43The bad luck and bad pitching that put the Mets in need of two new starters looks like this: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey takes Oliver Perez‘s scheduled start Wednesday, and on Friday, Hisanori Takahashi starts against the Yankees, fresh off a humiliating defeat of the Red Sox tonight. Dickey is en route from Class AAA Buffalo and according to reliable sources already has uni number assigned to him: 43. That number most recently belonged to reliever Brian Stokes. I’m cautiously hopeful that Dickey can beguile his opponents and terrified that Takahashi could see weeks of goodwill in a low-pressure mopup role unravel with a bad start against the Yankees. It’s a shame Dickey won’t have No. 49, which has become something of a symbol for knucklers dating back to Hoyt Wilhelm. The Mets’ last knuckleballer was Dennis Springer, No. 34 for a few ill-fated emergency appearances 10 years ago, as  recalled here.

Another reminder that tonight (Tuesday, May 18) is Amazin’ Tuesday, at a new venue, Two Boots Grand Central. We’ll have beer, pizza (The “Dave Schneck .199” is the special slice) and readings by me, Greg Prince of Faith & Fear in Flushing, Taryn Cooper (My Summer Family) and Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods. I just finsihed CG myself and can tell you it’s excellent, a more focused delivery of the themes on his blog, telling a story of brotherly love, lonesomeness and the evocative power of Topps baseball cards in the 1970s. Josh will have books on hand to sell and sign, I strongly recommend you get a copy!

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