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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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Lesson Plan Unlearned

Time's up. Pencils down. Please pass your papers forward.

Let me look these over…hmmm…no…no…NO.

Class, the Regents is coming up next week and this practice test indicates to me that none of you are ready. I'm not going to embarrass anybody by name, but for the good of everybody, I'm going to read aloud some excerpts from your essays and discuss why they are wrong.

“The Mets won their seventh game in a row ON THE ROAD last night.” Now, can anybody tell me what's wrong with that sentence? Anybody? We should all know by now that the New York Mets rarely win seven games in a row at all and virtually NEVER do so on the road. The Mets are traditionally a very mediocre road club.

“With the win, the Mets raised their mark on the road trip to 8-1.” Again, that would be impossible given what we just went over.

“The Mets began the road trip by taking two out of three in Los Angeles and then sweeping four in Arizona…” Class, what did I tell you about injecting fantasy into your essays? These have to be supported by fact. The Mets do NOT go to the West Coast and enjoy that kind of success.

“…before taking the first two games in Philadelphia, 9-7 and 9-3.” This shows not only a poor grasp of the subject matter, but little relation to reality. The Mets wouldn't travel all the way across the country as is suggested here and score that many runs, even in that ballpark.

“The first-place Mets…” Please, students, ground your work in probabilities, not wishful thinking.

“…opened up an 8-1/2 game lead…” I'm sure you mean “closed to within an 8-1/2 game deficit”.

“…on the Phillies.” What's wrong with this passage? Anyone? That's right, it doesn't mention the Braves. The Braves are ALWAYS the first-place team. This whole paragraph needs rewriting.

“The Mets jumped on losing pitcher Brett Myers right away.” You have to refer to Brett Myers as a winner and explain how he beat them as per usual.

“Rain fell on Citizens Bank Park, interrupting the game while the Mets built up a large lead…” You can't use the word “interrupting” when you mean “postponing”. They're not synonyms. We all should know by now that the rain does not cooperate with the Mets in Philadelphia. I mean if that's your proposition, that the Mets were actually winning in the first few innings against Brett Myers, which can't possibly be right.

Here's something that looks promising: “The only problem the Mets faced was when rookie Lastings Milledge did not run hard on a fly ball to right that was mishandled by Bobby Abreu…” Well, that part is wrong, since Bobby Abreu is a Gold Glove fielder. But a Mets rookie not running hard is correct. Let's read the rest of the sentence.

“…and Milledge was thrown out at home.” Good! Good use of fact.

“However, the incident had little effect on the outcome of the game.”

No, no, NO! When a Met rookie doesn't hustle and is thrown out at the plate, it turns the entire game around. People, we spent a week studying the Timo Perez chapter. Frankly, I expect better from you.

I don't see anything in anybody's essay about how Chase Utley broke the Mets' heart. Nothing about Jimmy Rollins running wild. No Pat Burrell home run. Not even a big pinch-extra-base-hit for David Dellucci. And where's the climax in which a Mets reliever comes in and gives away the winning run? Very sloppy work, class.

And what are these references to “41-23″? This may not be a math class, but you have to be accurate when using numbers. How is it possible that all of you made a 10-game error? Perhaps the Mets are 31-33. But how am I to believe they're EIGHTEEN GAMES over .500?

Did anybody get this essay right? I'm looking through your papers…everybody got a hit…everybody scored a run…the bullpen was nearly untouched…the Mets score at will…the Mets make great plays…the Mets pitch…the Mets win…the Mets have the best record in the baseball…the Mets appear to be the best team in baseball…

Class, this is extremely disappointing. The academic year is coming to an end and I thought we had made some real progress on the subject of the Mets. We are going to have to really hunker down and review the material once more. Let's open our textbooks again. I'll just grab my teacher's edition here, the one with the answer key…

Wait a second. This is an OLD version of the book. These answers are out of date. This text isn't applicable at all to the Mets we're studying now. Everything you learned about them before June 2006 has been rendered invalid. The Mets have rewritten what it means to play textbook baseball.

Class dismissed.

7 comments to Lesson Plan Unlearned

  • Anonymous

    Rookie mistakes? Botched plays made by a good team? Giving the other team extra outs? Failing to make up ground on the 1st place team?
    If you squinted your eyes and turned down the volume on the tv last night, you could swear you were watching a Mets-Braves game from the 1990s.
    JoAnn

  • Anonymous

    Obviously nobody told the new Mets about their duties…and yet, Beltran was a Met last year, wasn't he? And he fell right in line with the above mentioned ancient traditions. Wright and Reyes are too young to know better, but they've never played this way on the road (outside of Arizona) either. What happened to ninth inning errors, Wright? Re-education?
    LoDuca, Delgado, Chavez, Valentin, Milledge (his success is a Rookie Mistake), (47 year-old) Franco, El Duque, Soler, Feliciano, Bradford, Oliver…these new guys just don't get it. What are they thinking? Will X-man be similarly mal-informed when he returns?
    They need to learn from seasoned veterans like Tom Glavine. He, at least, seems to understand what the Mets should be doing in this situation. How can the Mets deviate so when they have such an excellent role model? It's a mystery.
    P.S. We made a lot of free-agent pick ups this off season. Most are looking pretty good right now… but none more so, in my humble opinion, than that of Endy Chavez. Is there anything he can't do when we ask him to?

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant. Now do one for the Braves game….

  • Anonymous

    This never would have happened in the Denver school district. They have up-to-date textbooks and everything. Or so Mike Hampton says.

  • Anonymous

    Just came to me while I was watching the first inning of today's game:
    Q. What is the name given to Jose Reyes when he is on first base?
    A. A runner in scoring position.
    JoAnn

  • Anonymous

    You really come alive with these day games, don't you? :)

  • Anonymous

    Q.: What does Jose Reyes call a walk?
    A.: A double