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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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Never Too Early for Baseball

I’m flipping around the dial a little after 8:30 this morning and what do I come upon? SNY is showing the Mets and Cubs, in Japan, from March 30, 2000. It was the top of the eleventh. Zeile is on first. Ordoñez is working out a walk. Mora comes up and walks as well.

I know what’s coming next. And I’m getting quite sleepy thinking about it. Just as on March 30, 2000, I excitedly stifle a yawn as Benny Agbayani wallops a grand slam to dead center. It’s 5-1 Mets.

I’m thrilled!

I’m drowsy!

It was déjà snooze all over again.

How odd (and perhaps par for the Snigh course) that the first time this game is shown since early spring 2000, the Mets’ network of record shows it at approximately the same hour it was shown in New York originally. We had to get up before 5 in the blessed ayem for two mornings straight to catch our team open its season on the other side of the world almost eight years ago. We lost the first game on March 29 (Hampton’s shaky Met debut, burn the tape) but battled the Cubs well past daybreak on the 30th. Can’t tell you all the details of the second game because I nodded off in the middle innings on 3/30/00. Can’t tell you anything that happened before the eleventh on 12/30/07 because I had no idea this game had been on since six o’clock…when I was asleep.

Of course I love being visited by my 2000 National League Champion buddies anytime, even early on a Sunday morning in late December (especially early on a Sunday morning in late December, in a way), but what’s with the stealth SNY debut? They’re finally cracking open the vault and they do it while most of their audience saws wood or, as a departed friend of the family once put it, cuts logs? Is showing your regularly scheduled installment of Beach Tennis so vital?

Lest you think this was an aberration or even poetic Tokyo throwback scheduling, Monday morning you will want to rise and shine or at least record SNY from 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM when the Mets-Brewers game of May 23, 1998 is rebroadcast. I don’t have to tell you, savvy reader, what that date signifies, but for the record, that was Mike Piazza’s first game as a Met, when the ex-Marlin appeared out of the tunnel dazed and confused yet lashed the ball to right in his third at-bat to give birth to a much beloved era.

Of course you want to show that with little advance warning at six in the morning.

To be fair, SNY is rebroadcasting two other favorites later in day, the Ten-Run Inning of 2000 (1:00 PM) and, for all you New Year’s Eve revelers, the Subway Series game from 2006 in which David Wright drives home the winning run (7:00 PM). Of course the Ten-Run Inning was shown a couple of weeks ago and that Friday night Subway Series game is the only Met-Yankee affair whose images have been preserved, judging by how often SNY has aired it. I’m not sure why the stuff that’s been seen and seen again gets better timeslots, but as long as Street Games gets as many eyeballs as possible, I suppose we can all rest easy.

Incidentally, 4:20 P.M. on December 31 marks the Baseball Equinox, the moment when we are as close to next season as last season. If indeed SportsNet New York is pouring on these Mets Classics and UltiMET Classics in its honor, then way to go, Channel 60 on my cable system. But when you go the trouble of dusting off games that have been lurking in darkness for nearly a decade, do you have to insist on having them compete with Sunrise Semester?

14 comments to Never Too Early for Baseball

  • Anonymous

    I just hate SNY. I really do. Skankophiles enjoy an embarrassment of Skank riches on their network, while we're fed an appalling fare of poker, snowmobiling, skiing, skateboarding, fishing, boxing, billiards, beach volleyball and endless repeats of dull, amateurish magazine shows. Oh, and infomercials. The only difference between SNY and FSNY (besides the F, of course) is that FSNY never aired commercials and programming glorifying the Yankees. Our network SUCKS. But I will be tuned in tomorrow at 6am. That's apparently where the smart money is these days.
    (Sunrise Semester. Heh)

  • Anonymous

    The confluence of the Baseball Equinox with another special event makes tomorrow a day that's truly worthy of celebration – thanks for the reminder!

  • Anonymous

    I'm still waiting for SNY to replay Dave Mlicki gracing the Yankee Stadium mound. Once they get the highlight of Mlicki's career on the air, then hopefully they'll move on and show us the highlight of Matt Franco's career.

  • Anonymous

    My wish list game is the penultimate regular season game of the 1999 season – the win against Pittsburgh that forced the one-game playoff against Cincinnati.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, the Mlicki game! Definitely! I'd like to see the Bobby Jones game, too. Have they even shown the Todd Pratt game?
    Of course I'd also like to see the June '98 game where Reeder pitched a much-needed CG (the bullpen was just not available) to outduel John Smoltz, and his Oct. '99 shutout of the Pirates… talk about do-or-die! Two incredible examples of balls-to-the-wall JUST DO IT. Awesome. These are the games we'd love to see, SNY. These were memorable. As much as I enjoyed the 2006 division-clincher and Delgado's 400th, ENOUGH ALREADY! Look past the obvious milestones once in a while, because there are a lot of gems you're missing out on.

  • Anonymous

    IP, dude… I was typing while you were posting! THANK YOU! We always see the playoff, but never what got us there. What a game!

  • Anonymous

    LOL Laurie – I'm a girl dude, but thanks. GMTA :)

  • Anonymous

    LOL. Don't feel bad… I call all my girlfriends “dude.” And my sister. Heck, I call my mom “dude.” That's kind of scary. But she takes it well…

  • Anonymous

    Pratt ran on MSG but not SNY. MSG actually went to the trouble (as YEECH sometimes does) of dubbing in Met radio so we could hear Murph and Cohen instead of Chris Berman. But that would be way too much to ask.
    As mentioned above, the Melvin Mora wild pitch game would be an excellent choice (that whole week, actually).

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and DUH… stupid typo. Reed-Smoltz was '97. And yes, of course I knew that. Same way I know my name is not “Lauire,” but I always type it that way. *sigh*
    Geez. And I thought giving a receptionist the wrong birthdate on Friday was bad (I made myself a year younger, don't ask me why).

  • Anonymous

    I was at that game. It still stands as the greatest moment I've ever had at any sporting event. I've attended Met games that are more publicly celebrated, but on that afternoon of October 3rd I saw my first genuine “WE DID IT” celebration on the field, and took part in my first wild party in the stands. Sure, I saw a similar celebration when A.Y. finally won a game in '93, but that doesn't even come close to the vibe running throughout Shea and throughout my body that day. The icing on the cake was the fact that it was souvenir bat day, but because the Mets were scared (I assume) we'd all riot with 7 inch bats if they lost, they didn't give them out until after the game. Well, it was a dumb idea because we rioted anyway just to get the damn things on our way out. I'm talking complete and total mob scene. The mosh pits around the boxes of bats put the crowds at Slayer concerts to shame. Ahhh, good times.
    I still have my tiny bat from that afternoon, and I'll never get rid of it. God I miss that team.

  • Anonymous

    I'd like to see any of Randy Tate's 23 starts again.

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