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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Insult to Injury

So Braden Looper finally fessed up about what a lot of people connected to our team suspected: He's been battling a shoulder injury. He'll have surgery. But here's the catch: He's been battling it since last September.

Wha?

Gory details here: Looper thought the pain would go away on its own (or maybe he didn't want to tell those butchering morons from the NYU Medical Center), found out it was the AC joint in late winter, and then decided not to have surgery, since the six-week recovery time could have sidelined him into April. Then he just dealt with it, becoming more and more ineffective.

Well, Jesus Christ. I mean, what the fuck? Dude, tell your agent — apparently this a pretty common injury for pitchers, meaning somebody might have figured out what was wrong earlier. Tell a doctor, provided he or she doesn't work for the NYU Medical Center. And if you do go into the season with an injury that then won't go away, tell the goddamn manager. It's important to remember none of us saw Roberto Hernandez as much more than Mike Matthews or Felix Heredia in spring training, so the cry of “Roberto could have started the season as closer!” is 20/20 hindsight. But still — what if Looper had gotten the shoulder cleaned up in May or June? Could that have made a difference in September?

Shutting your mouth and playing hurt seems so macho, but it can kill a team. Particularly if it means a groundball pitcher has trouble getting the ball down in the zone. Looper — universally praised as a stand-up guy who takes his media licks — has taken pains to say he's not using the injury as an alibi for his poor season. He shouldn't worry: I'm much more pissed at him now than I was when I just thought he was having a crap year.

By the way: This sucked too. Why didn't Willie bat for Trachsel in the 4th, when it was 5-2 and we had a runner on? Why didn't he bat for Ishii — a guy who's not going to be on the team next year, and about whom nothing more needs to be discovered — in the 6th, when it was 7-3? Instead of trying to chip away, he conceded both innings to avoid taxing a rather full bullpen. Why manage like it's July when you're in Game #158? Inexplicable.

Update, from Adam Rubin in the Daily News: “Looper had trouble with the AC joint late last season, but the organization's former medical staff did not advocate surgery.” Incredible. The only thing left for NYU Medical Center is to reveal that they performed brain surgery on Roberto Alomar and just might have accidentally nicked the parts of his cerebellum that govern desire and leadership.

7 comments to Insult to Injury

  • Anonymous

    So he didn't suck, he was just a liar.
    Man, I hate Braden Looper. Not searing Armando hate, but what was the point of his being here for the past two years?
    I know you said we should cherish every one of these remaining games, but cherish isn't the word I would use to describe after this one. At least it reminded us why this team didn't win that extra handful of games that would have kept us alive. Thanks a lot, No. 158. You're a pistol.
    Congratulations to Joe Randa and the 2005 National League Western Division Champion San Diego Padres on your title, a great season and a record one game less than that of the New York Mets. You're a credit to your race — the National League Western Division race.
    The Rockies are still alive for a fourth-place tie with the Dodgers. They could come here brimming with motivation. Clint Hurdle is firing them up on the runway at LaGuardia right now, I'll bet.

  • Anonymous

    I flew up from Atlanta to see the game (I like seeing the Mets tortured, so kill me) and sat in the second deck behind 3rd wearing my John Bolton mustache and a wig so that I wouldn't be recognized.
    I used to be worried that I wouldn't be able to continue in baseball after I retire, but I think I could manage the game better than Willie, so there may be some life in me yet. Even the everyday fans around me (a whole group of fannypack-wearing Mets fans in front of me [what's with all the fannypacks on the Mets fans?] and a tattoo-ridden local next to me) were perplexed with the management of the game. Trachsel was getting hammered, sharp line drives all over the place, and I was sure he was done in the 4th, but out he comes to bat (.077 BA, kids!) and kill a rally. Then, the same with Ishii (even with a so-called .250 BA– the guy is a pitcher). Manuel let Padilla hit in the 6th, so he does this sort of thing too.
    Ishii rewarded the managers faith in his rally killing abilities by getting men on 2nd and 3rd with no one out. And Graves sucks by the way. You'd think that they'd be at least looking at the bullpen callups, since it seems like there should be some bullpen slots open come February.

  • Anonymous

    Smoltzie, we don't get it either. Nice work on that Home Depot ad, by the way. It makes me feel young again.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Makes me feel young again too. I'm doing one for Finazzle spackle next week. I'll run starting in the Spring, you're gonna love it.
    Anyway, I shouldn't bring this up, being hair-challenged myself, but are all Mets fans prone to male pattern baldness? The whole group in front of me was like a pool rack last night. I never noticed it at Shea– I guess I thought that it was always “batting helmet day.”
    Good luck with the off season.
    PS– what's with the fannypacks too? I thought that they weren't for sale north of the Mason-Dixon line.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks John. We'll see you in the offseason a week from tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    Why such bitterness?
    Yeah, figures. We'll have to play the wild card and that hasn't worked out very well over the last 3 years or so. Seems like the powers that be want to make the wild card spot harder to overcome. Probably get that done just in time for the Braves to win the wild card.
    Nice playing a few extra games though– never know what will happen (Cardinals will win *if* we don't). Too bad Braves fans are too spoiled by our past success to turn out in force.
    I feel for you guys saying adios to Piazza. Hey, I've been here seventeen years and especially this year it seems like everyone is new. It's always exciting to get good new guys in the clubhouse, but seeing good guys go (like when Tommy went up there) is always a little tough.
    Hope you guys have a good home-stand against the Rockies. At least you end the year at home.

  • Anonymous

    You must be pretty happy for your buddy Glavine.