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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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Bad Call

If all I did was watch SNY (and it’s close), I’d have no problem picking a Mets MVP for 2006.

Clearly, it’s Dave Magadan. Every time I turn this channel on, there he is going 3-for-4. He’s gotta be 21-for-28 by now. And the Mets are on the verge of clinching of the National League East in 1986 for the seventh time.

Hey, who doesn’t love a Mets Classic? I’m thrilled knowing that every time we play this game, we win this game. September 17, 1986 was a great night. But just for the hell of it, they could show, I don’t know, September 18, 1986. Or any game in any year. Isn’t there another Mets Classic? (They did say they’ll show Pedro’s 200th win again soon, but apparently not soon enough.)

It would be classic enough if we could successfully finish out the current game against the Cardinals which, if I can think back that far, has us out in front 4-3 going to the bottom of the seventh. If we don’t start up again, we don’t get a win, just a suspension. Last week, when it rained in the fifth in Philadelphia, we lost. Is there even a single rule that goes in our favor?

Not that I’m paranoid or anything, just a Mets fan. If I were paranoid, I’d be sure my flagship radio station hates me.

Didja see this? Didja hear about this? Next Thursday, in some misguided act of charity, the Mets will give Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy the day off and replace them with WFAN’s afternoon drive time team, the same guys who have taken undisguised glee in every Mets misstep of the past 17 years. The kicker is two Mets executives (one of them an owner) get to sit in and take calls later, but it’s hardly an even trade.

Listen, you wanna mess around in the middle of March, all right. Not really, but no harm done. But this is a regulation game they’re gonna pollute. It’s against the Phillies. At the moment, that’s a showdown for first (if the Braves don’t blow by both of us any minute now). The Mets and WFAN are screwing with their brand and their product. They’re screwing with us. Anybody who tunes into the game at 1:10 on May 25 will not be treated to a professional broadcast. They’ll just be treated with contempt.

It’s just one game, you say? Yeah, OK. But what if it’s a BIG game? What if it’s the kind of game that you’ll want to have the call of forever? What if there’s a walkoff homer? Six hits by a Met? What if, not god forbid because you’re not gonna toss it back but still…what if the Mets experience their first no-hitter and instead of Howie Rose describing it from the sanctity of the Bob Murphy Radio Booth it’s Mike Fucking Francesa and Chris Fucking Russo?

What if?

Strike three. There it is. Pedro Martinez completes the game without giving up a hit. Dog, I don’t wanna take anything away from the Mets because it is a no-hitter and they haven’t had one before, but it wasn’t a perfect game like Cone or Wells or Larsen threw. Now THAT’S pitching!

Right, Mikey. It wasn’t even as dramatic as Gooden’s with the Yankees.

Gooden? What about Abbott? He threw that no-hitter with one arm! Pedro needed two! It’s not even half as impressive!

Right again, Mikey. Don’t know why Pedro and Lo Duca are jumping around out there. It’s just one game. You’d think they won the World Series! They haven’t won anything!

Look, they’re entitled to be a LITTLE excited, but why don’t we wait until October to go nuts? It’s only May 25, folks. They still have to play the Phillies 13 more times and the Phillies are gonna remember this. And don’t forget, Dog, they’ve got the Yankees in another month. If you want perspective, there it is. Never mind their little no-hitter. You’re going up against the varsity at the end of June. Why don’tcha save a little of that energy you’re using celebrating for when you have to face Moose and the Big Unit?

They’re carrying Pedro off the field, Mikey. Bad job. I’m sorry, but Willie’s gotta put a stop to this. There’s no need for the Mets to be this happy. There’s just no reason for it. None! Very bad job.

You know something else we have to get on Willie about when he comes on with us is letting Pedro finish the game. Just because it’s a no-hitter doesn’t mean you should let him go nine innings. That’s a hundred pitches! He’s gonna break down!

It’s not like the game was out of reach either. Willie was being Grady Little there!

I understand it’s a no-hitter, but c’mon, who cares? The only thing I can say in Willie’s defense is he doesn’t exactly have Mariano out in the pen. We know who the REAL Sandman is in New York, Dog.

Wagner’s no Rivera, that’s for sure, Mikey.

The big problem with the Mets, Dog, is they don’t have a captain like Jeter to keep things in perspective. He’s all about winning in October, not June. You wouldn’t see the Yankees piling on each other like that in JUNE! They’ve been there, they know how to win. That’s experience. Pennants aren’t won in June, folks. They’re won in October. The Mets don’t know that. But how could they?

When you’re right, you’re right, Mikey.

We gotta wrap this up and get it to Mink in the studio. The final totals: Phillies no runs, no hits, no errors…

34 comments to Bad Call

  • Anonymous

    Oh God oh God oh God. No no no no no. This could not happen. It's too cruel.
    I hate those two more than anyone not named Clemens or Alomar.
    Speaking of the FAN, I was stuck listening to it while waiting for the game to resume or get cancelled or whatever, and I'm amazed the people who call the FAN can even dial a phone. They have opposable thumbs, really?
    Take your pick of the FAN's wide selection of morons: There was the guy loudly demanding that the Mets trade Zambrano to somebody. (For what? A mailroom attendant?) There was the guy fuming that Wright had to go because his defense is no good (overstated but at least containing a sliver of truth) and his bat gets tired, whatever that means. Still, I think my favorite was the guy who wanted to trade Milledge (or Wright, or Tom Seaver, or the Empire State Building — it wasn't clear) to get Scott Kazmir back.
    Scott Kazmir! Why not trick Flynn, Henderson, Zachry and Norman into showing up for Old Timers Day and frog-marching them back to Cincinnati? Steve Somers was so startled by that one that he just subbed “Barry Zito” for Kazmir and kept rolling.
    This is why I hate rain delays.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of the FAN, what is with this UPS ad that luxuriates in its mockery and hatred of baseball? How is this any way to convert an audience to using your service?
    Dear UPS: I like baseball. I don't care that it sometimes involves lengthy mound conferences.
    Oh, and baseball players work on Saturday. Unlike you assholes.
    If I have any more venom to spew, you'll be the first to know.

  • Anonymous

    Given Doc's current engagement, there will be a spot open on Old Timer's Night. I vote to give it to Henderson. He was traded for Kingman and Kingman was shoved aside for Hernandez. Even though Kingman had a big home run year for Oakland in '86, nobody missed him.
    Don't mind me, I take everything literally.

  • Anonymous

    Still beats those dratted Game Six spots they shoved in our ears during Spring training.
    Say, that movie came and went in a flash. You can thank me Sunday night.

  • Anonymous

    It's going to be embarrassing to have those two assclowns emanating from my radio at work next week. Why couldn't they have picked a Sunday afternoon game I could watch on TV? Or at least a night game I could follow on Gameday (which was frustratingly behind with updates on tonight's game)?

  • Anonymous

    You mean you expect them to take a Mets fan's concerns into account when making frighteningly dimwitted programming decisions? What team you been rooting for and what station you been listening to?

  • Anonymous

    As a listener of the Mike and the Mad Dog program for ages, often times missing only a few minutes per week (say, late Friday afternoons in the fall and winter), as well as a former intern for said program, I think one clarification is in order. These guys don't hate the Mets, or even dislike them. The joy taken in the Mets' missteps is more along the lines of “tweaking” Mets management and Mets fans in general, both groups being overly sensitive. Not that that makes the needling any more excusable, but true motives should be recognized.
    That said, this is truly a disgrace. Preseason? Fine. An inning or two during a summer game to raise money for charity? Tolerable. But a regular season game with meaning? In a season that's not 1993? Ugh. Aside from the dialogue, anti-Mets and otherwise, that is sure to be an embarassment to the Bob Murphy (getting ready to do a little rolling over) Booth, the points made above about tainted play-by-play are salient. As someone who, in 1999, as a high school senior, sat by a radio/tape player virtually every night during Mets Extra recording the best calls of the year (only to have WFAN do it themselves in November — I taped that too), I've always been a connoisseur of top-notch Mets radio play-by-play, and I've always had a high standard. Maybe as a child of the Gary Cohen generation I'm spoiled. So be it. We all should be. There's been a long history of stellar work coming over the airwaves, and now Met management has sold out a quality day of that, for no better reason than to throw a bone to two guys who may criticize their team (maybe) and radio announcers (hopefully) a little less because they've been allowed to fulfill lifelong dreams that they didn't have the skill to achieve the appropriate way. And under the pretext of charity, no less. Any way true Met fans can raise enough money for charity to make this not happen?

  • Anonymous

    Every Mets fan attending that game (there will presumably be at least 30,000 on hand) should be willing to donate 50 cents to save their brothers and sisters stuck with only the radio that afternoon the humiliation of those tweaking cretins soiling the BMRB. With those 50 cents apiece going to charity, that would match the $15K M&MD are said to be donating (and the Mets are said to be matching). A buck apiece would be even better, but it's bad enough that our dignity is held for ransom even if there's a good cause involved.

  • Anonymous

    The joy taken in the Mets' missteps is more along the lines of “tweaking” Mets management and Mets fans in general, both groups being overly sensitive.
    Half a New York City of baseball fans went absolutely apeshit for two weeks because Billy Wagner uses the same entrance music as their closer. And the Mets fans are overly sensitive?

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I'm one of us, not one of them. Face it, we're completely defensive fans. Why else do we feel the need to chant “Yankees suck!” in the concourse following a 12th-inning Delgado home run to beat the Pirates? And I think the oversensitivity is directly related to the defensiveness. If I recall correctly, there were more Mets fans – rightly – calling in to complain about M&MD making an issue out of nothing than Yankee fans complaining about the issue itself. Why bother getting worked up about it? The need to respond to the teasing at (mostly) Mike's hands that first week (and I was tempted to be heard, believe me) stemmed from Mike knowing exactly how to tweak us. I can't officially speak for everyone, but most Mets fans I know fall into the oversensitive group. And the Yankee fans know it. All it took was one IM tonight – er, last night… why am I still up? – with the words “Jorge juiced one” to get the veins popping.

  • Anonymous

    Right again, Mikey. Don't know why Pedro and Lo Duca are jumping around out there. It's just one game. You'd think they won the World Series! They haven't won anything!
    ——————————-
    God, that's funny.
    I guess first of all, if having these two bozos announce a game is what it takes for the Mets to get their first no-no, I'll take it. Due apologies to Howie Rose, but we'll at least have GC on the TV side. I'm not wrong here, am I?
    Second of all, the sentiment here is spot-on, as usual. Spring Training…MAYBE. But this amounts to FAN just peeing all over the Mets. There is a certain undeniable sanctity to a regular season game. And it's like…Thanksgiving has come around, but, just for the hell of it, we're gonna let Crazy Aunt Can't-Cook Selma bake up your still kickin' Grandma's famously delicious apple pie. Who knows what Crazy Aunt Selma's going to do with it? Maybe she'll throw raisins in…or spinach. Maybe it won't be baked quite long enough. In the end, all you know is it ain't gonna be Grandma's apple pie…just Crazy Aunt Can't-Cook Selma's version of it. It's going to be a disgusting joke and you're not gonna end up with any dessert, let alone the one you cherish so. Why is grandma even sanctioning this? It's all very confusing and horrible.
    Thanksgiving analogies in May? Apple pie instead of pumpkin? Something is seriously wrong and it's all the fault of Whiner and the Wind Bag.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, if there's a no-hitter, John Sterling and any member of the Wack Pack could do the game and I suppose we'd live with it. But we shouldn't have to. There's probably not gonna be a no-hitter if that's any consolation.
    It's not just the crazy aunt with the erratic recipe. It's that she hates (or tweaks) you and your family every chance she gets. And now the family is subject to her nutty whims and her nutty pies and her nutty who knows what.
    Of course GC is preferable, but not everybody can be in front of a TV (never mind the posterity of it all when we rely on radio to preserve our call of record). If you can't be watching SNY, then you're better off trying to pull in hateful Phillies radio that day. Or getting your updates from a woodpecker pecking out code…three taps on the tree? Reyes stole second! It'll beat, “Dog, this reminds me of something Bill said to me one year at Saratoga when he had to shoot a really speedy horse. It broke his heart, but it was the right thing to do.”

  • Anonymous

    Not to defend the “Yankees suck” chants when there's no particular reason for them, but having seen firsthand a bunch of strutting, preening Yankee fans generally making asses of themselves at Shea when the Mets were playing the freaking Marlins the first week of the season, I can understand the need some people feel to treat every great Mets moment as a giant middle finger in the Yankee fans' faces. I still feel it's acting a bit too much like them, but it's preferable to the truly crazy people who think it's okay to root for the Yankees “because they're a New York team, too.”

  • Anonymous

    Anyone happen to know the frequency of the Phillies' station? I may just be that desperate.
    God, if they wanted to do a Mike & The Mad Dog related stunt for charity, why couldn't they have just set up a dunk tank? Can you imagine how much money that would raise…

  • Anonymous

    I'll cop to being an oversensitive Met fan, having a serious case of little-brother syndrome, the whole thing. But this is what annoys me so much about this.
    I can accept that we share a city, and the Yankees are the top team. (For now. I'll do better at accepting the opposite, once the karmic wheel turns.)
    I can accept that SNY can't seriously go with my preference for pretending the Yankees don't exist except when they lose pathetically or Steinbrenner sics a Rottweiler on Cashman or something I'd want to snicker over. (Though I do hate the SNY ad with TV Head painting the Yankee prostitute's toenails. I get through it by imagining that after fadeout TV Head and the Met girl came to their senses and strangled her.)
    I can accept that we have to share mindshare on our flagship station, and those two morons are star attraction of that flagship station. I don't like it, but I can accept it.
    But this is all the more reason to please, please, please give me my sanctuary from all this acceptance — three hours in which the Mets are the story and their doings are presented by professionals without axes to grind. I'll accept all the rest. I don't see why I should have to accept this.
    And whether what's required is TV or Internet or going to Philly or asking crazy people on the street or parsing woodpecker noises, I won't accept it.

  • Anonymous

    Particularly if the tank were filled with acid.

  • Anonymous

    WPHT 1210 AM. Don't know where you are, Jess', but it crackles in listenably on Long Island. In the city, who knows?
    Valuable resource we have under Frequency on our page is something called Radio Roadtrip. It tells you what stations carry whose games where. Should you ever have the desire to drive the Northeast Corridor and listen to Harry Kalas, here's where to tune for best reception:

  • Anonymous

    Doesn't seem too much to ask.

  • Anonymous

    Greg – This has to be one of the top articles you have written. I could hear the two idiots as I read it. Pompous Inc and Screaming Ninny make me sick. Cripes, self-professes Bonds fan Screaming Ninny didn't even know how many HR's Ruth had.

  • Anonymous

    I may have salvation, for those who will be at work and near a computer. If I understand correctly, MLB.tv has an audio package to listen to any live baseball game on either team's frequency. I think that's how it works. Ah, but it costs $14.95, you say? True, but that includes a $13.50 Sports Illustrated subscription which can immediately be cancelled and the money refunded, while you keep your MLB.com account. So…. the right to listen to all baseball games (or even just one next Thursday on Philly radio) for $1.45. My friend did this and it works. Given the reaction to this M&MD news, I feel like many people would pay $1.45, even if it was just for this one game. As for the ethical issues of ordering a subscription you know you're going to cancel, well… when they question you about it Up There, you'll have a damned good excuse.

  • Anonymous

    Suffice to say, SNY isn't likely to give air time to you trouble-making blogger types to allow you to sound off on this topic; I believe all you guys on Mets Weekly effectively killed “Our Team, Our Time.”
    I'll be at the game Thursday so I won't be affected; still just a tehble, tehble idea. Bwutal.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, but it saddens me that I know their tics that well.
    Would it be insensitive to refer to them as Blowhard and the Retard?

  • Anonymous

    Y'know, I felt slightly bad about OTOT after seeing the actual songwriters on the show. It's not their fault they wrote a horrible song at least as far as anybody hearing it but them and their terrier. It's the fault of those who scooped it up and gave it a place of honor.
    Scoop it up and give it a place of honor…sounds a lot like what the Mets are doing with the crap they're shoveling into the booth next week.

  • Anonymous

    I think I've figured out my plan for Thursday:
    1 – Given the close proximity of my dorm and my workplace, I can probably get 3 innings worth of Gameday on my computer if I time my lunch break just right.
    2 – WADO 1280 broadcasts Mets games en Español. Although I've probably forgotten 90% of what I learned in the 2 years since then, I did get a 5 out of 5 on the AP Spanish exam. I also have a few co-workers who are native Spanish speakers.

  • Anonymous

    Whaddya mean, “nobody missed him”?
    If he's not on that all-Mets team, I ain't goin.

  • Anonymous

    The last time I felt compelled to listen to a Mets game in Spanish was in 1983. A station in Florida had us and the Dodgers on and it was better than nothing. I understood “Strawberry” and not a lot else. WADO, however, be more decipherable than Chris Russo.

  • Anonymous

    Theme of OTN is 20th anniversary, 1986. Dave Kingman's role on the '86 Mets still not apparent.
    Other than as a source of continuing inspiration, of course.

  • Anonymous

    KF, I was wondering what had happened to you. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Ahh. Thought you were referring to the all-time Mets team promo that WB11 is running. I met the producer at a kids birthday party, and badgered him to include Kong in the voting.
    As for the 20th-anniversary celebration, I bought the '86-themed six-pack specifically to attend that game. Imagine my horror when the wife told me our previously-scheduled family vacation is spread neatly across that weekend. Iam trying to determine the cost in both $ and family fallout if I bail on the trip for the day.

  • Anonymous

    Been busy at work. Also did some business traveling. Caught the Sox/Angels game Wednesday 5/10. GREAT stadium – I hope they build those gigantic concourses into our new park. It's fun to wander around, eat and drink. And there's enough room for thousands of people to watch the game under the covered concourse areas when it's raining, as we did.
    My orange BP jersey really stood out amongst a sea of black and gray in the bleachers. A lot of puzzled “Why are you wearing a Mets jersey? comments from the crowd. Uh, because I like them?

  • Anonymous

    Don't forget to calculate the harm to your psyche if you don't get to stand and applaud Stanley Jefferson. That's huge.
    I don't know if Kingman will get much of a chance in that election if you met the producer at a kids' birthday party. The producer may be too young to remember even Jason Phillips. I guess it depends on the age of the kids.
    Unless he was one of the parents.

  • Anonymous

    “Because like you I hate the Cubs” would also have sufficed. And maybe bought you an Old Style.

  • Anonymous

    I don't really hate the Cubs. Sure, there's a little resentment about them edging us out in '84 and '98, and sure, I heard more “Mets suck” than I needed to last Met game I went to at Wrigley, but all in all I consider them fairly harmless. They have a neat stadium, they have a cute little cartoon bear on their shirt, they haven't won a WS in 99 years so they're hardly threatening. They hate us, but I feel this sort of benign indifference toward them.
    The Cards, on the other hand… still some residual 80s hatred.

  • Anonymous

    Too nuanced for Comiskey. Go with I pity the Cubs…and hate the Cardinals.