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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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While I Was Semi-Away

I admit it, the only parts I heard were the boring parts.

I got a late start on the evening, grabbing my iPhone as I dashed out the door. I fumbled my way into MLB At Bat and noted, with a certain cheerful approval, that it was already 2-0 Mets. Walking to pick up Emily in the top of the second, I heard a modest Mets uprising, with my phone cocked up by my ear and people on the street regarding me with the usual mixture of disdain/interest/envy. (I get the first reaction, but the other two baffle me: The game is on the radio. That’s the whole point. You could be listening yourself if you would part with an extremely modest amount of money and plan slightly ahead.) Willie Harris lined out to end the second, I met Emily and we got a cab, and the Tigers did nothing of note as we coaxed the cabbie down to Red Hook.

At the Good Fork we of course weren’t going to be listening to Mets-Tigers, though my wife made a tacit concession by not objecting to the phone placed on the table between us, silent but updating itself with Gameday highlights, the little batter figurine turning right and left as warranted. The Mets, I kept noticing, kept batting. There were two outs, but suddenly it was 3-0. Then Jose had tripled. Then it was 4-0. Every time I glanced over, the Mets still somehow weren’t out. Then, with Jason Bay up, there was that vaguest of digital-age pronouncements: In play, run(s).

They weren’t kidding. Bay had done something we all thought the Mets had forgotten how to do: He had hit a ball over the fence with a teammate on first and another teammate on second and yet another teammate on third. Hooray Jason Bay! Hooray everybody! My iPhone put up a silhouette of a new batter and a line of dispassionate explanatory text. Confronted with the Mets’ first grand slam in 299 days, I was somewhat more excited. Long ago, I had a Motorola SportsTrax, and in the first days I didn’t know how to use it or what it was telling me with its Artoo-Detooesque bleating and chriping. For some reason we had a work retreat scheduled for a Saturday in lower Manhattan, so around the fourth inning of a Mets day game we were sitting around some conference table drinking bottled water and eating Cosi sandwiches when my little pager went ballistic, whistling and blatting and flashing every part of its LED screen.

“Gentlemen,” I said after peering at the screen for a moment, “I believe that’s the grand-slam noise.”

An inning after Bay’s feat in 2011, the grand-slam noise sounded like this.

Me: Ha. No way.

Emily: What?

Me: Beltran.

Emily: You’re kidding. [appreciative laughter]

By the time we were done and walking back up Van Brunt, the fireworks were over and the Mets and Tigers were just trying to get back to the hotel and their homes (respectively) without aches and pains. (Seriously, how is it that Jose Reyes can go 4-4 and it feels like the undercard?) Perfunctory play-by-play took us as far as a bus stop, where my phone gave a final sigh of expiring batteries and lapsed into silence. I didn’t mind — if ever a lead was safe, it was this one. When I got home, SNY was showing a happy Bob Ojeda and Chris Carlin, and I knew all was well.

Sorry I missed it? Sure, a little. But glad it happened? You bet.

10 comments to While I Was Semi-Away

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    You also missed seeing a possible cycle by Jose. What couldn’t be seen on the iPhone was that Jose hit a deep fly that just missed going over the fence helped by an ill-timed leap by the left fielder. Problem was, there was also a runner on base who had to hold up due to the ball possibly being caught. So Jose couldn’t run full speed due to the runner ahead of him. Had the bases been clear, he could have possibly rounded the bases for an inside the parker.

    That is the dilemma – would one want a grand slam and a player hit for the cycle or two grand slammers in back to back innings after essentially going back to back seasons without one? Had Jose homered, Beltran would not have had his grand slam – unless I got my game summary memory mixed up since I didn’t keep a scorecard.

  • tim

    Man, not a good day for Daniel Schlereth. Mark’s probably working the phones to get him a job in Bristol about now.

  • BlackCountryMet

    WOW!! Grand slams like buses, never see one in ages, then 2 come along at the same time!! Mets flying now, starting to play well against good teams, bodes well for the weekend ;-)

  • Jim H

    Sorry I missed it? Sure, a little. But glad it happened? You bet. I had no idea you were a Mets fan, Evans! Jason Fry Stays In The Picture.

  • ..When it rains- it pours !.. Fun team.

    Rich P

  • kd bart

    Is it possible that Jason Bay may pull a 2008 Carlos Delgado? Remember, how awful Delgado was the first half of 2008 but how out of this world tremendous he was the last three months. Maybe, last night’s grand slam is the spark for Bay.

  • dmg

    uncharacteristically, i saw the whole game. one little-noted sign of a smart manager and a together team: collins pulled reyes in, i think the seventh, even though he had a shot at another at-bat, then did the same for beltran. cause both players could use a rest (who needs the extra opportunity for an injury?), especially in this part of the schedule. and both players were smiling about it. we haven’t had this spirit here since 2006.

    • srt

      I chuckled when Collins lifted Reyes to give him a couple of innings rest. Thought to myself, ‘that’s about the only way you’re going to keep him off the base paths’.

      Like that Collins was thinking of Reyes and long term play and health rest of this season – not just one night.
      Like the fact that Reyes had no problem with it either. He was just having too damn much fun after going 4 for 4 with a walk, watching 2 grand slams, watching Thole hit a HR to get the party started.

  • March'62

    Had to laugh over the ‘in play, run(s)’ line. That’s how I follow afternoon games at my desk. There are times, in key spots when a 1-2 pitch by a Met pitcher lands right in the box representing the strike zone and yet is listed as a ball. I actually complain about the eyesight of the ump that missed such an easy call.
    As far as the twin-slams, that’s how I figure the no-hitter skein will end. Back-to-back no-hitters in successive games. Hopefully this weekend.

    • Dak442

      I’m such a luddite. I listen to afternoon games on this comically huge early-90s boom box I’ve lugged around from office to office for the past 18 or so years. One perk of my last promotion was my choice of offices from a number that had been vacated or whose occupants were being moved. I lugged the radio door-to-door like an Executive Radio Raheem and settled on one that gets WFAN surprisingly well. My coworkers are used to this level of devotion and only mildly ribbed me. Much less so than the regular mocking I get for my crusty old non-Smart-phone, a hand-me-down from my daughter when SHE upgraded. Man, I need an iPhone.