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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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Taking Down the Molina Crime Family

Following the Mets' 7-4 win over the Cardinals Tuesday night, the Redbird players shrugged it off. It was just one game, manager Tony La Russa told them, we'll get 'em tomorrow. Most of them scattered to their homes, but one was invited for a drink at Mike Shannon's, just across the street from Busch Stadium. This Cardinal had had a pretty good game — drove in a run, threw out a runner — and thought it was just two more of his local admirers wanting to show their appreciation. In St. Louis, he never had to buy himself a drink. The fans were so great. The Cardinal accepted the invitation. Funny thing, though. The Cardinal had been to Shannon's plenty of times and where he was taken, it didn't look like Shannon's…and there didn't appear to be any drink either. After a little friendly baseball chit-chat, the tension began to ratchet up.

“So, you think you're pretty handy with a bat.”

“I don't know what you guys are talking about. I was just doing my job.”

“Uh-huh. Doing your job.”

“Yeah, that's right.”

“Your job is what?”

“I play for the Cardinals.”

“Oh. You play for the Cardinals.”

“That's right. I'm the starting catcher.”

“Catcher, huh? So you what? You catch?”

“That's right. I catch.”

“You wear a mask? And a chest protector?”

“And shin guards.”

“Funny, I don't see any of that stuff on ya now. Neither does my associate Rocco.”

WHACK!

“OW! Whad'ja do that for?”

“I thought you were a catcher. I thought you were used to catching.”

“I catch balls!”

WHACK!

“OW! What's wrong with you?”

“Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said something about catching it in the balls.”

“What kind of crazy mother…”

“What about my mother? What did you say?”

“I didn't say nothin'.”

“Sounds like you were sayin' something about my crazy mother and your balls.”

“What's with you guys? You don't seem like Cardinal fans.”

“What gives you the impression that we are not Cardinal fans?”

“Cardinal fans don't usually hit me with a bat.”

“Let's just say we are very intense Cardinal fans.”

“No way, man. Cardinal fans are nice. Cardinal fans love me. I hit that big home run for them.”

WHACK!

“OW! QUIT IT!”

“I'm sorry. Did you say we should quit it? Maybe you should quit it.”

“I'm not quitting. I'm a hero. They love me in St. Louis. I won the pennant for these people.”

“These people? Are you implying that we are not your people? That we are not happy to see you? That we were not happy with 'that big home run' of yours?”

“You sure don't seem happy about it.”

“Get a load of that, Rocco. Mr. Molina here don't think we enjoyed his big home run. That was what now…two years ago?”

“Yeah, 2006. If you were Cardinal fans you'd never forget it.”

“I see. Now I'm forgetful.”

“I didn't say that.”

WHACK!

“OW! NO WAY YOU'RE A CARDINAL FAN! CARDINAL FANS DON'T HIT CARDINALS WITH BASEBALL BATS!”

“Now that you mention it, my associate Rocco isn't by nature one of your long-term, dyed-in-the-wool, red-wearing Cardinal fans. In fact he's not really from Missouri, to be perfectly honest with you.”

“Southern Illinois?”

“Rocco's actually in town on business. As I am. From New York.”

“New York?”

WHACK!

“Yes, New York. Where you hit 'that big home run' you seem so proud of.”

“I was just doing my job.”

“Oh. Your job. Your job is catching, I thought you said.”

“Well, I come to bat, too.”

“Of course. How silly of me. The catcher bats sometimes.”

“The catcher bats just like any other player.”

“You mean like this?”

WHACK!

“COME ON! THAT REALLY HURTS!”

“Oh, are we inflicting pain on you? Is that something you know about because you've done it before?”

“What, the home run? I'm a baseball player! I'm not supposed to swing the bat?”

“Rocco, our friend Mr. Molina is quite amusing, all this talk of bats. He seems to have a real Adirondack fetish.”

“You guys are from New York. You know how baseball works.”

“We do know a little something about baseball. We do know how it works. We do know how 2006 was supposed to work, too.”

WHACK!

“We know the Mets were on their way to the World Series that year…”

WHACK!

“We do know there was a little 'accident' in Miami…”

WHACK!

“We do know the cops pinned it on some 'drunk driver' who just happened to be careening outta control on I-95…”

WHACK!

“We do know that he just happened to take out our most reliable set-up relief pitcher…”

WHACK!

“We do know that instead of Duaner Sanchez three months later that you got to face who you wanted to face, Aaron Heilman…”

WHACK!

“And we do know about your 'big home run'…”

WHACK!

“And we were willing to say, as you put it, that's how baseball works, that sometimes you have an overwhelming powerhouse of a team and that sometimes you lose a key cog in the middle of a season in a freak automobile accident and sometimes a light-hitting catcher hits an extremely unlikely home run to take away from you the pennant you knew to be yours. That's just one of those unfortunate incidents.”

WHACK!

“THEN WHY ARE YOU GUYS HITTING ME WITH A BAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN?”

“Because, Mr. Molina…Yadier, if you don't mind me being overly familiar…because Yadier, you shouldn't have tried to get cute in the eighth inning tonight.”

“What cute? It was just a line drive! I was just trying to get on base! We were down three runs!”

“And your 'line drive' just happened to smack straight in the direction of our friend Duaner Sanchez's kneecap?”

“Yeah. That's it. An accident.”

“Like the accident in Miami where Duaner missed the rest of the '06 season and all of '07.”

“Yeah! Like that!”

“Tell me, Yadier. You seem to be an expert on 'accidents'.”

“Huh?”

“Yadier, you do a lot of traveling?”

“I'm a ballplayer. We travel a lot, sure.”

“You ever go to Miami?”

“When we play the Marlins, I guess.”

“You have any friends in Miami?”

“Whaddaya…whaddaya mean?”

“You have a friend named Cecil Wiggins?”

“Never heard of him.”

“You sure? About that? You want Rocco to help refresh your memory?”

“Well, now that you mention it…”

“Yes?”

“I, uh…”

“Yes?”

“OH ALL RIGHT! I AM CECIL WIGGINS! THAT'S MY STREET NAME! LA RUSSA PUT ME UP TO IT! I WAS JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS! LA RUSSA'S CRAZY! HE BATS THE PITCHER EIGHTH!”

“So you admit that you took out Duaner Sanchez in Miami in the wee hours of July 31, 2006?”

“Yes. We heard he liked Dominican food so we tailed him. It's La Russa, though, you gotta believe me. I like Duaner. We played winter ball together.”

“And you admit the whole idea was to get Heilman on the mound on October 19, 2006?”

“Yes.”

“Anything else?”

“And to make it so the Mets would have to trade Xavier Nady and sign Guillermo Mota. But that wasn't me. That was La Russa. He's evil. I'm his pawn. We all are. He made McGwire bulk up. He ruined Ankiel's pitching career so he could reinvent him as a hitter. HE'S CRAZY!”

“And tonight?”

“Yes, yes. The line drive at Duaner's knee was intentional. It was supposed to be more than a bruise.”

“So's this, Yadier.”

WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!

“C'mon, Rocco, and don't forget the bat. Jerry says we got two more Molinas to take care of tonight. He's dead serious about this 'gangsta' stuff.”

12 comments to Taking Down the Molina Crime Family

  • Anonymous

    Leave the bat, take the canoli.

  • Anonymous

    Was it Larussa's plan to have Wagner stink in the NLCS as well, forcing Heilman on the mound in the 9th?

  • Anonymous

    Figures.
    I went to bed when Feliciano replaced Heilman in the 7th and missed all this.
    No mention of it at all on the radio this morning…

  • Anonymous

    After Chavez got caught in a run-down after a wild pitch and the Mets were trailing 3-1, I turned the game off (like probably most Met fans did). I later turned the game back on and TO MY SHOCK found the Mets ahead 7-3. St. Louis scored twice before I went into a shower but my better half was still watching the game and QVC at the same time (split screen). Although she didn't hear the SNY audio, as I turned off the water she yelled out that Sanchez was hurt. I ran into the living room dripping wet and saw there was a commercial break. Thank heaven for DVR – rewound the hard drive, first saw Duaner walking off on his own, then went back to the point where he got hit.
    Good thing I didn't slip on any soap when first hearing the news.

  • Anonymous

    Totally. Criminal mastermind deluxe.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent advice.

  • Anonymous

    Out at a bar for a former boss's going-away party last night. Bar had five TVs, all of which were showing the fucking Yankees. I was drunk enough to be borderline-homicidal about this. Seething, I asked if ONE of the TVs could be tuned to the Mets game. Bartender said to give her a minute, which stretched on to 10 and then 15. I gave up and drank beer on the patio, texting Google for scores and peering irritably through the front window now and again, until the Rangers got done beating the Yankees and they switched over to SNY. Walked into the bar and a second later saw Sanchez go down in a heap.
    Given all the above, I have to keep reminding myself that they won.

  • Anonymous

    The biggest bar insult to Met fans happened to me on April 6, 2007. I was meeting someone at Penn Station, but got there 45 minutes early. I figured, “I'll have a few drinks at TGI Fridays and watch the game.” So I go in and try to find a spot near a TV w/ the Met game, and what do I see? 3 TVs showing the Yankees, a TV showing the Knicks, a TV Showing the Rangers/Devils game, a TV showing boxing, and a TV showing MSNBC.
    MSNBC? Really?! Indeed. With the sound off. Instead of the Mets. After seeing all the Yankee/Budweiser rah-rah banners all over the walls, I got the message and haven't gone back since.
    That night I found comfort in Tracks, down near the McDonalds, where the Met game was on TV and Yuengling was on tap. While I was getting a buzz watching Ollie own the Braves, TGI Stupid Fridays got to watch the Yanks lose to the Orioles. Good times.

    Are you kidding me TGI Fridays?!?!? MSNBC OVER THE METS?!? I'm still sour over this…

  • Anonymous

    Come to think of it, I never bought Gustavo's plaintive insistence of “no relation.” Maybe he… flipped?

  • Anonymous

    In Penn Station several weeks ago, Stephanie and I were about to stop in at Tracks when I noticed the big screen was devoted to YES (no Yankee game was even on, just The White Shadow). I insisted on heading to the Amtrak side and found another place with a train-sounding name that had the Mets on. So we ate there.
    The next day Stephanie was sick from its food. And I felt really badly…that she got sick. But not about the impetus for the decision.
    All due respect to my man Olbermann, no way a a television should tuned to MSNBC over a Mets game in a bar in New York (or anywhere).

  • Anonymous

    Thanks indeed for DVR.
    I was able to replay Tatis whacking Ollie in the nuts over and over again – enough times to drive my wife out of the room.

  • Anonymous

    My most recent totally denied by a bartender experience came a month ago, when I was in New Orleans and Santana was pitching against the Dodgers on that horribly scheduled ESPN night game on the first of June. It was cool, but it kind of wasn't cool. I went into the sports bar at Harrah's–the friggin casino, where you might expect that sports would be betted on. And half of their 30 TVs were tuned to LSU playing in the College World Series regionals, and the other half were tuned to the Zephyrs playing some team in Arkansas. Figueroa was pitching and I swear to God the bartender could not have given a lesser shit about changing one television set over to the Mets game. Who knows? Maybe some crazy AV genius has Harrah's New Orleans wired up with a total of two cable boxes.
    I finally had an old lady bartender in the no smoking section of the casino take sympathy on me and switch over one TV in the corner near the Poker Showdown Wannabes. But it was cool. All three teams won that night–convincingly.
    Tonight, though, dude, I do not care that we lost and I do not care about the box score or how mediocre Martinez looked in the first. The Mets are back and this lineup is making me feel it.