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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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200 Minutes of My Life That I'll Never Get Back

Did you enjoy tonight's game, Jace?

No, I did not.

Why not?

Where to start? How about because the Mets sucked again and because they took forever to suck this time?

The Dodgers didn't look that great either, though.

No, they didn't. But as Greg likes to note, style points don't matter. They won. Jeff Kent and Joe Torre and Juan Pierre and Hong-Chih Kuo and Brad Penny and Nomar Garciaparra and the whole vaguely disagreeable lot of them.

The Mets took an early lead, did some hitting, showed some daring baserunning. That was good.

Yeah. An early lead that they blew.

But David Wright turned in some nifty plays at third.

He did. He saved Nelson Figueroa's bacon a couple of times. On the other hand, a good first baseman would have speared Blake DeWitt's two-run single in the third. Carlos Delgado is not a good first baseman. Fielding giveth, fielding taketh away.

OK, but you've got to like Nelson's guts and guile. He's pitching his heart out there every time.

Yeah, he's a journeyman with brains and toughness, and every romantic baseball fan is a sucker for those guys — the Rick Reeds and Brian Bohanons and late-model Frank Tananas of the baseball world. It's a bit of a myth, though — you think Johan Santana doesn't work his butt off to outthink hitters too? He does, he just has better stuff. Your cliched find-catcher-and-chuck-it guys — the Nuke LaLooshes of this world — aren't really all that common. Well, there's Oliver Perez. He sure as hell does get woolly, doesn't he? Sure, I like Figueroa. I also would have liked to see him get past those second outs a little more easily, and last more than five innings. On the other hand, this game took so frigging long, he was in danger of dying of old age out there.

That fatal play wasn't his fault, though. Wasn't that something?

It was something all right. The next time I see a hitter get an inside-the-park home run because the right fielder is sitting on the warning track thinking the ball was a home run of the regulation variety will be the second time. The next time something like that is the difference that beats the Mets? I'll be happy never to see that again.

But c'mon, Ryan Church has been great this year.

Hey, no argument there. You want to know the funny thing? It's that every night I thank God for Church, because he isn't Shawn Green. Nothing against Green as a person, just against him as a right fielder. Remember all those balls last year that would drop five or 10 feet in front of him, because he never seemed to get a good read on balls and his first step was so slow? Ryan Church doesn't do that — he's got good range, a great arm and fine instincts out there. That said, here's the thing: Didn't Blake DeWitt's drive remind you at least a little of Scott Spiezio's triple off Guillermo Mota, the one that hit Green in the wrist? Ugh. Just ugh. Stupid Guillermo Mota.

But Moises Alou stole home! How cool was that?

Very cool. If we'd won, I'm sure I'd be waxing rhapsodic about it. The title of this post would be something like “Holy Moises!” (Though I bet we've used that before.) But we didn't win.

I don't get you, Jace. Last night you tried to get all misty-eyed and profound about a 5-1 Met loss. Tonight the Mets lose by one run on a freak play and you're lousy company. Why? Because what?

Because we're coming up on the calendar anniversary of the day my team started to play far below its talent, and I'm sick of it. Because I can't see any indication that anybody who makes decisions about my team is as sick of it as I am, and intends to step in and change things before it's too late. Because two years ago this team looked like it couldn't wait to get to the park and play baseball, and now they look like they can't wait to stop. Because this could be their best chance to forge the kind of cohesive team that's a contender year-in and year-out, and that chance is slipping away because those who do lead this team can't and those who could lead this team don't. Because I'm fucking tired, OK? Just plain tired, because it's two in the morning, and tired of dead-ass baseball no matter what time it's played. Is that enough for you? Cause it sure as hell is enough for me.

12 comments to 200 Minutes of My Life That I'll Never Get Back

  • Anonymous

    Well done.
    As I e-mailed your blogging partner, this game had a very 1987 kind of feel to it (or maybe 89 or 90 is a better fit).
    You left out the part where they made Hong-Chih Kuo look like Sandy Koufax, or Chris Nabholz, or Pat Combs…

  • Anonymous

    Or Sid Fernandez on October 27, 1986.

  • Anonymous

    yeah this one sucked in a way monday's didn't even have the imagination or aspiration to.
    let's not forget the more boring aspects of the loss, like the failure to hit in the clutch early. it's harder to sleep going to bed angry with your team, i've found.
    the idea was to get last night's win, get the one today, go home with a 4-2 road trip, build from there. now it'll be about trying to avoid a sweep, split the trip and wonder what it portends for the season.
    just as likely? they lose, go 2-4 and return for a disastrous stretch at home, with the skanks and braves after that.

  • Anonymous

    Here comes the negativity again. Granted, as a Met fan, EVERY Met loss sucks. But let's be realistic here. A win today (a somewhat tall order seeing we are going against Brad Penny, but still doable) would give the Amazins a 3-3 trip against the two best teams in the West, on the road, and guarantee no worse than one game out in the loss column within the division. Their next 6 are at home against Washington and Cincinnati, two cellar-dwellars. So come on, yesterday is over, today is a new day, 3 oclock start today – let's root our asses off to bring a victory to this team before we take on the Nats and the Reds, teams which we should go 5-1 against.

  • Anonymous

    “The next time I see a hitter get an inside-the-park home run because the right fielder is sitting on the warning track thinking the ball was a home run of the regulation variety will be the second time. ”
    Hi Jason,
    True, I first thought that Church was stunned banging into the wall but that wasn't the case. Was good, however, to see Church come over to apologize to Figueroa with Nelson telling him not to worry (although being lucky to be back in baseball at all, it's doubtful Figuerora would show-up any of his team mates).
    But feel better Ryan – the Mets are still urging fans to stuff balltot box to make you a first time All-Star! Why not? Hey, Jaba served up a gopher ball and blew the game for the Yankees, so anything can happen.

  • Anonymous

    I refuse to be happy with a 3-3 road trip, I don't care who it's against. It's .500 baseball, and .500 baseball has been what's driving me fucking insane for the past year. I'm tired of it.

  • Anonymous

    I too thought of Shawn Green immediately. And why not? You can trace this whole awful stretch back to that Spezio triple. When that happened it was the first time most of us stopped and thought, “oh– uh….. oh shit…… this may not be as easy as we think it will be.” It's been downhill ever since.

  • Anonymous

    Just for discussion — At what point does a “wins below talent” streak morph into an admission that “you are what your record says you are”?
    Without taking Willie off the hook here, I'm finding it increasingly hard to argue (on paper, much less on the field) that this is an appreciably better team than the ones that beat it every other day. We're in the bottom half in offense across the board and the pitching has only been average, and we're already 2 wins above pythagorean.

  • Anonymous

    Well, this is chicken-and-the-egg stuff. If we think this is a .500 team, then Willie's no better or worse than anybody else who'd manage them. If we think it isn't, then something's very wrong and needs to be fixed. I think it's the manager — which of course is shorthand for the players' dynamic with the manager and coaching staff. None of this is fair to the manager, but it hasn't been fair for more than a century.

  • Anonymous

    and i find it wildly optimistic to expect the mets to go 5-1 against the nats and reds.

  • Anonymous

    I didn't realize it was 7 games against the Reds and Nats. So let's shoot for 5-2. After this 3-3 road trip, a 5-2 mark against Washington and Cincy will put us 5 games over .500 and somewhere near first place. Not bad for a team with “hard times ahead.” :)

  • Anonymous

    Let's shoot for 1-0 this Friday.