- Faith and Fear in Flushing - https://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Niese Pelfs It Up

“Hey Pelf. I wake ya?”
“That you, Niesey? Nah, you didn’t wake me. I was up fast-forwarding through the opening ceremonies. You watch it already?”
“Not yet. We had a game tonight.”
“Oh yeah?”
“We lost. And I had that dream again.”
“What dream is that?”
“You know, the one where I turn into a lefthanded version of you.”
“Check it out — a flying bicyclist!”
“Pelf, I’m not watching the same thing as you right now.”

“Well, ya should be. This shit is awesome.”
“I can call Maine if you’re busy.”
“Nah, man. Don’t do that. I was like the bad-dream version of him — and he was like the bad-dream version of Heilman. If you call Maine, it’s like that movie where neither of us ever existed.”
“Yeah, well, I wish I never existed after an outing like tonight.”
“Don’t worry about it, man. You signed the extension, right?”
“Yeah. So?”
“Dude, it’s not like the checks don’t clear. I haven’t pitched in months and I still get paid either way. Direct deposit, bitches!”
“Pelf, man, I wanna win. Or at least I don’t wanna lose.”
“Get paid either way. I’m just sayin’.”
“I’m so frustrated right now.”

“I know what you mean. I’m trying to figure out who that old guy is singing about Jude and it’s totally driving me nuts. Paul somebody, but I don’t think it’s Lo Duca.”
“Seriously, Pelf. I can call back.”
“Nah, I’ll put it on pause. What’s up?”
“My ERA is up, and that’s even with the unearned runs I allowed when I totally Pelfed it up in the second inning tonight.”
“Pelfed it up?”
“Oh, sorry. It’s just that we have a name for it, and…I thought you knew.”
“It’s cool. ‘Pelfed it up.’ That’s pretty funny, actually.”
“Anyway, the bases were loaded, and the walls fell in.”

“What’d ya do? Balk? Flinch? Tie your shoelaces together?”
“No. I walked Henry Blanco.”
“Blanco…Blanco…where do I know that name?”
“Used to be our catcher.”
“Tattooed guy — old as fuck, right?”
“He’s on the Phillies now?”
“The Phillies? Where’d you get that from? We played Arizona tonight. That’s why I’m calling so late.”
“Oh. I dunno. When I was there we were always playing the Phillies.”
“So…like I was saying, the bases were loaded and I hadn’t walked anybody in weeks, but I walked Henry Blanco, who wasn’t even hitting .200.”

“And then their pitcher comes up…”
“Hamels? Did ya hear? That fucker’s being paid a shit ton of money.”
“Pelf! Focus, man. We weren’t playing the Phillies. I’m in Arizona.”
“Chill, bro.”
“Their pitcher hasn’t gotten a hit all year but he lines one into the outfield and now the game is tied and I’m all flustered.”
“Flustered? I hated that shit. That’s how I felt whenever I had the John Maine dream. Which I still do, from time to time.”
“Well, it gets worse. Willie Bloomquist comes up…”
“The Diamondbacks’ leadoff hitter.”
“I don’t remember him. Tell ya the truth, dude, I don’t remember much about being on the Mets anymore. But I just remembered the old guy’s name.”
“What old guy?”
“The Paul guy. McCarthy. But who’s ‘Jude’?”
“ANYWAY, Bloomquist comes up, doesn’t hit the ball more than fifty feet between me and third. David can’t get to it.”
“No, Pelf. Not Beckham. Wright — our third baseman?”

“You shoulda seen Beckham, though, Niesey. He had the torch on a speedboat. Is that bold or what?”
“I pick the ball up. I’ve got no play. I know in my head I’ve got no play. I know I gotta eat the ball, that a run’s gonna score from third, but I can still limit the damage.”
“But you threw it anyway?”
“Yup. Clear down the right field line.”
“Dude! You totally Pelfed it up!”
“Yeah, Pelfed it up big-time. Everybody scores, Bloomquist winds up on third, soon we’re losing six to two. Just a mess [1].”

“Bond. James Bond. They’re showing him with that old lady from England.”
“You unpaused the opening ceremonies again, didn’t you?”
“I’m still listening. I can do two things at once. I’m not an idiot, you know.”
“Sorry. Anyway, awful outing. I stayed in for six, but the game was lost.”
“You guys been losing a lot lately, haven’t you?”
“You don’t much follow the team anymore, do ya, Pelf?”
“I dunno, Niesey. I watched the games for a while. Then I watched the highlights on SportsCenter. Then I just kind of forgot about it. It’s weird being off in the summer with nothing to do but ‘rehab’. Kinda fun, but weird. I’d rather be pitching, I guess.”
“Sort of wish you were. We could use all the help we could get right now.”

“What’sa matter? That Spanish guy not getting it done?”
“What Spanish guy?”
“I dunno. Isn’t there always some Spanish guy who’s not getting it done? Or some Japanese guy? Or, come to think of it, some American guy? Or was that me?”
“Pelf, they got you on painkillers still?”
“I dunno, man. Rest of the staff as Pelfed up as you?”
“Lately, yeah. Except for Harvey.”

“Harvey. Matt Harvey. Big kid, first-round draft choice a couple of years ago. Throws hard. Strikes guys out. Totally fearless.”
“Dude, that’s me!”
“No, Pelf, that’s you in your other dream, the one where you developed into…never mind. Any chance we’re gonna see you again this year?”
“I dunno, man. I’m workin’ out, but my agent says I should be careful. Hope I don’t have to go to St. Lucie. St. Lucie sucks. I just wanna get a fresh start next year.”
“I hear that. This year sucks, just like last year sucked and the year before it sucked and the year before that.”
“Totally, dude. I thought the Mets were supposed to be so good when we started there and now it’s like they always suck.”
“We sure do.”
“Yeah, you guys sure do. But tell everybody hi for me. Except for that Harry kid.”
“You mean Harvey?”
“Whoever, man. I don’t like him stealing my dream. Whoa, who’s lighting the torch?”
“OK, Pelf. Talk to ya soon.”