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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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Torture

“I see great things in baseball. It's our game — the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.”

Walt Whitman may have said that (more likely he didn't), but then he never saw tonight's game. Because that was one of the purest forms of excruciation I've ever spent nearly three hours enduring while thinking I was doing something I loved.

When did it all go wrong? When we took the field, more or less.

Maybe it was when Reyes got picked off for the first time, sending the bird that is hope smashing into the plate-glass window that is same old, same old. (Joshua, always optimistic, chirped that “now he has time to rest!”)

When we let ancient Jamie Moyer wriggle free.

When Jimmy Rollins continued to back up his big talk by lasering a home run off Oliver Perez.

When Pat the Bat nearly hit the upper deck. (I'll say one thing for the Phillies, who deserve to have many things said for them in this series, however grudgingly and through gritted teeth: They're not hitting cheap Citizens Bank home runs off us so far.)

When Oliver hit two lasers in a row and the second one turned into a double play.

When Nunez erased a Luis Castillo double for the first time.

When Wright got rung up and another umpire went on the Enemies List.

When Nunez did it to Castillo again.

When Oliver kept catching Lo Duca's throws with his bare hand. (Don't do that. I mean, Jesus!)

When Reyes got picked off again.

When Beltran got under a fat pitch from Tom Gordon.

When Alou hit into a double play.

When Ron Darling inexplicably volunteered that he'd been to the Ziegfield in college to see “The Rose” because it had a great sound system, leaving the booth speechless.

I mean, how many ways could we be tormented in this game? How many ways could we be injured and outraged before being dispatched?

Well, one more than even I expected. In the ninth, Delgado battled bravely, but I kept waiting for Myers to pull out that curveball, and he finally did. But then Lo Duca got on, Endy got ready, and Marlon Anderson smacked a ball up the gap that Shane Victorino (whom I respect and admire and never, ever want to see again) somehow cut off. I wasn't convinced. In fact, I told Emily Shawn Green would hit into a double play, which was an expression of grim certainty and not a clumsy attempt at a reverse jinx, though I would have taken it.

And Green did. But goodness knows not in the way any of us could have dreamed. An obstruction call? Really? On Anderson, a veteran added for his intangibles? When the obstruction WASN'T NECESSARY BECAUSE GREEN WAS GOING TO BE SAFE AND THE RUN WAS GOING TO SCORE?

No, I never dreamed of that one.

(Outraged sputtering aside, I can't fault the call. I know Anderson could reach second, contrary to what Joe West said later, but that was a Wrestlemania two-handed slap. I've seen hard slides and slides out of the baseline, but not too many of those. Once I calmed down from magma to boiling, I watched the replay and found myself thinking, You Can't Do That.)

And anyway, I'm bitter enough. A seven-game lead down to three, the Phillies looking nothing like the Phillies we've come to know and scorn, too much road trip still ahead, the offense missing, the bullpen in tatters and the magic number too large to not easily turn tragic. My plate is full.

8 comments to Torture

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it was the “correct call,” but — after witnessing his cashiering of Wright on Monday and his little smirk while Willie & Marlon were pleading the cause — I still think C.B. Bucknor is on the take…

  • Anonymous

    I heard it first on the radio (where H & T were indignant and then backpedaled), so I don't know Keith's reaction. But when I saw the replay and considered the call in that context, I was put in mind of Mex's “la di da” dismissal of the country club play so prevalent in this sad day and dreary age. What Anderson did was straight out of a sport I used to recognize as baseball. Good country hardball. Only an umpiring crew with a burr under its saddle makes that call.
    It's called sliding, men in blow. Look it up, you pitiful linesmen and Emily Post wannabes. The fucking tennis center is the other way if you're tired of officiating baseball games. Marlon fucking slid to second base. Take out? Yes, like a Chinese menu. So what? That's the game, you cowhide dungfests. Whatsa matter, you porkpie hats? Pat's not staying open late enough for you?
    To quote Keith from the night before, spot of tea? It's a goddamn country club out there. Marlon Anderson and real baseball players apparently not welcome.
    Not that it would have killed Shawn to have lifted a bleeping fly ball for once. And to put a cap on all the other horsespit the Mets have been pulling lately. But finally we see one Met get it right and he's penalized. Yowza.

  • Anonymous

    Although I, too, predicted Green hitting into a DP, I was simultaneously rooting for a strikeout, considering it the lesser of the two evils in Green's repertoire.
    By the way, Keith did have a reaction to Ron's comments about “The Rose.” Keith called it “a fine film,” making me wonder why there isn't a Keith Hernandez' Guide to the Movies available on Amazon.

  • Anonymous

    Keith thought Bucknor made the right call. Or, more properly, thought Marlon had done something wrong. But this is one of those plays you need to see a few times. Interesting to see what he says today.
    Umpire's judgment, and I don't think very much of CB Bucknor's judgment. But I'll stay with my initial, postgame reaction. Besides, I'm now too terrified about today to dwell on last night….

  • Anonymous

    We can all bitch and moan about a questionable call, but the bottom line is we just would have tied the game and the way its going, who knows. But, what we should really be bitching about is how we cant get more than 2 runs off a guy who couldnt break a window and had given up 8 runs in each of his last 2 outings. I just hope the Mets play as angry today as we all feel.

  • Anonymous

    Donaghy…err…I mean “Bucknor” must have money on the Phils.
    Or, he just has a hardon for the Mets.

  • Anonymous

    I think Joe West was erroneously focusing on Anderson's positioning vis a vis the second base bag. The real issue, which I believe Keith noted on the air last night, was the use of the hands to effectively push the fielder. You can make an argument about a slide, but pushing with the hands is probably a little too over the top.

  • Anonymous

    I love Marlon Anderson. Love, love, LOVE. But it was the right call. It wasn't nearly as bad as the Ruiz play last week (which I was watching live, and screamed bloody murder at the TV) but it was still interference… albeit BORDERLINE interference. The Ruiz play was utterly outrageous, and there was nothing to argue about. I think even Ruiz himself admitted that he crossed the line, and apologized to Giles after seeing the replay.