible, has the demeanor of a Zen Buddhist monk. "Crap," you think. And you know what? You're right to think it.