When I was covering the Mets-Cubs game on July 2, I noticed Mets owner Fred Wilpon chatting with Fox broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz by the batting cage before the game. Not being close enough to overhear, too far to read lips, and lacking a wall to be a fly on, I wondered what could they be discussing. Could it have been something like this…
Fred: John, how are you?
John: Great, Fred. Nice to see you again. How are things?
Fred: Not bad, I can’t complain. Could be better, could be worse. Surprised we’re having some pitching issues…I was thinking, what do you say, think you could give us 10 starts between now and the end of the season?
John: Ten starts? I don’t know Fred. I haven’t started a game since I retired in 2009 and I was 42 then. How about closing?
Fred: Closing? I don’t know…Familia is having another good year for us but we could use bullpen help. Feel like being our seventh inning guy?
John: Seventh inning? Hmm, I don’t know. I’m a Hall of Famer, Fred. If I’m coming back, I’d have to at least close games.
Fred: Yeah, I could see that, John. No hard feelings. I just figured I’d ask.
John: No problem. I’ll see you at Piazza’s induction ceremony in Cooperstown…should be fun.
Fred: Yes, see you then.