Anthony Rieber has been at Newsday since Aug. 31, 1998 and in his current position since 2004.
At about the same moment as Josh Satin hit the tying single in the ninth inning for the Mets Monday night, Ike Davis was getting ready to play first base for the Las Vegas 51s.
A couple hours later, when Satin scored the tying run in the Mets' 5-4, 13-inning victory over the Diamondbacks, Davis was suffering through an 0-for-5, three-strikeout night.
At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, Satin was sitting at what used to be Davis' locker. The 28-year-old career minor-leaguer was explaining how it felt to be a regular contributor to a major-league team for the first time in his life.
"It's very gratifying,'' said Satin, who Tuesday night had another go-ahead hit, a double in the Mets' seven-run seventh inning in a rain-delayed, 9-1 win over Arizona.
"It's been a long road to this point for me,'' said Satin (1-for-3, walk), who is batting .390 with no homers and six RBIs. "Longer than probably anybody in this clubhouse knows, dating back to college and whatnot. As far as seizing the opportunity, I didn't really know how much of an opportunity I was going to get."
Satin started his ninth consecutive game Tuesday night. Opportunity granted. Opportunity seized.
Davis, meanwhile, homered in his first at-bat Tuesday night against Fresno in 110-degree heat. He was batting .275 with six home runs and 12 RBIs in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. In the same circuit, Satin hit .305 with nine homers and 32 RBIs. He has never hit more than 14 homers in a minor-league season.
"Josh deserves some at-bats,'' manager Terry Collins said. "He's getting big hits for us. Every team has somebody that surprises you and saves you. Right now, he's our savior because this guy has come up and filled a big hole for us.''
That he had to fill a big hole is one of the reasons it's hard to get too worked up about the Mets' "B'' squad, if you will, and their recent success.
Satin's play is helping the Mets win some games, as is that of 35-year-old rightfielder Marlon Byrd, 31-year-old shortstop Omar Quintanilla and 28-year-old outfielder Andrew Brown, who hit the walk-off, two-run single Monday and was rewarded with a start in left Tuesday night.
What none of those guys is doing is helping the Mets with the future they keep trying to sell at Citi Field. That's about Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler on the mound and was supposed to be about Davis and Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda and Travis d'Arnaud at the plate.
Well, Davis is in the desert, as is the rehabbing Tejada, who isn't guaranteed to get his job back. Duda's on the disabled list and d'Arnaud is, too, with the catching prospect having to prove he's not too injury-prone to become a star.
Davis is 26 and was supposed to have a high ceiling. The Mets told you -- and him -- what they think of him when he wasn't recalled after going 7-for-14 with five homers in a four-game span from June 20-24.
The Mets cited a spate of opposing lefthanded pitchers. Now, with six righthanded starters scheduled to face the Mets in the next seven games, Davis will likely stay with Vegas anyway.
"[Davis] didn't have a very good night [Monday],'' Collins said. "He's made big progress. He's still got a little movement in his hands, but certainly not as drastic as it was . . . I certainly don't know if he's going to get called up or not.''
Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter may play in their next big-league game before Davis does. That's not good news for Davis or, in the long term, the Mets, no matter how nice it is that Josh Satin is enjoying his extended opportunity.