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ABOUT US

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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Welcome to the Machine

The holiday weekend was also my 15th college reunion, so tonight was my first chance in a couple of days to really focus on orange-and-blue dramas. Sure, I did my share of one-earing it over the weekend, which isn't coincidental: As a high-school senior I wound up picking between New Haven and Boston, and opted for New Haven because I thought I'd be able to sometimes see and usually hear the Mets there. (In 1987 the Mets were way up the dial on some low-powered station; as it turned out, even in New Haven listening was hit and miss at night after some Toronto station jacked its signal strength. Boston? No chance.)

Anyway, while keeping an occasional ear on Met doings I did manage to curse Tom Glavine: I tuned in Saturday afternoon to hear a certain excitement in Howie's voice; it was obvious just from the way The Eventual Met's pitches were being described that Something of Import was happening. As I suspected, no Marlin had reached base; no sooner had I started fretting that I'd anger all my friends by spending the next 90 minutes huddled in the fetal position while Glavine pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history than Reggie Abercrombie put an end to that. Oops. Sorry, Glav.

By the time I tuned in Sunday El Duque had departed; tonight I was determined that it was me and the Mets. Well, me, the Mets and endurance: Two rain delays and Trachsel was cruel, and the way Trachsel pitched was crueler. That aside, this one had little pieces to remember even before the extremely satisfying denouement: Lo Duca's ballet for hand, second base and Orlando Hudson's glove was entertaining, as was his double down the third-base line that hit…the bag? (No.) A rock? (No.) The lip of the grass? (Yes!)

As we fought back and coughed the lead up and fought back again, I found myself thinking about baseball teams and the long season. It's an unhappy fact of baseball life that lots of times what gets you to the postseason (or X distance into it) ahead of the other guy is everything breaking right: Major guys don't get hurt, platooners and bench guys and middle relievers have career years, balls land on chalk instead of just beyond it, and so on. With that in mind, if you want some more hopeful spin I sure saw some stuff rotating tonight: Once again we were behind late and I wasn't in the least bit scared — I had a feeling things would line up somehow.

Carlos Delgado is ice-cold? Cliff Floyd is heating up.

Kaz Matsui has finally run out of Met lives? Jose Valentin has found himself.

Xavier Nady can't hit in the clutch? Endy Chavez does nothing but.

Baseball teams sometimes get referred to as machines, but if so they're rarely drive-me-off-the-dealer-lot Ferraris. Instead, they're kit cars whose hoods are always up, with the daily drive a mad scramble for new parts and old parts and slightly reconditioned parts and parts banged into place while cursing and parts extracted and left for some other sucker to make use of. Sometimes the car winds up on the side of the road by June and it's a long walk to next February. Sometimes you get into September babying it and hoping, only to see the dash turn into a sea of red lights. And sometimes….

Shit, I ain't jinxing it. Let's just say that sometimes you get to the end of May and listen approvingly to the engine and flip the dial and hit the fourth great song in a row that's just beginning and you think, Baby, let's floor it.

20 comments to Welcome to the Machine

  • Anonymous

    Right now, Mets are between being a good team and something special. I'm going to get out to Shea Tuesday night for the first time this season to see Soler pitch. Got a gnawing suspicion he will be a key as June-July fold into August-September.

  • Anonymous

    “Baby, You Can Drive My Car”…..!!!

  • Anonymous

    “I wound up picking between New Haven and Boston”
    See, that's the difference. A fan of the Hated Yankees would have said he was picking between Yale and Harvard. Modesty, thy colors are blue and orange.
    By the way, you picked wisely.

  • Anonymous

    Do fans of the Hated Yankees have those choices?
    (Said by someone whose choice was between Hempstead and Tampa.)

  • Anonymous

    MY choice was between Yellow Springs, OH and working at the Fort Lee Shop-Rite the rest of my life…
    And Jason, I didn't know you were an old Eli. How's it feel to have the same pedigree as Rory Gilmore?

  • Anonymous

    I believe Jason may have been the inspiration for Logan Huntsberger.

  • Anonymous

    My Yale experience was very much like Rory's, except instead of bungee-jumping in tuxedos, my friends and I liked drinking beer, vandalizing things and firing bottle rockets at each other indoors. There were Dorothy Parkeresque bon mots exchanged, but the stereo usually drowned them out.
    Bright college years.

  • Anonymous

    The Ivy League sounds a lot more like the Sun Belt Conference than I ever would have imagined.

  • Anonymous

    President W would be proud of you…John Kerry, of course, would be very disappointed. Not sure what Paris would think of your wild activities…

  • Anonymous

    Oookay, I hardly think I need to point out the strangess of the fact that a whole group of grown men can talk candidly and informedly about Gilmore Girls…

  • Anonymous

    And has Kaz “run out of Met lives?” I'm certainly not complaining–Jose Valetin is producing like he's on steroids–and I never approve of short term fixes by trade for position players, so I like Randolph's not-a-platoon, but I was kinda pulling for Kaz to finally have some success as a Met. He's not a .211 hitter…he's too fast and athletic and has had to much success (how???) in the past to stay in these doldrums…Anyway, I hope Kaz's bat “gets hots” (as Willie says) at least once more before his tenure is up.

  • Anonymous

    How dare you call us strange. As Emily Gilmore said at Rory's Debut Cotillion…holy crap, I've become a chick!! I knew watching Luke, Kirk, Christopher, Richard, Jess, Dean and the rest play second fiddle to the ladies on that show would crush my masculinity. Wish I could take a weekend at the Dragonfly Inn to relax and…..ahhhhh. HELP ME!!!!……

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I must admit I'm a bit surprised that I'm not the only Gilmore Girls fan here. No shame in liking a witty, well-written show, guys (and they even have the occasional baseball reference – for example, the episode where Luke was a chaperone for his daughter's class trip and has a conversation with one of the kids about how Johnny Damon's batting average will drop 20 points this year because the new haircut makes him less intimidating to pitchers. Priceless, I tell ya.)

  • Anonymous

    Thank GOD I brought up the Gilmores thing. I was afraid I would have had to turn in my man card if I spoke openly of my GG affinity — although I could have couched it in the “Laure Graham is HOOOOOOOOTTTTT” vein and gotten by…

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn't be surprised if the pursuit of Mark Grudzulenick is revived once KC has its front-office purge in the coming weeks.

  • Anonymous

    I like Kaz, but I just don't think it's in the cards for him here. There's an article about him over at Metsgeek which I thought was pretty much spot-on.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn't be surprised if the pursuit of Mark Grudzulenick is revived once KC has its front-office purge in the coming weeks.

    Or, y'know…today…

  • Anonymous

    And the breaking and entering. Don't forget about the breaking and entering.

  • Anonymous

    True that.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, good article. He brings up a good point about Kaz's use on the bench. He is a very good sac-bunter and Reyes is one of the worst I've ever seen (that said, he did lay one down tonight), he pops his attempts up with alarming frequency for someone who theoretically has that skill in his repertoire. Teach, Kaz, teach.