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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Frank Incensed — and More!

So in the 5th, our boys had sent 10 men to the plateand there was nobody out. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Neither, perhaps, had the Mets: Floyd, Mientky and Wright promptly struck out, perhaps in disbelief.

Neither, perhaps, had Frank Robinson: I was really starting to worry about him.

WPIX had already made a habit of cutting to Frank's reaction after various atrocities earlier in the day. First when Tomo Ohka insisted on foiling Jae Seo's attempt to make an out via the sacrifice bunt, walking him instead. (Take that!) Then when Ohka was late covering first, granting Carlos Beltran an infield hit despite Carlos' best effort to be out by losing a step sliding into first. But in the 5th inning, the reaction shots were legion.

Absurd pop-fly double for Diaz! (One eyelid begins twitching as Frank stares out at the field.) Seo singles up the middle! (A vein in Frank's temple balloons alarmingly before returning to its normal size.) Woodward smacks the ball to center, Wilkerson misreads it — and it drops in! (Everyone on the bench begins butt-scooting sideways to get some distance from Frank.) Little ground ball to Baerga — between his legs into left field! (Frank has apparently lost the ability to blink.) Tony Blanco falls down, and that's a double for Beltran! (Frank's new road Nats hat spontaneously combusts.) Another ground ball to Baerga, he goes for the tag play — and everybody's safe! (Blood begins to drip from the bottom of Frank's clenched fists.)

It got so bad Emily and I were campaigning for someone to tell Robinson he had an urgent phone call in the clubhouse, then bundle him into a straitjacket and take him to a happier place. What made things worse was that I was downstairs running, while Emily was upstairs watching the TiVo-enabled TV, which comes with a slight delay. So every indignity happened twice. “Whoa! No way!” “Huh? No way!” “I'm worried about Frank!” “Yeah, he looks like he's going to blow.” “Whoa! No way!” “Wha? No way!” (Repeat for a long, long time.)

Fun's fun, but I suspect when we look back at this season, this game will be remembered more for an unhappy reason: It may stand as a milestone in the decline of Mike Piazza. It wasn't just that Mike went 0 for 4 and left 9 on-base. It was the 4th inning, when the Nats had Gary Majewski walk Beltran with two out and a runner on third to pitch to Piazza. I don't know how it played in the park, but at home it was a stunner: They just intentionally walked a guy to pitch to Mike Piazza.

Mike's hitting .200. I hope I'm wrong, but he doesn't look like he's in a slump. He looks old. Baseball, like life, is a pitiless affair, and so we knew this day was coming — after all, it happened to Rusty and Gary and Mex and Robin, and one day it'll happen to Beltran and Wright, and to future Met phenoms who can't even shave yet. But it's still shocking to see “someday” turn into “this day.” Mike Piazza? Why, he just arrived yesterday. They showed video of him and Jay Horwitz in the airport. Standing ovation after standing ovation. Helped beat the Brewers with a double that was hit so hard it left a burn mark halfway up the gap. Leiter got the win.

It was just yesterday, I tell you. How can Mike Piazza be old?

1 comment to Frank Incensed — and More!

  • Anonymous

    Now I'm really depressed. Not even the Yankees claiming sole possession of LAST PLACE could cheer me up after that one.