We have a saying around our house: We don't want to be on News 12.
In the first three years we lived here, our neighborhood was featured on Long Island's cable news outlet five times that I can remember for reasons that had nothing to do with a plethora of National Merit Scholars or our rousing Memorial Day parade. And we live in what I believe to be a pretty decent neighborhood.
• A car crashed through a bagel shop window.
• A high school teacher was apprehended for conducting funny business with one of his students.
• A would-be bank robber was pursued from yard to yard on foot.
• Natural gas leaked one morning, necessitating an evacuation of residents of an area co-op.
• And an apartment in the same co-op caught fire thanks to a halogen lamp meeting a fish tank.
The 2004 gas leak was in our parking lot and the 2007 fire took place in our building. I was wide awake for the fire, which was pretty scary to find out about while it was in progress. I learned of the gas leak evacuation on News 12, many hours after cluelessly sleeping through it.
We don't want our neighborhood to be on News 12. And we didn't want the back pages for our Mets this Sunday morning.
But we got 'em.
The back page of the News: SAY IT AIN'T SO, 'HAN!
The back page of the Post: SAY IT AIN'T JO
The back page of Newsday: OUCH!
No need to fill in the sub-headlines. You know what the fright was all about. You know that icy feeling you feel when the Mets are on the back page at the beginning of March for anything more topical than another round of team-to-beatery.
For what it's worth (hopefully a lot), news regarding Johan Santana generated since these papers were printed is sunnier. Johan has tested his left elbow, declared himself feeling loose and the Mets have decided against a flight to snowy New York to run an MRI on our ace's platinum triceps tendon.
Ain't that good news? Man, ain't that news?
It's March 1. Opening Day is five WBC-necessitated weeks away. Plenty of time to heal. Plenty of time for something to not heal, too. Bill Pulsipher was gonna be out maybe a couple of days. Pedro Martinez was just going to need to give it some rest.
Once the pitcher on whom you're counting makes the back pages for reasons that make you nervous, you just as soon sleep through it.
Unequivocally good news, I hope, is Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets is available for pre-ordering now via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers.