NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey knows a little something about how to exceed expectations.
It's only February, yet countless experts have already counted New York out of contention in the NL East. No wonder. Instead of Flushing, Carlos Beltran will be patrolling the outfield in St. Louis. K-Rod is gone.
Jose Reyes? He's in Miami.
Dickey, who surprisingly revived his career two seasons ago with the Mets, is aware it'll be a tough road in 2012 against the stacked Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies.
"We know it's gonna be difficult to not only get to the World Series but to win our division," he told WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Tuesday. "And that's okay. I think it's important to be honest about that. That's really the only way I feel like you can get better."
LISTEN: Dickey with Boomer & Carton
(Download the entire interview HERE.)
Faced with dwindling attendance and a lawsuit from the trustee for the victims of Bernard Madoff, the Mets' owners cut payroll significantly this offseason. Dickey said the team's money woes don't "really filter down" to the clubhouse.
He's expecting Terry Collins' squad to put it all aside and step it up on the field.
"When you decrease the payroll by that much, obviously there's going to be some counting on of some guys that maybe you weren't necessarily counting on," said Dickey. "If those guys can take the next step, then all the sudden you may be able to surprise some people."
Like how Jeremy Lin has come from nowhere to energize the Knicks?
"The thing with us, I think it's gonna take three or four Jeremy Lins, you know?" said Dickey.
The 37-year-old righty raised around $120,000 for charity last month by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, a decision the Mets were reportedly miffed with.
"I wasn't probably mentally prepared for how arduous it was going to be," he told Boomer and Carton. "But it certainly was worth it. When we were able to summit at 19,400 feet and see the sunrise ... it certainly was a humbling experience."
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