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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.

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Love the Glove, Pat the Bat

If you brought a newcomer to last night's game and then today's, he or she got a lesson in how two baseball games with more or less similar scores can be pretty different.

Last night's, despite being won by the bad guys, was a gem: intrigue, drama, history, and a touch of wackiness.

Today's, despite being won by the good guys, was at best a cubic zirconia: crummy fielding, good but not great pitching, and it was on Fox.

Yeah, Jon Leiber was quite good — he got blooped and bled in the first inning and then was betrayed by Pat Burrell and by himself in the sixth. Yeah, Glavine was pretty good himself, aside from that messy first inning. But neither one of them were dominant-good, leading to the sneaking suspicion that there was a certain amount of Day Game After a Night Game at work. (Game time: a tidy 2:11, as if it were a Cyclones game. BTW, the Cyclones have won 12 in a row and just booted the Staten Island Yankees out of first. If you've never been down to Keyspan, go.)

The best news had to be David Wright looking better: He had some of the best swings against Leiber, though his crucial blow was a ball Burrell misplayed hideously. (As always, it's an unfair game.) And he made two sparkling plays to his right, including saving Wagner from yet another bad ending against his old team and preventing the inevitable Gotham back-pages immolation. (Billy, you guys have the night off — go buy David a steak.)

But wait! I was wrapping this up without acknowledging the resumption of the Mike DiFelice Era!

At first glance, DiFelice might seem like he belongs to the Gerald Williams/Jose Lima category of Returns Nobody Asked For. And though it isn't his fault, we'll always remember that he was the guy who wound up taking what should have been Mike Piazza's final at-bat as a New York Met. (Not Willie's finest hour, though it might have been my illustrious co-blogger's.)

But go easy on DiFelice. He got brought back this year to play Crash to Mike Pelfrey's Nuke: At 37, with 512 big-league games and seven teams on his resume, he found himself in the Eastern League tutoring a bonus baby. Sure, that's better than working at Sears (do even ex-backup catchers still work at Sears?), but it's pretty far from the bright lights at a pretty advanced age.

Besides, you think Crash wouldn't have blown Annie off for another couple of days of hitting white balls in batting practice and hotels with room service? Welcome back, Little Mike. It would be taking it too far to say I've missed you, but welcome back.

7 comments to Love the Glove, Pat the Bat

  • Anonymous

    Here's to another catcher whose return to Shea I wasn't exactly leaving a candle in the window for. When these Saturday games are on Fox, my custom is turn down the TV, turn up the FAN. But today, because I was in flipping mode (an Edward R. Murrow documentary on PBS World caught my eye), I stuck with what Channel 5 gave me. When Lieber threw away Beltran's nubber, Tim McCarver was all over it with vintage Timmism: “The game doesn't like it” when you don't do the little things, such as tossing out a runner at first on a comebacker. McCarver pumped the don't-give-'em-four-outs angle and was proven monstrously prescient.
    I greeted McCarver's disappearance from the Mets after 1998 the way we viewed DiFelice's last year: It was OK with me. He was already getting on my nerves and his national appearances haven't reversed that trend. But today, on the day his opposite pigskin number John Madden was inducted into football's Hall of Fame, McCarver proved that he really was and occasionally is among the best ever to tell you why something is about to happen.
    Somebody might want to tell the Phillies to stop hitting balls to Wright, but let's keep that between us for now.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect….Naaaaaaaaah.
    I'll give McCarver the Prescience Award for noting that Rivera gives up a lot of bloops and Jeter was too shallow right before Luis Gonzalez killed the Beast in 2001. But that was about positioning and hit diagrams and things that are actually tangible. Today he was just being superstitious.*
    Besides, I've heard too much of the McCarver As Sour-Pussed Schoolmarm to ever not find the sound of his voice slightly annoying at best. Good Tim is very, very good, but there's been way too much Bad Tim over the last decade or so. (Absolute low: Pedro was just shy of being a murderer for casting a charging Don Zimmer to one side. Whatever.)
    He's certainly no Mike DiFelice.
    * Please note that when we talk about the baseball gods etc. we're being humble, respectful, and spiritual without getting all macrame-and-wind-chimes about it. When McCarver personifies the game, he's being medieval. Contradiction? Hypocrisy? I don't know what you're talking about.

  • Anonymous

    Well, according to your fellow Long Beachian Mike Francesa, Wright is a poor fielder therefore it must be so.

  • Anonymous

    Guys, did you hear about the Michael Kay thing? See my blog for the link.

  • Anonymous

    Duuh, I typed my http wrong above. blogspot, not blogpost. don't hate me.

  • Anonymous

    Michael Kay is insane. And he's calling the other guy “cretinous.”

  • Anonymous

    please explain why anyone would even listen, however briefly, to what michael kay has to say? it's like pouring drano into your ear.