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9 For 9

So, what did you do today?

Oh, beat the Braves twice. Pretty much buried their fading Wild Card hopes. Stuck two tomahawks in their figurative head.

Anything else?

Lowered our magic number a couple of times. It’s 9 now. Got another huge game out of Shawn Green. Saw Beltran come back and look fine.

That it?

Pretty much…oh yeah, Oliver Perez. He threw a shutout [1] rather handily.

You don’t seem that excited.

No, it’s all good…

But?

But it was only the Braves.

9.01: Also, They Sparkled. Catch the rising stars. Catch the rising stars. Mets, a part of you and me. Mets, for all the world to see. Watch them shine on Channel 9.

9.02: 21 Hours of Otherwise Dead Air. WOR-TV showed its respect to Lindsey, Ralph, Bob, Gil, Yogi and everybody else by putting absolutely nothing else worth watching on the Very High Frequency of 9. Joe Franklin? The Million Dollar Movie? Bowling For Dollars? Well, that was pretty good when Murph was hosting. Howie tells a great story which I’m sure I’ll screw up. Murph welcomes a contestant named Joe. Joe says something like, “Hi Bob. I’m Joe Bowl and I’m a mechanic from Paterson, New Jersey.” Bob replies, “Joe, why don’tcha tell us what you do and where you’re from?”

9.03: Will Lara Cohen Acknowledge Carlos Beltran’s 42nd Homer? Todd Hundley hit home runs at such a prodigious rate in 1996 and 1997 that No. 9 rated his own fan club. Tim McCarver and Gary Thorne interviewed the president, a 12-year-old girl who proclaimed that Todd was “more than just a handsome face.”

9.04: He’s On First? Todd Zeile played 1,498 games at third base in his career, but none when he wore No. 9 for the Mets.

9.05: Can’t Say He Didn’t Warn Us. Jose Vizcaino, who drove in the winning run in the same 2000 World Series game in which Todd Zeile blasted a double that resulted in an out, managed 9 hits in 9 consecutive at-bats as a Met, April 23-25, 1996.

9.06: But I’ll Miss Roger Grimsby! When I was in 1st grade, we had a health professional of some sort come talk to our class. She wanted to know what each of our bedtimes was. “Bedtime?” I thought. “You mean they really have those?” She started announcing bedtimes. “6:30.” Kids raised hands. “7:00” Kids raised hands. It went on like this to the health professional’s approval; those were healthy bedtimes. Uh-oh, I better come up with something plausible, something that doesn’t reveal that, in fact, I stay up for Tex Antoine’s weather and Johnny Carson’s monologue, something that won’t make me stand out like a freak. So when she got to “9:00,” I raised my hand. And she says, “Now that’s too late.” Right then, I knew I was screwed for the rest of my life.

9.07: It Didn’t Run Westbound. Does anybody miss the 9 train? Wasn’t it essentially a pretentious version of the 1?

9.08: How Splendid Could a Shutout Be If Alay Soler Has One? Oliver Perez throwing 9 scoreless innings against Atlanta was wonderful. It could make the trade that brought him here a smashing success on the order of the Dave Williams heist. But if the postseason ends with Chris Woodward or Julio Franco striking out, expect lots of moaning about Xavier Nady.

9.09: At Least. This cats-have-9-lives jazz is understating the case. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen my kitties get smacked in the head and just keep going. They are more resilient than the Atlanta Braves of 1991-2005.