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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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The Spin Doctors

So just to set up for the week ahead, we've got Trachsel Monday night against the Diamondbacks (last year, no game on Memorial Day, this year a night game; we're getting there), Soler on Tuesday followed by Pedro on normal rest. After an off day, it will be Glavine Friday, Hernandez Saturday and back to Trachsel on Sunday.

Do you know what that means? It means barring the unforeseen — and there's been lots of that — we have an actual rotation spinning on its own axis every five games. It includes a rookie with just one start and an ancient who's put in only five innings (four lovely, one icky) as a Met, but it shapes up as…let's just say it shapes up. Since the dehammyfication of Bannister and the zapping of Zambrano, we haven't been able to say that much. It's shown.

Yet here we are, still in first place by a reasonable margin despite a month or so when 40% of our starts have been taken by the lame and the halting and 20% more thrown by somebody who isn't Pedro Martinez or Tom Glavine.

Glavine's clearly the MVP of this club to date. He hasn't tossed a single bad game yet. Probably not a bad inning. It would be co-MVPs except Pedro and wins have been strangers on a train lately. He was right, though, the other night when he told the assembled reporters at his locker that he didn't lose to Florida just because he got tagged with an L. I haven't seen him lose since he's become a Met. Sometimes the other team wins is all. Hell, I'd say there haven't been any no-decisions where he's concerned. The decision to sign him was brilliant, the decision to space out his starts has been genius, the decision to not score on his behalf…well, there we could use a little less indecisiveness and a few more runs.

Not a problem for Orlando Hernandez who was spotted four in the first and took care of Marlin business thereafter. The second inning was a little slimy (as Fish, even the baby ones, tend to be), but he righted himself and the Mets were smart enough to score a few more on his behalf. They generally score for everybody but Pedro. I haven't kept track, but it seems Beltran's doing the inverse of last year. He'll homer for you and you and you and you, but not you, Pedro. You already got yours.

Let's assume the “neggies” (the downcast stats and trends sunshine-minded PR departments don't care to disseminate; the beat men on the '62 Mets popularized their calculation) will even themselves out and that the pozzies will keep pumping as they have. Let's assume that because it's no fun to go the other way.

• Let's assume Glavine is the living embodiment of what Leo Mazzone said about him a generation ago: “Payback is a bitch with Tommy Glavine. Just look into his eyes sometime.” I don't know whom he's paying back, but I like this effectively vengeful side of him.

• Let's assume the offense will sign a Louisville Slugger of apology and present it to Pedro.

• Let's assume Alay Soler won't become Julio Valera (he wasn't bad his first start either).

• Let's assume Trachsel is, you know, Trachsel.

• And let's assume Orlando E.D. Hernandez is capable of four splendid innings for every occasional clinker, a ratio beyond the grasp of John Maine, Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez. Unless we're primed to recall Jim Palmer, Jack Morris or Juan Marichal, let's stay away from J-boys, OK?

Assume all that and you're spinning pretty good for yourself.

12 comments to The Spin Doctors

  • Anonymous

    The Braves won again today (can't the Cubs do anything right?) and Oscar Villareal picked up another vulture win. That puts him at 7-0 this year. 7-0! What's Pedro's record again? What's Randy Freakin' Johnson's record? (They should start playing “Mother's Little Helper” by the Stones while he warms up).
    Yeah, it was nice for El Duque to pick up a win here, his leg kick is still awesome, as long as he was gonna give up a long home run, couldn't he at least have done it against Jacobs?
    Speaking of spin, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling were talking today, in light of Beltran's recent offensive resurgence (I think it's safe to say he'll have more than 16 HRs this year), about how it's so good to have the pressure off Beltran with the new Mets line up and how his big contract contributed to undeliverable expectations. Okay, true, but let's be rational here: if the contract inhibited Beltran's ability to play, it's his fault! Or his agent's fault. He could have negotiated for less and I'm sure the Mets would have been happy to pay it and he wouldn't have felt like he had such a towering price to live up to.
    They were talking about how the Marlin's have a $15 million pay roll…well, I think everyone should have one. Maybe $20 million. How you ask? Well, I think players should have salary caps as well. Nobody, and I mean nobody, not Albert Pujols, not Barry Bonds, not Pedro, not Beltran deserves more than $2 million a year to play baseball. Not when we pay teachers, policemen and firefighters a minute fraction of that. It's literally one of the best jobs concieveable, if they don't love it enough to get paid a more reasonable salary, they don't deserve to play. I don't care that the entire commercial entertainment industry is like that–this isn't supposed to be commercial entertainment–it's supposed to be baseball, pure and simple.

  • Anonymous

    “four splendid innings for every clinker” …
    Mets had a guy like that once. He lost 18 straight decisions.
    Mostly wasn't his fault — he pitched well nearly all the time.
    But then, he always seemed to give up one more run than
    his teammates could score for him. Let's hope “old” fits
    El Duque better than “Young.”

  • Anonymous

    Hey, speaking of dehammyfication, does anyone know what the story is with Bannister? Is he going to make another attempt at a rehab start any time soon?

  • Anonymous

    >> Unless we're primed to recall Jim Palmer, Jack Morris or Juan Marichal, let's stay away from J-boys, OK? <<
    Jerry Koosman? Jon Matlack? Jesse Orosco?

  • Anonymous

    Not to mention John Franco…not sure which side he goes on.

  • Anonymous

    Oh God, that Braves-Cubs game. So weird on so many levels. Not only did the Braves come so tantalizingly close to losing a game where they homered 8 times and held a 4-run lead going into the 9th, the Cubs actually did manage to lose a game where they scored 12 runs and struck out 18. Not only that, but they lost in typically inept Cub fashion, with the deciding run reaching base on a popup that donked off of Aramis Ramirez's head. I would have laughed my ass off if they had been playing against pretty much any other team.

  • Anonymous

    Orlando E.D. Hernandez?
    I thought you were implying that there were Levitra endorsement possibilities in his future (gosh, those FAF guys really do their research).
    Oh, wait. (little light bulb clicks on)
    El Duque.
    Nevermind.

  • Anonymous

    Still not entirely comfortable buying into a nickname I carefully avoided while he was employed elsewhere in the Metropolitan area. I try to refer to that organization's leading relief pitcher as Rivera, its longtime centerfielder as Williams and its erstwhile first baseman as Martinez. To go the first-name or nickname route is to unnecessarily humanize them.
    But you may be onto something. Perhaps Ed (we'll call him Ed) could use new representation.

  • Anonymous

    Outside, it's over 80 degrees. In here, you just gave me shivers.
    Anthony Young. Twenty-seven straight losses. I swear I think his ERA in '93 was better than that of Jack McDowell who won the A.L. Cy Young. Talk about snakebit.
    Hey, let's not talk about snakebit. Diamondbacks in town tonight.

  • Anonymous

    The Braves' version of blowing a game in embarrassing, Wagnerian fashion is to win it in 11. They turn me into Eric Cartman at the end of every episode. I hate them so very, very much.

  • Anonymous

    In the words of John Legend, this time he'll take it slow. (I haven't heard of any progress.)

  • Anonymous

    At least today's game had a far more pleasant result (12-5 Dodgers), with the Braves doing their best to emulate the sort of first-inning defensive meltdowns the Marlins displayed yesterday and John Thomson (whom I find exceedingly annoying even by Brave standards) not making it out of the 2nd.