Blue Jays place Dickey on bereavement list

R.A Dickey had a solid 7 1/3 innings on the mound to lead the to Toronto Blue jays to a 7-1 win on Thursday, but what few new is that the knuckleballer was playing with a heavy heart.

TORONTO – R.A. Dickey returned home Friday to grieve the death of his father, having pitched far more admirably than most realized the night before in a Toronto Blue Jays victory over the New York Mets.

Harry Lee Dickey, 63, died Tuesday night but the right-hander pushed to make his scheduled start Thursday, throwing 7.1 innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 win. A memorial ceremony is scheduled for Saturday in Nashville and Dickey is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays on Monday in Tampa Bay.

“Very hard, I don’t know if I could have done it, I don’t think most people could comprehend it,” manager John Gibbons said of the challenge of performing under the circumstances. “He told us he felt he needed to do it, to honour his dad, and we were definitely behind him.”

The Blue Jays placed Dickey on the bereavement list, which allows players to miss a minimum of three days and up to seven days, and recalled infielder Munenori Kawasaki from triple-A Buffalo to help cover in his absence.

Dickey’s next scheduled start is Tuesday against the Rays.

“I’m proud of the guy,” said Gibbons. “Now he’ll go home and spend some time with his family, like he needs to, and we’ll see him when he gets back.”

Kawasaki rejoins the Blue Jays and gives them the backup infielder they’ve lacked since he was optioned for Scott Copeland a week and a half ago.

His stay is likely to be a short one with Devon Travis on a rehab assignment at Buffalo, and needing only to regain his timing before activation.