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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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We Shall Hear

Gl@v!ne gone. Mota gone. Now the generally unlistenable Tom McCarthy has packed up his microphone for Philadelphia, where, if his slowness on the draw remains true to form, the Phillies will be clinching the 2007 N.L. East any minute now.

These are marvelous consolation prizes, I tell you what.

I wasn't a fan of McCarthy's. Nothing personal, I just didn't think much of his play-by-play abilities, didn't find him a compelling storyteller and he left me cold as a radio companion. Other than that, he was swell.

Some fans don't worry about the broadcasters. I do. Decades of Murph and two golden seasons of Gary and Howie raised my standards sky high. I want the Mets to think carefully before they hand the keys to the kingdom to Eddie Coleman (familar but plodding) or any ol' interloper. If they can figure out a way to have Gary do radio during the intervals when Keith and Ron are speaking on SNY, that would be ideal. If they can have Howie call pitches and then take listener calls in between, that would be OK, too. Neither is probably an option. I don't have a candidate in mind, just be careful. There is nothing more intrinsic to the enjoyment of the long season than the radio. The radio has not worked properly since the end of 2005. Mets, make it work again.

For a sterling example of when it worked flawlessly, do yourself a favor and turn your dial to Loge 13, which will lead you to another page of unmatched delights.

And for those of you who like to sneak an earbud in while at Shea, here is when you can look forward to going for the last 81 times of your life. I like the confidence the Mets display by referring to September 28 as the “final regular season game” at their current home, as if they know something we don't about October 2008. Then again, I just saw an ad on mets.com informing me I can “download select games from the Mets 2007 Postseason” directly to my PC for a mere $1.99, so I don't know if I'd take everything they tell me on their site at face value.

27 comments to We Shall Hear

  • Anonymous

    Living in Trenton Thunder territory, I always kind of liked McCarthy. I'm not shedding tears at his departure, but it's not the same kind of joy that I felt when I learned about Gl@v!ne and Mota's departures.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but what is?

  • Anonymous

    True – this isn't nearly as curse worthy ;)

  • Anonymous

    After all those years of Murph and Gary Cohen and Howie and Eddie and occasionally Ted Robinson and even Gary Thorne… I think we're a bit spoiled.
    I'm not sorry to see McCarthy leave. I'm just waiting to hear about his replacement. They could do a whole lot better… but, as demonstrated by listening to most other broadcast teams out there — highlighted by but not limited to the one in that other borough — they could also do a whole lot worse. (I can't be the only one who remembers Steve LaMar.)

  • Anonymous

    Edit to above post:
    Insert into the first line “and Lindsey and Ralph”.
    I need to proofread these things more thoroughly.

  • Anonymous

    Mets need a full timer because Howie isn't. He's still doing Islander games in April and May. Kept him out of the running for the TV job. Wouldn't give up the Isles.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm… I wonder which Mets 2007 postseason games they selected for us to download for our hard-earned $1.99.
    Golf games, I'm assuming. Or maybe poker.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not sorry to see McCarthy go at all (or rather, hear him go), but I am worried. While I wasn't a huge fan of his, he was tolerable–much more so than Ted Robinson. And I wouldn't catch him saying crazy asinine things made favorable by Fran Healy, or Joe Morgan, or Miller, or McCarver, or Sterling, or Kay, or… fine let's face it: most MLB announcers. So with the fear of a Charlie Steiner-esque replacement, I'm going to hold off on saying, “I'm happy McCarthy is gone”.
    I'm ready for the worst. As tobedetermined put it, we're spoiled. Really spoiled. We have the bar-none best TV crew in baseball, and one of the best lead radio announcers. We shouldn't all start crying if we get a lousy second-chair.
    If Eddie Coleman is up to it, I'd love to have him calling games with Fran regularly. I hate to disagree with you Greg, but I just don't think of Coleman as “familiar but plodding”. I think of him as plodding but familiar.
    (for the record, I think that might be the 4th time in my life I've taken the “glass half-full” side of an argument)

  • Anonymous

    I'd love to have him calling games with WHO regularly?! Jesus. If Fran Healy replaced Howie Rose as the lead announcer, then yes: we can all start crying.
    Although we'd still be better off than Yankee fans.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone but Fran. If there's a God in heaven, anyone but Fran.

  • Anonymous

    We are so spoiled by our announcers that it's easy to take them for granted.
    During the season I get the MLB package, and I hear announcing teams from all over the country. Some of them (the White Sox and the Mariners teams are among the worst – total homers, to an embarrassing degree!) would have you BEGGING for Fran!

  • Anonymous

    I hear Lorn Brown might be available…

  • Anonymous

    greg, a fundamental principle of being a mets fan is never assume an upgrade.
    this change could be fairly significant to me, since i follow most of the games at least partly on radio. mccarthy was not, to me, a source of aggravation or even annoyance. he was beige. i'm not going to miss him, BUT no one should think there's going to be someone coming in that we're going to really enjoy.
    it's like you said: over the years, we've had on average (with a couple of obvious exceptions already noted) the best radio and tv crews out there. the bar is set pretty high.
    my big concern is that the mets look around the broadcasting landscape, and see and hear the screamers on espn and fan and the self-promoting bloviators across town and think, hmmmm, we don't have anyone like that and figure they need to add an incompetent. (truly, what else explains fran healy?)
    i just hope they realize that they're taking in the landscape, they're looking down from the top of the mountain, not up at some summit.

  • Anonymous

    I remember Steve LaMar!

  • Anonymous

    which I think actually hurts Coleman's shot at the job. If they picked him, they'd still have to find a part time guy to fill in during Islander game days.
    I didn't dislike Tom. I wouldn't be disappointed to hear Eddie. I just hope it's someone decent.

  • Anonymous

    McCarthy just couldn't convey action as fast as I wanted him to. I want my pbp guys to tell me where the runners wind up before I have to wonder. He'd be great to call slow-motion replays though.
    Ed Coleman is probably a better pbp relief man than a journalist.

  • Anonymous

    I distinctly remember a McCarthy call on an inning-ending grounder to second going something like, “And a bouncer to second. Biggio is up with it and throws on to first. Side retired.”
    When I later watched the highlights of the game, the batted ball in question was nothing like he had described it. Rather than being a routine play, it was a seeing-eye bleeder in the hole between first and second, and Biggio had actually shown great range to scamper over there and make the play. And that discrepancy between what's actually happening and what's being conveyed verbally is just unacceptable for a radio guy.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, nothing against Tom, but he was kind of bland. That is, as most of you are saying, I have not much for him either.
    Except one thing. He sometimes got into these weird patterns in pitch calling, where every other pitch would be a change up…I was watching the game and this was simply not the case. Pedro was pitching and I was wondering if maybe it was T*m G!@vine, according to Tom. It was pretty annoying.

  • Anonymous

    I liked Steve LaMar. He was an upgrade over Steve Albert. He didn't say much, but that meant Murph had more airtime.

  • Anonymous

    a fundamental principle of being a mets fan is never assume an upgrade
    Excellent if distressing point.

  • Anonymous

    OK, fair enough. But you must admit that “an upgrade over Steve Albert” is a pretty low standard.
    I will say that he was a big help when I was having problems with insomnia.
    (Oddly enough, I have no memory of listening to Steve Albert on the radio, though I certainly know he did plenty of it. On TV, yes, but I wasn't talking about TV broadcasters since I wanted to avoid having to use the four letter F-word. The one that ends with “an”, not “ck”.)

  • Anonymous

    I've had MLB Extra Innings for about 10 years now, so I've heard me some broadcasting teams. I can only watch the White Sox on mute. “The Hawk” is APPALLING… even Michael Kay and Suzyn Waldman are professional and detached next to him. The Brewers (mainly Daron Sutton) are also nauseating, as are the Angels. Most boring broadcasts: Kansas City… you long for the sweet release of death.
    My personal favorites are, hands-down, the Twins and Padres. Always entertaining from beginning to end. Tigers are cool. So are the Rockies, and I love their team commercials. And of course there's Vin Scully.

  • Anonymous

    The more I think about this, I might be inclined to go the ex-jock route with the job.
    Off the top of my head, the guys I can think of who'd be a really good listen would be:
    David Cone
    Bobby Ojeda
    Jesse Orosco
    Ray Knight
    Jon Olerud
    Vance Wilson
    Definitely NOT either piece of the Controling Couple (Leiter/Franco).

  • Anonymous

    Leiter's a Skank shill. I want no part of him ever again. Mazzilli's bad enough. I vote for Rico.
    Vance Wilson retired?!

  • Anonymous

    Agree completely. I did not like McCarthy, thought he was a giant step down from Gary on the radio. Slow on the uptick, and he made an incredible number of mistakes. Lots of “excuse me”s, sounded downright amateurish on many occasions. I don't think Eddie C is a frontline play-by-play man, although I think he should be part of the team – just not the main guy. Face it, Gary's radio chops are very hard to beat.

  • Anonymous

    Betcha Leiter would give his lame YES job and a couple of kidneys to have finished that 9th in Game Five. After that, and growing up a Mets fan, I don't understand how he can even look at the Yankees without choking back obscenities–let alone work for them.
    It's a sad thing.
    I would have no problem with Franco, I still love him…but I've heard him announce and, well, he makes Tom McCarthy look quit witted.

  • Anonymous

    That is, quick-witted.