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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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Waiter! I Did Not Order This Big Bowl of Suck!

So Taguchi? Ya gotta be kidding me, Billy!

Like every other wearer of blue and orange, I was huddled in worry about Big Bad Albert, who’d shown signs of getting his pilot light relit in his seventh-inning battle against Mota. Worried about Albert. Worried about Billy Wagner pitching in a non-save situation. Worried about So Taguchi? Only on the off-chance that he might eke out a walk ahead of his Pujolsness.

Oops.

In an effort to be philosophical about it all, I suppose Billy was due for a stinker after a half-season of almost universally praiseworthy work. And from early on this game had the look of an ugly, no-rules pig pile with groin kicks and eye gouges and unchivalrous things happening down in the muck: Maine and Carpenter couldn’t find their release points, Jim Joyce couldn’t find the strike zone, Fox couldn’t find a radar gun that didn’t add 3 MPH to everybody, and I was absolutely unable to find solace even in a 3-0 lead. Too much unease in the night.

By the way, if you’re at home and feel like the anxiety of October baseball may finally shred what’s left of your sanity, try TiVo. With Emily at the game tonight, the duty of getting Joshua through bath and into bed fell to me. Reluctantly, I paused Fox at about 7:45 and unpaused it at 8:18, expecting to zoom through half an hour of blather and catch up to live action just in time for first pitch. I quickly realized the game had actually started at 8:05, meaning I was 14 minutes behind real life and wouldn’t catch up until the middle innings.

The funny thing? On delay, even an NLCS game seemed less important — at least for me, there’s something about watching plays you know already happened that robs them of their power. I actually found myself doing little chores and flipping through a magazine in the early innings, something that’s fine for the regular season but borderline treason in October. And then, the instant I caught up and TiVo and real life were once more in sync, the tension arrived so fast and hit so hard that it was like a pile-driver into the couch.

Unfortunately, I caught back up not long before things went awry. With Mota on the mound, I do wish Pedro had called a pitch in from the dugout against Scott Spiezio and that ridiculous thing on his chin, which I believe is known as a landing strip when adorning another region of the other gender. With Wags nearing the end of his implosion, I wish somebody had reminded him that Spiezio seems incapable of hitting anything offspeed, so why on God’s green earth would you throw him another fastball? I wish Shawn Green had made what would have been a fairly incredible catch. On the other hand, I got my wish that Spiezio’s ball wouldn’t go out, which it seemed certain to do, and wouldn’t be erroneously but understandably revised into a home run, which it wasn’t.

Reyes is awake. Delgado is hammering the ball (and the occasional grounder smacked his way, but oh well). Most of our bullpen did just fine. But we’re grasping at straws here. Because tonight sucked, and now we go to St. Louis and trot out Trachsel and Oliver Perez, which could potentially suck a whole lot worse.

For a team that apparently expired in the last days of September, the Cardinals sure are a nasty breed of undead. Can we win three more games before they do? Of course we can. But will we? Going to St. Louis up 2-0 with Carpenter behind us wouldn’t have killed the Cardinals, but it would have planted a stake in their collective heart while we hunted around for wafers to stick in the mouth and waited for sunlight to turn them into smoke. Now? It’s pitch black and there are things going bump in the night.

14 comments to Waiter! I Did Not Order This Big Bowl of Suck!

  • Anonymous

    The woulda-shoulda monster infested me as this game spun away. If Green has his glove open a little farther when he leaps for Spiezio's ball at the wall, it's a brilliant putout and maybe a sac fly, instead of a two-RBI triple. If Beltran's ball is six inches to the left, it goes by Belliard instead of killing a rally with a double play. Most of all, if Willie double-switches when he puts Heilman in in the seventh, he doesn't lift him for Franco in the bottom of the eighth, and Taguchi doesn't get in the game.
    But then I realized, none of those things could have made a bit of difference if Wagner is just going to go out there pitching BP in the ninth.
    This one was doomed from the get-go, just like that Yankee game was in May, never mind whether it's tied or we have a four-spot lead.
    My question is — can't anybody tell in the bullpen whether Wagner has it going on a given night, and warn Randolph before he brings him in?

  • Anonymous

    Stuff happens. Just like real human beings, baseball players sometimes don't have it.
    The sad part is that “fans,” when deciding to boo or not to boo, never seem to ask themselves this vital question:
    “Does this guy have it more often than not?”
    With Billy, the answer is a resounding YES. Which should, to any logical, mature and loyal fan, make the decision pretty simple:
    “Not to boo.”
    Maybe they should all just look across the field, to the bullpen over in left, to remind themselves of the alternative.
    I'd sure rather have Billy Wagner than Braden Looper. Occasional human failings and all.

  • Anonymous

    In 1969, Swoboda catches that ball.
    In 1986, Strawberry catches that ball and nabs the runner going back to the bag.
    In 2006… ahem…

  • Anonymous

    this one is hard to take, massively so, because the mets did what they had to do — score early — and it didn't matter.
    they gave back three leads: 3-0, 4-2, 6-4. they left a flotilla of ducks on the pond. balls didn't bounce their way. i don't single out wagner, not at all. this was a collective loss of the first order.
    the cards, who could have been dead men flying home, are now hugely revived.
    anybody's series? i'm nervous as all get-out-of-town.

  • Anonymous

    “Sleep with one eye open
    Gripping your pillow tight
    Exit light
    Enter night
    Take my hand
    Off to never never land”

  • Anonymous

    Watching at home, I was pretty disgusted by the way the folks at Shea treated Wagner.
    Yes, he sucked on the order of Benitez/Looper last night, but he's been lights out since halfway through the season.
    To me, booing your own team should be reserved for guys who look like they're not trying or who act like dicks (see Bobby Bonilla for former and latter). Outside LoDuca, is there anyone on the Mets more intense than Wags?
    One moment that went unnoticed at the time stands out to me. Very late in the regular season (against the Nats?) Wagner gave up a run or two but still got the save – an ugly one, but still a Mets win. After Wagner got the strikeout that ended the game, LoDuca tossed him the final-out ball (maybe he keeps those things?), which Billy threw aside in disgust.
    This guy's got the red ass and he's a major reason we're still playing baseball this season. Nobody in the stadium was more pissed than he was about the way things ended. I think I can find it in my heart to forgive him this one screw up – just don't let it happen again (at least until next spring).

  • Anonymous

    This is too rich.
    Mets in NLCS, but front page of the Daily News is about A-Rod's plane NOT crashing.
    The story answers some burning questions:
    What kind of plane was he in?
    A Gulfstream GII jet, described as : “a much larger and more expensive aircraft than Lidle's doomed plane.”
    Where was Alex arriving from?
    “Rodriguez was seen in Las Vegas partying with about a dozen FHM magazine models Tuesday at Pure in Caesars Palace.”
    Wow, those rich single guys really have the life!
    “A-Rod's wife, Cynthia, and infant daughter, Natasha, were not on the jet.”
    Oops.

  • Anonymous

    Just like everyone else here I have seen my share of games like these. Living in Michigan doesn't help matters: Kenny Rogers is haveing an excellent game, lets show the '99 series ending walk…again! Inflate hopes, insert needle type games, stomach punch games as Bill Simmons would say. And of course the first thing I said when the game ended was, that is it..series over. But then I thought about it, the Cards are throwing out their versions of Traschel and Perez these next two games, and despite last nite I still have more faith in our pen than I think most cards fans do in thiers. I think that tonites game will decide the series, if we can jump on suppan (like 5-6 runs) early and we get “good steve” as opposed to his evil twin for 6 innings…there may still be a few miracles to be seen, but…

  • Anonymous

    I was disgusted enough to turn it off.
    Greg, for me, this is one of those times it is understandable to say “I'm embarrassed to be a Met fan.” I'm embarrassed to be associated with such shallow and disloyal people, who treat their own team like they're the enemy at the slightest display of non-perfection, however rare. I'm not ashamed of the Mets… just the disgusting frontrunners who pretend to support them (but only when the going is good, of course). I'm embarrassed that the whole country sees how they behave and shakes its collective head, and I'm counted among their number.
    And Wags threw a fastball to Spiezio because he was pissed.

  • Anonymous

    It's a best-of-five series.
    We just won one of those. We can win this one.
    Let's Go Mets.

  • Anonymous

    Abso-f**king-lutely.
    LGM

  • Anonymous

    It took all of my willpower to keep my mouth shut as Wagner walked off the mound last night. Everyone was rightly pissed. I don't know that you can kill the fans for booing – the guy sucked major ass. You boo bad play, not the player. If we were home tonight and Billy came in to save it, he'd get a standing O just like he did against the Yankees that Sunday night.
    That was a colossally disappointing game. Failures in the clutch, bad pitching, lousy managing. I was pretty far up in the upper deck – was the plate umpiring as bad as it looked from the outer reaches of Shea?
    Guys just gotta shake it off and pummel the extremely mediocre (is “extreme mediocrity” a non sequitur like “jumbo shrimp”?) Jeff Suppan.
    My first visit to the Upper Deck (section 38) this postseason was an eye-opener. The fans are louder and drunker and either more entertaining or annoying than they are at Field Level. Guys couldn't hold their beer – literally. I saw like 5 people drop full aluma-bottles of bud, causing a suds geyser. One of those sprinkled my wife and father-in-law, and when the offender wasn't sufficiently apologetic I found myself weighing the cost of a confrontation. As I pondered whether punching out a drunk frat-boy was worth ejection and/or arrest, my sister picked up a ski hat she found on the floor, sopped up as much beer as she could, and gunned it right in his face as she shouted “ASSHOLE!”. I figured that was good enough, so I just yelled, “Take it easy on the sauce, drunkboy”, and that ws it.
    Most of my section-mates were supremely annoying. The guy who felt the need to entertain us despite an utter lack of wit was frustrating. “Hey! Paulie Walnuts! I call him Paulie Walnuts, like the Sopranos! Paul-ie Wal-nuts! Ha ha ha!”. And what's up with the self-appointed cheering monitors? I really don't need some idiot screaming “Stand the fuck up!” every time he feels surrounding fans aren't as motivated as he'd like. Y'know what, Jimhole? If I don't feel like standing up and shouting “Let's Go Mets!” while an anonymous Cardinals reliever warms up, it's my business.
    On the plus side, thanks to the fans who utterly ignored the attempts at starting the wave. Playoff game, tie score… what better time for some 80s-era audience participation? And hooray to the guy a couple sections away with the Kingman jersey. Two different fans in two nights… it's a movement, I tells ya!
    Lets Go Trax!

  • Anonymous

    Kong, welcome to my world. Those bleeders are the only seats I can ever afford, and that's my experience at Shea for every game. It's a wonder I ever want to return.
    And you don't boo bad play any more than YOU would like to be booed and shouted at if YOU make a mistake at work. You boo the ENEMY, not your own team. Because you should only boo people you hate, and if you hate your own team, you should stay home.

  • Anonymous

    I can only afford the nosebleeds, too… the good seats are work-related freebies. Not every corporate seat is occupied by soulless yuppie non-fans.
    You're right about the booing… the only Met I've ever booed is Benitez.