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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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Unforgiven

I'm not devastated, but I am disappointed. Devastated is a word used for greater things in life than a game. I was disappointed in the way I pitched. I got some ground balls, but I can't control where they go. A couple got through. Another was too slow to turn a double play.

– Tom Glavine, Sept. 30, 2007

Yes, he's gone south, less than two months after he played his part in helping our season do the same. As a parting gift to go with the 300 golf balls and the $50+ million, I'd like to send him off with whatever bile I can spare, and to fervently wish that he never return. I don't care if that means sacrificing the chance to boo him, or to watch some gang of 2008 Mets beat him around on a day when the ump isn't giving him the wide strike. I have thought and written far too much about him over the last five years, and I'd love for this to be the last time I do so. Though I know that won't be true.

Glavine's final failing — that endless, awful seven earned runs in a third of an inning — wasn't what did it, though it certainly didn't help. Nor is it that he returned to the Braves, though that makes for some nicely loathsome symmetry. It was what he said after that horrific final start that tore things irrevocably.

Remember (I promise it'll only be for a bit) what the afternoon of Sept. 30 felt like, what it was like watching nearly a year of hopes and dreams gurgle down the toilet? OK. Now, re-read those words at the top of this post again.

That quote — that astonishing, awful quote to end a month of astonishing, awful quotes– perfectly sums up all the reasons I only fitfully warmed to Tom Glavine, and why I'd like to never, ever think about him again. It's all there. His sneaky alibi-ing, the way he always sounded like he was being diplomatic or philosophical while he was actually blaming his teammates or casting himself as an innocent bystander in the schemes of Dame Fortune. (Here's a sampler of Glavine-speak from this blog's early days.) Never mind the ball he threw clean over David Wright's head in that endless third of an inning, clearing the bases, or the pitch — his final one as a Met, as it turned out — that hit Dontrelle Willis with the bases loaded. Got some ground balls, can't control where they go. Oh well.

And then there's his aloofness, never expressed more noxiously than here, with Glavine waxing philosophical while fans cried in the stands. Devastated is a word used for greater things in life than a game. Look, I bow to no one as a Met fan. (OK, I bow slightly to my co-blogger.) Even at my most livid that day, I was perfectly aware that, as the old saying goes, it wasn't my wife and it wasn't my life. I didn't need lessons from Spouting Thomas to put the disaster he'd completed in perspective.

By the way, Glavine wasn't the only one discussing disappointment and devastation that day. Those terms were heard elsewhere in the Met clubhouse — but in a somewhat different context.

To say disappointed would be the understatement of the year.

– Shawn Green, Sept. 30, 2007

We're devastated, also.

– Willie Randolph, Sept. 30, 2007

I don't know if Shawn Green was really in a state beyond disappointment, or if he was just saying the right thing. I have no reason not to think it's the former, but even if it's the latter, as a fan I'm grateful. I'm inclined to believe Willie Randolph — if you read Wayne Coffey's long, characteristically great piece this weekend, you probably are too. (More on that another day.) As for me, when the Mets' collapse was complete, I wrote how I was OK. Which I was. But that was a post addressing how I'd turned my back on the 2007 edition of the Mets some time before. The year? That's different.

I will think about the wreckage of 2007 off and on for my entire life. Years after the events, I'll suddenly realize I've been spending 10 minutes fuming about Gary Carter packing his gear as Orel Hershiser smothered us, or Armando Benitez and [insert one of several players here], or Jay Payton getting thrown out at third, or Kenny Rogers throwing ball four, or Carlos Beltran straightening up at the plate. 2007 was about falling out of love with a team, about learning to doubt players I'd come to trust, about enduring what I normally cherished. And sometimes, in the middle of the night, I fear it'll be about more than that — about how a plan for returning a ballclub to glory started to go horribly wrong. 2007 was devastating, and I'm not the least bit ashamed to feel that way. I'm a fan. Of course that's how I feel.

That Tom Glavine didn't feel our final defeat as deeply as we did is one thing — we rarely if ever discuss this, because it's the third rail that separates fans and athletes, but deep down we know few of our heroes care the way we do. That having failed so utterly, he chose to lecture those of us who cared more, even if it's just a game and therefore one of the lesser things in life? That's another thing entirely. That's when he touched that third rail. That's when he became unforgiveable.

17 comments to Unforgiven

  • Anonymous

    To quote Greg, Fucking Brave can go fuck himself straight back to Fucklanta. Truer words were never spoke.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Anonymous

    Jason writes up an intelligent, well-thought-out, very satisfying post that perfectly crystallized my (and I'm guessing many Mets fans') feelings, then some genius puts a few obscenities in a sentence as a post. If that's all you can manage, why bother?

  • Anonymous

    Um, perhaps this is why this is Jason and Greg's blog, and not mine? And if you click the link, you'll see the source of the quote is more than just a few obscenities but, rather, a different well-thought-out and very satisfying post from this very blog?

  • Anonymous

    Excellent piece. I tried extremely hard to support Glavine over the past five years but, in all honesty, he didn't deserve it. His heart was always in Atlanta.
    Best of luck Tom. Glad you're still not in New York.

  • Anonymous

    There's no bad way of saying fare thee well to Tom Glavine…even without cursing, as Jason somehow managed to restrain himself from doing in a fit of self control as impressive, almost, as his piece itself.
    After five years, true Mets fans have earned the right to kiss off Glavine with any words they choose. Lay off your fellow commenters, por favor.

  • Anonymous

    And oh yes, “fucking Brave can go fuck himself back to Fucklanta” was indeed my inelegant contribution to the Glavinesque lexicon in the heat of the moment that immediately followed the Worst Collapse in Baseball History, so if you want to get down on the strategic use of obscenities, please direct your dissatisfaction my way.

  • Anonymous

    Gracias Greg – thanks for watching my back :)

  • Anonymous

    That said, I'm grateful you thought it was a good post, Amazing. I really struggled with it and didn't think I had it at all.
    As with so many things, this brief moment of crosstalk and minor mutual dissatisfaction is all Tom Glavine's fault.

  • Anonymous

    My biggest issue wth Glavine is one he has no control over: we got him just in time for umpires to stop calling balls four inches off the plate strikes. Because let's face it, if he was still getting that call he'd have about 325 wins, and maybe a ring or two. Without it, all you have to do is serve the ball into the opposite field, as sooo capably demonstrated on 9/30. No one really hit him hard; you don't have to – it's like tee-ball.
    Watch my head explode when, upon his return to Atlanta, umps fall back in love with Tommy's “pinpoint control”, Questech-be-damned.

  • Anonymous

    But that was one of my favorite Greg-isms of all time…

  • Anonymous

    This classic Lisa Olson column (that Jason posted during this past season) demonstrates the difference between the 1999 Mets (whom most of us will always love) and Glavine. They not only respected our pain — they felt it along with us.

  • Anonymous

    and here i was set to write well fucking done, jace.
    except somebody else, actually a few somebody elses, beat me to it.
    fuck.

  • Anonymous

    I can't believe this m-fer has the balls to admit that it was either Atlanta or retirement. The Mets had no shot to get him back.
    As I posted to my buddies…Hey Tom, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out….

  • Anonymous

    Like all of you, my lasting impression of Glavine: being a mess in the Upper Deck on 9/30, watching Glavine throw the ball into left field to make it 4-0 and becoming utterly catatonic. For the next 7 batters in that inning (ugh…. GOD!) and through the pitching change I sat, elbows-on-knees, hands-over-mouth, wide-eyed and unmoving. I was basically Cameron Frye finding out how many miles got put onto his father's Ferrari. I couldn't even boo Glavine when they took him out. But nahhhh, I wasn't devastated or anything.
    Fittingly I was also at Shea for his first start as a Met. Who knew his last could be worse?
    My favorite quote from him his return to Atlanta was why he didn't come back to New York, because “I couldn't do that to my family”. Holy shit Tom, holy shit! Seriously?! What's the matter, you don't like your family putting up with unwed mothers, purple-haired guys with AIDS, and people who don't speak English on the 7 train, is that it?
    I vote that when he plaque in Cooperstown goes up it must have big quotes around “New York, N.L.”, and maybe a few asterisks with it. Ugh… we just HAD TO steal him away from the Phillies in 2003, didn't we?

  • Anonymous

    I was sitting there in my den on that Sunday afternoon, with my heart laying on the floor in front of me. Glavine was on the TV saying how it really didn't matter that he had , literally, “thrown” our last hope into the sewer. All I could think was “Glavine, you smug motherfucker! How dare you tell ME that this was 'only' a game, that it didn't really matter in the larger scheme of things.” I watched EVERY game of the last 3 seasons, sat there paralyzed with shock like the rest of you when Carlos took that third strike last year, and STILL feeling the pain of that seven run, one out effort of Tommy Turdbreath, not to mention the desperate agony of hoping that , somehow, our knock-em'-dead offense could pull one more huge comeback out of their numb spirits. Feeling the hope dribble away slowly over nine innings to be replaced with a stew of despair and pain and so many more bad things I can't describe it. I was, oh, what's that word for when something you love is terribly wounded and hurt? oh, yeah, DEVASTATED!!!!
    Glavine's always been a smug son of a bitch, but I always thought he had respect for the fans and the game. Evidently Mets fans never mattered to him, or he wouldn't have insulted us like that. And the game….if that mattered to him, he would have felt too bad over such an awful performance to play semantics games with the press. He couldn't have pitched worse if he'd meant to. With the contempt he showed for us–well, I'm sending him a pair of black sox for Christmas this year. Maybe he'll get the message.
    I apologize for all the drama and overblown sentiment if it got to be too much for you. One more thought and I'll go. Let's see what he says when he blows a game like that for the Braves when they're trying to win the Wild Card next year. I've got a feeling he wouldn't insult the Braves fans like he did us.

  • Anonymous

    I kind of feel like this may turn out like Roger Clemens and the Red Sox. You know, he leaves them, ultimately joining their nemesis and then suddenly recovers from his downward slide toward obscurity. Well, except that Clemens was a real Red Sox guy (a Red Sock?) and Glavine was never a real Met.

  • Anonymous

    I like the Mets fan sense of paranoia in this scenario, but Clemens was 34 when he became a Blue Jay, 36 when he became a Yankee. Oldish, but not impossibly old. The other pitcher will be 42 come Opening Day. If he revives in Atlanta, then it will be both surprising given his downward trajectory and not surprising at all given that we always suspected he was a plant.