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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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I Can't Go Back to Sucking

The split-squad Mets fell to pieces today. 9-0 loss in Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore. 13-1 drubbing by Washington at St. Lucie. Everywhere you looked, the Mets were out in farce.

Sele got rocked.

Park got rocked.

Sosa got rocked.

After Lima, can we stop with the four-letter pitchers? (It’s been ten springs since Rick Reed made himself gloriously apparent.)

Maybe it’s just as well that the journeymen hurl to their notices and thus can be told to hit the road.¬†Except it seems we’re not so deep we can dismiss every second-rater we’ve invited to camp.

Yes, it’s still just Spring Training. But as encouraging as Maine, Perez and Pelfrey are, there’s a real hole at the back end of the bullpen, and in this six-inning world, that’s no small detail. Smith wasn’t so hot today and Burgos was ice cold last night. And we’re still not hitting with any kind of consistency.
A composite of 22-1 today on top of blowing a 4-0 last night…all to projected lousy teams. It doesn’t matter on paper, but I was just getting used to assuming we were good for the long haul.

I know we long-timers like to pat ourselves on the back for having stuck with the Mets through all that dreadful thin so we can revel in the relatively recent thick, but I don’t want to start earning grief miles again. I want thick and I want it to stick. That’s not a scouting report so much as a panicky tantrum. Gads, don’t turn this into another [insert season that was supposed to be good but wasn't; we have several from which to choose]. I can’t go back.

I can, of course, but I’d really prefer to avoid that trip for a decade or two.

8 comments to I Can’t Go Back to Sucking

  • Anonymous

    I'm right there with you Greg. This is rattling my nerves pretty bad. But the one thing that encourages me is my confidence that, if our rotation does turn out to be some horrible nightmare, Omar will make a move. Between Milledge, Gomez, Fernandez, Humber, Pelfrey, etc…, it seems like we've got plenty of trade bait. I'm still getting nervous, but at least, for once, I trust the guy at the top.

  • Anonymous

    Except the guy at the top has long known about the problems with the rotation and has had those same trading chips at his disposal the entire time, all to no avail. Front line starters will not be cheaper to acquire in season than they were over the winter.
    On the bright side, the rotation last year was pedestrian at best and the team won 97 games.
    Of much greater concern to me is a return to earth by the bullpen and a lineup that may struggle to varying degrees between the corner OF spots, first base, second base and catcher.

  • Anonymous

    I imagine that Omar thinks the rotation is going to be better than people expect. He's putting a lot of faith in El Duque's health, Perez's improvement, Pelfrey's development, etc… which to me seems seems kind of crazy, but I spent the first month of last season shouting about how Jose Valentin needed to be released and we'd never be any good without Jae Seo, so I'm obviously an idiot. The point is (a) I trust that he knows a hell of a lot more about baseball than I do and (b) even if he turns out to be wrong (which should be apparent before the trading deadling) I bet he'll be able to fix his mistake. He's going out on a limb, for sure, but knowing Omar I think he's got a parachute. That's not too say I'm not panicking. I'm just not at heart-attack stage yet, which I certainly would be if this was still the Phillips regime.
    I'm worried about the outfield too. But, to be fair, we didn't get much from our corner outfielders last year either. It's mostly the defense that worries me… that's why I'd like to see either Endy or Milledge starting. Plus I can't look at Alou without feeling vaguely nauseous ever since the peeing thing.
    Our bullpen is going to be fine, though. Let's not get greedy just because last year we had, like, the best pen ever. Duaner, Heilman, and Wagner were the important pieces and they're all still around.

  • Anonymous

    This is bordering on unwatchable now. I mean, as a longtime Met fan I've learned to make suckitude my friend, but that doesn't mean it's a friend I want to spend every year with.
    If it turns out to be another [insert disappointing season here] I'll deal with it, of course. As always. But I'd really rather not have to.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta agree, a 6-13-1 record is not terribly comforting even in spring training. You've still gotta figure, of course, that this team is too good, and doesn't have strong enough competition, to suddenly tank.
    Perez isn't this good. Everyone else isn't this bad. They're Just getting it out of there systems. So are the Orioles and the Nats, I'd wager. Everything will be restored a normal state of Mets anxiety-dom by Opening Day.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, nope, nope. Sucking is not an option. For the first time since before my kids were born, I have a share in some fine season seats this year, in the mezzanine right above first base, with a perfect view of David and Jose as well as all righty batters. Therefore this team will perform up to our high expectations, or so help me, there will be booing and heckling heard.

  • Anonymous

    At least Mike is making the most of these spring shenanigans. It is pretty satisfying to see “.520″ across from “Piazza” in the box score, even if it's with the unfamiliar qualifier “DH” for some random West Coast team in that Other League.
    Let's go Mike! Remind the Mets how to kick ass.

  • Anonymous

    I seem to recall a spring training 10 years ago, Bobby Valentine's first full season managing, when virtually all the Mets' relief pitchers were stellar and virtually all the starting pitching blew chunks — and yes, this was the year of Greg's indelibly named “Flammable Four” (Yorkis Perez, Barry Manuel, Toby Borland and Ricardo Jordan), all of whom were absolutely unhittable during all of March. Of course, as soon as the bell rang, the starting pitching was fine, and the relief pitching…gave Greg a chance to show off his stellar nomenclature skillset. IOW, ewwwwww.
    Now, I'm not saying Park, Sele, etc. are all going to be great. These guys were never meant to be anything more than retread projects — sign 'em cheap, see what happens. We've already seen (and smelled) it. Willie is already yelling at Omar, “Waiter! Send it back!”, and Omar is preparing to hustle these guys out to a Dumpster far, far away, where no bagpeople can catch ptomaine from their putrefied carcasses and sue. They will NOT be factors in this season. At worst, one of them will turn out to be a Limaesque mosquito bite and that's it.
    I know 'cause Tug said so.