While the Mets and embattled set-up man J.J. Putz have have turned a 5-3, 8th inning lead into an 8-5 deficit in Pittsburgh, let’s turn our attention to the somewhat lighter topic of longtime Amazins’ P.R. flak Jay Horowitz.

Having worked damage control for 30 decades plus in Flushing, it would stand to reason Jay —- charmingly dubbed “my favorite Jew boy” by that great man of letters Jason Isringhausen — would have a few hot stories to share with the New York Daily News’ Filip Bondy.  And perhaps he does, but since both of those guys would like to keep their jobs, the following will have to suffice.

There were all those times he would bring Dwight Gooden or  another troubled player to Smithers, now the Addiction Institute of New York. He was such a regular, the staff there thought Horwitz was in treatment.

“I had a Met jacket on, the lady said to me, ˜What’s your problem?'” Horwitz says. “I said, ˜I don’t really have a problem. I’m here with this player.’ She said, ˜Sir, to overcome this thing, you’ve got to admit it. Is it drugs? Is it cocaine? You’re not going to get any better.’ I remember finally saying, ˜I OD-ed on Twinkies and Yoo-hoo.'”

It was the same story after the Cooter’s incident in Houston, when a handful of Mets were arrested. Horwitz went to court so many times with those players that friends and family would see him on television and ask if he was facing trial.

The players cut his ties, or painted whiteout on his glasses when he fell asleep on flights. John Franco put a rat in his bag. Dallas Green put eyeblack on his binoculars so he looked like a raccoon without knowing it. Bobby Wine, the former coach, engineered the scariest prank of all: He removed the head of a wooden horse in the lobby of a Los Angeles hotel, placed it on Horwitz’ pillow and poured on ketchup to look like blood.

“Godfather” all over again. And yes, Horwitz screamed all the way into the hallway.

Thanks, Filip, for explaining that particular joke. Otherwise I would’ve thought Bobby Wine was a big “National Velvet” fan.