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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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A Dumb Game After A Night Game

Winning them all continues to be not an option. Damn.

The not-quite-lucky/not-quite-sound doings in the top of the sixth bubble up like goo from time to time in a season, even against a preternaturally doomed club like the Pirates. Unappealing, but a fact of life. So take it out on the Nationals this weekend.

One thing did irk me more than merely losing, even if I feel a little killjoy in being bothered by it. Ramon Castro leads off the second with a base hit that takes off into the left-center gap. It's got just enough legs to make it a double. Problem is Ramon doesn't. Ramon's a scow in a sea of cigarette boats. Ramon's a Heinz Ketchup man. Ramon's a direct descendant of Ernie Lombardi. Ramon's…

Ramon's not fast.

So Ramon Castro, the piano on his back conflicting with the instinct in his head, tries to stretch his long single into a medium double. Nate McLouth's throw, much like the fall harvest, beats Ramon to second. Ramon slides — if you're not picky about literal definitions for the term “slides”. It's less a slide than a abdominal descent into second. Or not quite second. Either way, he's out. Score it 8-somewhere-near-4.

Such a tableau would be amusing to watch if it were occurring to a chunky, leadfooted catcher who plays maybe twice a week on any of 29 other teams; you know, it's funny because it's not the Mets. But this was the Mets, the Mets whose fantastic opportunity to add to a 1-0 lead had just gone by the boards, so I wasn't amused. Actually, I was annoyed. No man on second. No man on first. No baserunner at all. I think that's legitimate grounds for annoyance.

Yet I might have forgotten about it by now in the wake of Oliver Perez's mini-implosion had not Castro's teammates been so yukking it up when he returned to the dugout, laughing heartily at his inability to reach second safely or reach second at all.

Ha-ha! You're slow! And lack grace!

Guys, you've just had a leadoff baserunner erased in the second inning of a 1-0 game against a pretty good lefty who generally gives you fits. You don't have an impenetrable lead either in the game or in the standings. You have been running warm and cold for two months. While you're chortling at Castro, Shawn Green is striking out and Ruben Gotay is preparing to do the same. May I then ask you, the professionals, a simple question?

What the fudge was so funny?

Celebrate your heads off when you homer. Foxtrot on air to commemorate a W. Do your space age handshakes after sacrifice flies if you promise not to hurt yourselves in the process. But when one of you makes the first out of the second inning, a consolatory slap on the ass is the most we need to see.

3 comments to A Dumb Game After A Night Game

  • Anonymous

    Reyes' first-inning at-bat was absolute perfection. Oliver was ungodly for five innings.
    I don't want to blog, discuss or even think about the rest of this game ever again.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    I take full responsibility for Castro thrown out at second, Perez throwing away a bunt and then exploding, a hot grounder off the leg of Wright and Joe Smith eventually being sent down.
    ……after all, it was an afternoon game televised on SNY which meant my 85 year old mother, who doesn't have cable, came over to see the game in HD with my better half.
    Except for the home opener and comeback against the Cubs, we all know what her track record has been watching weekday afternoon games at our place. And since both those wins required last inning come from behind miracles I suspect the players thought my mom had left the house early!

  • Anonymous

    Might be best for Joe Smith to get a breather and his bearings in the minors for a bit. Plus, he's never seen Triple-A.
    The ump may also have been to blame… karmically, I mean. He gave Perez some strikes that were way off the plate earlier in the game. The baseball gods may have wrongfully penalized the Mets.