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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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Running in Place

OK, it was kind of amusing and kind of cool to watch a 44-year-old man with a history of gout beat out a bunt single. (I mean, gout? Seriously? What is David Wells, a Dickens character?) It was less amusing and less cool when this little adventure didn't result in that 44-year-old man laboring on the mound and getting tattooed by the Mets. No, this time it was the Dodgers who did the tattooing, pouring on the kind of two-out rally that's been Metsmerizing of late.

I was supposed to be at this game — back in July, Joshua's chance to run the bases got rained out, and a kindly friend got us superb seats for today's matinee — the next available dash. Hello ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, goodbye kids running the bases. (At least I assume — if there were exhausted, sugared-up toddlers pinwheeling around the Shea infield at 11:30 p.m., I feel for their parents. I also wonder what the hell they could have been thinking.) Fortunately, Joshua seemed to have forgotten — he accepted that his mom was going to Shea without her boys with only perfunctory complaints. I can report for the first time ever I saw someone I know in the stands at a televised game — late in the proceedings, Emily and Co. alerted me, after a lot of fruitless studying of paused TiVo on my end, that they'd moved from their seats behind the on-deck circle to the blue ones behind home plate. She spent most of her time behind the NYM 2 on the ESPN status bar. I am happy to report that she of course did not wave at the camera.

I amused myself with Joe Morgan and Jon Miller — Joe referred to Sean Hillenbrand, the Mets' acquisition of Marlon Byrd and why Rickey Henderson hasn't retired yet, which is about par for the course for the world's least-attentive baseball analyst. (Joe did at least excoriate Milledge — whose pitch selection recalls Ryan Thompson's at the moment — for his headfirst dive into first.) It was left to Peter Gammons to deliver something of substance. Brad Penny said — ha ha, actually, I just wanted to see how that looked on the screen, since I could not conceivably give a fuck about what Brad Penny says about anything. Let's take that again: Gammons said Pedro had called Guy Conti from down in St. Lucie to warn that Guillermo Mota, the trusty den mother when it comes to making sure opposing baserunners get home safe, wasn't striding properly and therefore was tipping his changeup. Conti said Mota had made adjustments in the bullpen and looked great — and Mota then promptly turned in two unblemished innings.

Part of what makes that story worth dissecting is that all of us desperately want it to be true. (I don't like Mota and never will, but since he's here, we may as well make use of him.) But what struck me was how I instantly believed it because, hey, it's Pedro. Has any player ever had so large a role on a team despite five months of not throwing a single pitch in anger? If Gammons told me that Pedro Martinez had passed the time in St. Lucie by coming up with a cold-fusion reactor that reversed global warming, I would have exclaimed over the genius of Pedro for several minutes before wondering idly about his credentials as a physicist and climatologist.

Update: This seems like a garble of a story about Sosa, not Mota, one that happened a long time ago. Memo to self: Stop greeting apparent good news without shred of skepticism or even recent memory. Also: Get off pipe.

16 comments to Running in Place

  • Anonymous

    Alas, that Mota “helped” by Pedro story is about 7 days old (the Times reported that story on Tuesday as one of their off day stories), so those two spotless innings were just a timely twist of luck last night. Pedro's advice certainly didn't help the rest of this homestand.
    I'm going to continue to hope that Mota is either 1) DFA'd or 2) left off the post season roster. A man's gotta have a dream

  • Anonymous

    I'm afraid Mota's problems (or strategies to deliver runners home) go far beyond simply tipping his change-up. Pedro may very well have helped to alleviate that problem, but it's Mota's entire mind-set, pitch sequencing, and location that seem to have been hurting him. Not just recognized change-ups.

  • Anonymous

    For the first time all season, my reaction was “The Mets last last night? Meh.”
    If they can do nothing more than hold their ground against Atlanta and Philly head-to-head, the Phils would need to play .750 ball to tie them, and the Braves would need to play .842 ball to do the same.
    See? I said all that without using the term “magic number”.
    D'OH!

  • Anonymous

    Crap. You see what I mean? I also think Pedro can bend the space-time continuum.

  • Anonymous

    It's Pedro Martinez's world. We merely live in it.

  • Anonymous

    …even if they are both down in the 20's right now.
    But you didn't hear this from me…got it…?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason,
    Did the Mets have any say on rescheduling the game to accomodate ESPN? It was unfair to play the contest at night after the day had been set aside for children. Not only was Joshua's chance to run the bases taken away, but he also missed gettng a Met batting helmet. I wonder how many kids were disappointed because of the gametime switch?

  • Anonymous

    Now that I'm not huffing stove gas, wasn't this story about Sosa? And didn't it happen like weeks ago?
    Fucking ESPN.

  • Anonymous

    Modest scheduling proposals:
    – All Sunday baseball games must be matinees (the To Hell With ESPN rule).
    – All teams must be scheduled to play on every federal holiday during the season (the Memorial Day rule).
    – Every major league team must have at least one double-header in its home schedule every year (the Ernie Banks rule).

  • Anonymous

    Jason,
    This franchises has in its system two Pedro Martinez's, two Ambiorixes, an Ender and an Endy, a Sosa and a Mota, and more than two Carloses.
    They've also had Bob L. Miller and Bob R. Miller on the roster at the same time.
    Forgiven. Hilariously forgiven.

  • Anonymous

    Not to forget 2 Bobby Joneses…Jones'…?…Jones's…?Joni…?

  • Anonymous

    Still, that business about the pipe has me a little concerned.

  • Anonymous

    I borrowed mine from Joe West.

  • Anonymous

    Joe D., I doubt the Mets had any say. Emily said they were giving away batting helmets, but no kid = no helmet. Oh well.
    Definitely agree with the federal holiday rule. Not having a game on Memorial Day is simply un-American.

  • Anonymous

    Joe West ate the entire boiler room.

  • Anonymous

    By the way, Jace… people who drink too much get gout.