The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Long Line at the Department of Lost Wins

“Name?”

“Pedro.”

“All right, Mr. Pedro. What’s your first name?”

“No, I’m Pedro Martinez.”

“Yes, Mr. Pedro Martinez, how may I help you?”

“I’m here to pick up my Win.”

“Your Win?”

“Yes, I left Wednesday night’s game with a 3-1 lead after six, in the rain, and my manager entrusted it to our bullpen which is really good. Plus, it was against the Pirates, who aren’t very good. I figure my Win should be ready by now.”

“Pedro…Pedro…no, I don’t see a Win for a Mr. Martinez Pedro.”

“Look under Pedro Martinez.”

“Is that ‘M’ or ‘P’?”

“Uh, ‘M’.”

“No, sorry, Mr. M. There is no W for you.”

“That can’t be possible. I’m Pedro Martinez!”

“Mr. Martinez, do not raise your voice to me. That will not get you your Win.”

“My apologies. But I’m a future Hall of Famer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner. I’m one of the greatest pitchers of all time.”

“Mr. Young, I don’t see any Wins for you here. You do have 27 consecutive losses however.”

“I’m not that Mr. Young!”

“Which Mr. Young are you?”

“I’m Pedro Martinez!”

“Sir, raising your voice will not get you a Win.”

“Look, this isn’t right. I’m sure I earned a Win against the Pirates.”

“Again, there is nothing for you here for the date you specify.”

“I want to speak to a supervisor.”

“Ha! You and what pitching staff?”

“How’s that?”

“Mr. Pedrotinez, you are not the first Mets starting pitcher to come here and insist you are due a Win. As a result, we had to set up a system to deal with these complaints.”

“A system? What system?”

“Here is your wristband.”

“A wristband? What do I need a wristband for?”

“The line of Mets starting pitchers got so long that we had to issue them retroactively to all those whose Wins were missing after great performances. Judging by the date you gave for your missing Win, we’ll give you one of these ‘W’ bands.”

“‘W’? For Win?”

“No, ‘W’ for Wagner. We have them designated by closer: Wagner, Looper, Benitez, Franco…these things go all the way back to Lockwood.”

“Hey, I got one of those!”

“Who said that?”

“Over here, Pedro.”

“Tom Seaver? What are you doing here?”

“Well, not announcing Mets games anymore, that’s for sure.”

“You have 311 career Wins. You’ve been retired for almost 20 years. What are you doing at the Department of Lost Wins?”

“Check the record books, Petey. I won 198 games as a Met. Don’tcha think I shoulda got to 200?”

“Sure.”

“Don’tcha think I pitched well enough to do that?”

“Tell ya the truth, Tom, I was sitting under a mango tree…”

“I know, without enough money for the bus. Well, you may be too young to remember, but the Mets not scoring enough for their starters and/or the closers not protecting leads didn’t start with you.”

“It didn’t?”

“Heck no. If it did, why do you think I’d be stuck in the middle of this line?”

“Are they all here for Wins they should have got.”

“You bet. That little guy at the window? That’s Little Al Jackson. He threw four shutouts for the worst team that ever was, the 1962 Mets.”

“Four shutouts? But I don’t even complete four games anymore!”

“Remarkable, huh? Imagine how many games those Mets blew for Al. And look who’s behind him.”

“Who?”

“That’s Roger Craig.”

“He managed the Giants, right?”

“Yeah, but waaaay before that, he lost 24 games in ’62.”

“No way!”

“Way. And you know what they say about 20-game losers?”

“That everybody’s their daddy?”

“That you have to be pretty good to lose 20 games. Roger Craig was pretty good. Too good to be 10-24.”

“10-24? Was that his contract, like A-Rod’s is 10 years at 25 mil?”

“How young are you anyway? Roger Craig’s record was 10-24. Al Jackson’s was 8-20. Jay Hook…”

“Who?”

“An engineer who never figured out what he was doing on the Mets. He lost 19. Craig Anderson lost 17.”

“And they were all good pitchers?”

“Maybe not Anderson, but they all suffered losing Wins like you did against the Pirates.”

“No kidding.”

“It’s an occupational hazard.”

“So this is where we come to get our Wins back?”

“This is where we try. The line doesn’t move all that fast.”

“Looks like it’s moving now.”

“That’s just Fat Jack Fisher. He lost 24 games with the ’65 Mets even though he had an ERA under 4.”

“Under 4.00?”

“Yup. I think he just got tired of waiting.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. Wow.”

“Can I wait with you, Tom? I mean you’re in the Hall and I’m going to be there. Isn’t there some VIP section for guys like us?”

“You’d think, but, no. When it comes to Mets starters, we’re all treated equally. That’s why you see Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack…”

“Who?”

“Uh, Al Leiter and Rick Reed…”

“I’ve heard of them.”

“That’s why you see guys of that caliber waiting with everybody else whoever lost a Win he deserved.”

“I see. Damn.”

“Hey Pedro, there’s one thing I don’t understand.”

“What’s that?”

“The Mets blew a Win for you last year that was something like this, the night you left after six with a much bigger lead.”

“Against the Nationals?”

“Uh-huh. I think I called them the Expos on the air a few times last year. Anyway, that was a pretty bad Win to lose. You gonna tell me you didn’t try to find out what happened then?”

“You know, Tom, I would have liked the Win that night, but the team won and I was more worried about my toe. It started acting up around then.”

“Uh-huh.”

“But this year, with the team off to such a good start and me being 5-0, I was beginning to think I was kind of…”

“Bulletproof?”

“Sort of.”

“Nice thought. But it doesn’t translate to Wins, not even for the likes of us. Between you and me, Pedro, we’re the two best pitchers here, but look at us, standing in line.”

“How about that?”

“I wish I could let you cut in, but rules are rules.”

“They do have quite the bureaucracy here.”

“That they do. And with your wristband, you have to go all the way back there.”

“By Leiter?”

“No, further back.”

“All the way to Glavine?”

“Keep looking.”

“I think I see Victor there. You mean Zambrano lost a Win he deserved?”

“I toldja, it happens to every one of us.”

“So where do I gotta go?”

“Get in line behind Bannister. I saw him on his way in just after Opening Day.”

“I was wondering what happened to that guy.”

“He’s here. We’re all here.”

“Hey guys!”

“Carlos Delgado? What are you doing here?”

“I just wanted to let Pedro know that I hit a walkoff homer in the twelfth and we won!”

“Good news, amigo. Always glad when the team wins.”

“That’s the spirit! Why don’tcha come back to the clubhouse. We’re gonna take Chad Bradford out for drinks.”

“Chad Bradford? Why?”

“He pitched two solid innings and got the Win.”

“But I struck out nine in six! And gave up only three hits! In a driving rain!”

“Yeah, we appreciate it. It stopped raining by the time Chad came in.”

“And there’s no Win for me?”

“Billy’s real sorry about that. I know he said no apologies are necessary, but he wanted to let you know he feels bad.”

“Uh-huh.”

“So, ya gonna come?”

“No thanks. I’m gonna go chill with Bannister. Somebody owes me a Win.”

5 comments to Long Line at the Department of Lost Wins

  • Anonymous

    Don't sweat it, Pedro. Yes, you deserve to be 6-0, but at least you got good run support in your first start this year when you were still finding your Pedrocity. A W would've been real nice, 'specially for my birthday, but we'll take the team-win all the same. With this team and this closer, I have a feeling nights like tonight may become the aberration as opposed to the pattern–for once (knock on wood). Here's to 20+ wins and more dominant performances for ya, Kedro.
    P.S. Guess who I put on my fantasy team today, on a lark: ENDY CHAVEZ! Haha! Sheer brilliance.

  • Anonymous

    Nicely done:) Although making it the “Department of Met Victories” would have resonated even more with those of us who have relatives STILL waiting to turn in plates on Privado Road in Westbury.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday! Hope you've dried off.

  • Anonymous

    I must say the Nassau County branch of DMV that I now frequent in Hempstead runs fairly efficiently. Any resemblance between that esteemed agency and the DLW is purely coincidental.

  • Anonymous

    Great piece – I wanted to put the word out to Met fans to visit my blog. I do daily Met reports – not as literary as Faith & Fear, more FAN-style couch-potato criticizing. I also cover music, movies, media and marijuana. I'm the former editor of High Times and coach of the High Times Bonghitters softball team. Come check it out:
    http://bloomideas.blogspot.com/