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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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And Don't Squeeze the Ball So Tight

Mets, Yankees, fans, bloggers, media guys … we were all better served by not having nine more innings of baseball to chew over last night, and not just because the weather clock seemed to have suddenly turned six weeks backwards.

The Mets held their meeting, as teams do. The Mets said the meeting was good, as teams do. The manager said things will turn around, as managers do. The general manager said he had faith in the manager, as general managers do. The guy who said things he shouldn't have said his remarks were taken out of context, as guys who say things they shouldn't have said do.

This is baseball kabuki in times of trouble, and it neither means much of anything nor is a particularly accurate representation of reality. Very few team meetings ever solve anything, and the Mets took a long time to reach the same conclusion every team that holds a team meeting reaches: Now we know what we need to do, we found that out as a family, and we're going to tell you guys less. Willie Randolph said his faith in his team is unshaken, and I suppose a more-charitable person than me might admire a faith so strong that it's unshaken by a streak of mediocrity that lasts 150 games. You also had to admire Willie's brass, in talking to an oddly gentle Mike and the Mad Dog, in edging right up to saying Billy Wagner had been misquoted without actually going there. That's hard to say when the quote is taken from videotape, but again, Willie's faith is a powerful thing. Omar Minaya's faith in Willie, we can all guess, is somewhat less powerful, but that drama is still playing out. Oh, and through the healing power of jock magic, Billy Wagner's callout of Carlos Delgado was transformed into an oblique criticism of the media. He meant the pesky reporters, and we're all dummies for not getting what he wasn't saying. Oh, and he's not a racist. I don't think many people thought he was a racist, but making that an issue was a clever way to redirect the conversation away from whether or not his being a loose cannon is a problem, which is a tougher debate to table.

If all this makes you tired, me too. But that's not entirely a bad thing. It was good to have 24 hours to cool off before the players' meeting, and good to have 20-odd hours more before a pitch is thrown in anger once again. By noontime I venture all involved will be heartily sick of Thursday and its aftermath, and perhaps ready to move on.

So hey, there'll be baseball in a few hours. Mets-Yankees, pretty exciting. Big crowd. Relax, have a ball out here. This game's fun, OK? Fun, goddamn it.

4 comments to And Don't Squeeze the Ball So Tight

  • Anonymous

    It actually was fun. At least it was to me, parked in front 0f Gameday for 2 & a half hours…

  • Anonymous

    These games are never fun. Even in victory, the stress level is a killer.

  • Anonymous

    Stress level is right. But, when Beltran scored on that smacked dribbler by Castillo, and Pettitte was just leaned over, staring at the ball, thinking “roll foul, damn you!” That was the hardest I've laughed in about two years.

  • Anonymous

    True – Andy the Rat Faced Boy looked pretty pathetic at that moment.