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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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From Casey Stengel to Casey Fossum

Who says the Mets don't honor their heritage? Tuesday night they went to St. Louis, where they played their first National League game just over 47 years ago, and paid homage to the 1962 Mets by dropping a game below .500 and appearing en route to 40-120.

The Mets leftfielder fell down.

Twice.

A Mets baserunner failed to slide into home.

Twice.

The Mets catcher was called for interference.

A Mets baserunner was picked off first.

Mets hitters continually left runners on base.

The Mets starter disintegrated with a comfortable lead.

A Mets reliever was overwhelmed by adversity.

Twice.

A feller named Casey — who materialized on the roster as part of a series of transactions (Pelfrey aches; O'Day DFA'd; Figueroa brought up; Figueroa pitches well; Figueroa DFA'd; Fossum brought up) that recalled Harry Chiti being traded for Harry Chiti — was right in the middle of it…looking approximately 71 years old.

Which is fine if you're the manager, not so beneficial if you're coming in with the bases loaded and walking a man on five pitches.

Carlos Beltran echoed Charlie Neal. Ollie Perez showed less head than Bob Moorhead. J.J. Putz channeled Choo Choo Coleman (and deserved the J.J. hook). Dandy Dan Murphy is revealing himself to be nothing less than the reincarnation of Marvelous Marv Throneberry. Ramon Castro is Spanish for Joe Ginsberg. Ryan Church is hinting he's really Jim Hickman.

¡No la tendrían! They clearly didn't got it Tuesday night in St. Louis. Nobody there, at least on the Mets, could play this game.

How very Original of them.

Also original: Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

29 comments to From Casey Stengel to Casey Fossum

  • Anonymous

    The way they looked last night, we may have forfeited the right to ridicule the Yankees for Saturday…

  • Anonymous

    Never!
    Although, whether it's 22-4 or 6-4, a loss is a loss.

  • Anonymous

    We've already had a number of frustrating losses before last night (I'd say, oh, about 6), but last night was their first truly BRUTAL loss off the year, imo. I'll cut them a little slack I suppose, as long as they keep those brutal losses few and far between–though I'm not holding my breath.
    It's the Mets. Are we really surprised?
    On a side note–anyone else here thinking that first inning runs = the kiss of death with this team?

  • Anonymous

    On any given evening, we're the hare in the parable you teach your children about to warn them of the dangers inherent in overconfidence.
    I've never seen so many fabulous batting averages translate into absolutely nothing.

  • Anonymous

    The Yankees were outscored by 18 runs on that day. In our 7 combined losses this season, we've been outscored by 10.

  • Anonymous

    I've been saying Jerry's been a mistake since the beginning. This team needs (needed) a fresh perspective, and that has to come from outside the organization. I think you have to let Hojo go too.
    This team used to be good on defense, they used to make those plays, they used to be aggressive on the basepaths, drawing poor throws, stealing bases, inducing balks. now all they do is hit and run on the wrong counts.

  • Anonymous

    I wanted Oberkfell.
    Hell, I wanted Lou Piniella instead of Art Howe…

  • Anonymous

    You ever look forward to something so intensely, and then when you finally get it you're, like, “Meh.”? First time I was allowed to stay up for New Years' Eve… the Ghost Rider movie… the first time I had relations… all of which I anticipated eagerly, and all of which left me with the same “That's it?” letdown feeling.
    That's where I am with the Mets right now. I was so looking forward to the season (as I do to every season). And two weeks in I'm finding it hard to work up much enthusiasm. The pitching's not very good, the hitters continue to display utter futility with men on base (I wish the stat geeks would quit it with the “there's no such thing as clutch hitters” nonsense), the attempts at fielding are amusing but poorly executed. Worst of all, there's no fire. They're kind of boring to watch. When they're leading I wonder “How're we gonna blow this” and when they're losing I don't feel optimistic.
    I'm hoping I snap out of this early-season ennui, the same way I hope Jerry snaps them out of this mire of mediocrity.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn't feel like they suck as they did this time last year. It feels like they're good but not doing whatever it is on a given night to win. Which may be the definition of suck, actually.

  • Anonymous

    you know what i'm looking forward to the next time i go to a game?
    the food.

  • Anonymous

    Because the way the Mets are playing is tough to swallow.

  • Anonymous

    Heh, that's one of my all time favorite botched spins from the Mets.
    Mets: We want Lou! He's perfect for this team!!!
    Reality: You can't get Lou.
    Mets: We'll take Art Howe then. He's perfect for this team!!!
    Reality: Too late. You already said Lou was perfect. Art Howe is the polar opposite of Lou Pinella. Logic dictates that if Lou is perfect, then Art Howe is the worst possible person the manage this team.
    At that point I think the score was Reality 3419, Mets 2.

  • Anonymous

    The Mets better release June-Sept tickets soon, otherwise come the summer time there will be more people in line for Shake Shack then there are people watching the game.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    Remember my post after opening night indicating some errie comparisions to the Mets 2009 home opener and that of 1962?
    Beware of things to come!?

  • Anonymous

    It felt like they sucked worse last year because the people blowing the early games–bullpen, mostly–were the same people who screwed up 2007 so horribly. It felt as if the September 2007 clip would last throughout 2008. Imo, this year doesn't seem as bad because we have a few new faces to put blame on.
    (looks at Daniel Murphy standing in Left Field)

  • Anonymous

    Unlike Daniel Murphy last night, Joe, you may not have been off base with that observation.

  • Anonymous

    I was embarrassed by their play. However, it's still way too early in the season to hate.

  • Anonymous

    It's too early to call for Jerry's head. But speaking hypothetically, should it come time for a change, I'd love to see Bobby V back at the helm. Or Wally Backman, but that'll never happen.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. It took only 13 games for even tentative managerial replacement talk to surface. I guess the Jerrymoon is over.

  • Anonymous

    See, I was on board with “It's time for a change” last year, the problem is they didn't make one. Jerry's been with the team and helping them collapse for years. We need an _outside_ guy to make a change, bring a fresh set of ideas and get these guys back on track and stop pressing. I've been watching Manuel make bad moves for this team from the get go, where his philosophy seemed be “Say anything that's opposite what they criticized Willie about. You don't have to do it, just say it.”

  • Anonymous

    Other than having to deploy the besotted bullpen of '08 I didn't see a surfeit of terrible moves by Manuel last year.
    I won't tar Manuel with Willie's brush. You can be somebody's lieutenant and not be on board with the C.O.'s agenda. That said, I'd like to see this team find its groove in the next few weeks (who wouldn't?). More wins, of course, but mainly not dopey play. Is that the manager's responsibility? It's gotta be somebody's.

  • Anonymous

    It seems silly to debate last year now anyway. I odn't mean to paint him with Willie's brush (even if supposedly it was his decision in the 2006 NLCS..) but he came in and showed nothing different and achieved the same result. To me he did basically the same thing, which isn't what, supposedly, the point of the change of 'leadership' was. I think they needed, and need, to change up the whole dynamic, and keeping incumbent guys that they were familiar with doesn't do that. I just feel like Manuel manages with failure in mind.

  • Anonymous

    The Mets post-Jerry and pre-Jerry last year were, into September, different teams. Willie stood pat far more than Jerry did. Jerry sat guys down. Jerry gave Murphy a chance. I don't know that Willie would have. Jerry juggled hot hands at second, didn't just stick with Castillo when Castillo was wallowing. Eventually the bullpen came back and bit them hard. He earned a chance to come back in 2009. We'll see what '09 brings from here.

  • Anonymous

    See, that's where I disagree. I didn't see different teams. Jerry's dislike of guys despite everything else irks me. Easley wasn't hitting much and Argenis didn't have a hit for a month. Castillo had to cut his rehab early, and Manuel refused to get him into games consistently to get into form, despite Argenis not having a hit for a month. And then, on that final weekend he turns to his left and sees Ramon and has him play 2B. Was he standing behind him the whole time or something? Out of sight?
    But really, what bothers me about Manuel is his by the book, Church can't hit Lefties, righties can only pitch to righties, pinch hit for everybody and use every reliever so you have heilman throwing 50+ good pitches so that we lose the game because you ran out of pitchers.

  • Anonymous

    Strategy is a different matter and I have not been particularly impressed by his strategy this season. He seems to be overemphasizing the bunt, perhaps as a follow-on to his team-first mantra. But it doesn't seem to be producing runs and I wish he'd ditch it.

  • Anonymous

    I just don't know what's going on in terms of that team-first mantra or whatever else they're preaching. I'm okay bunting at times, but I hate when he bunts with non-pitchers or hits and runs in odd places, but doesn't steal. Why isn't Reyes bouncing all over the place? Is it Reyes or has Manuel said 'tone that down' or something? They've got all this speed and they're on pace to have fewer attempts than they've had in years, despite having had a lot of baserunners this year. I think there is a lot said for a runner bouncing around on the bases distracting the pitcher.

  • Anonymous

    Let's hope I'm wrong about that…..

  • Anonymous

    For the record, I'm generally ok with Jerry. In fact, besides Bobby V, he's my favorite manager since Davey (that's not saying very much, I know.)

  • Anonymous

    True, Willie was never much on the X's & O's and now Manuel is making some headscratchers.
    How about pinch-running Omir for Castro on Saturday and having Cora pinch-hit for Johann? Shouldn't that have been the other way 'round?
    Or have Cora pinch-run, leave Johann in to bunt — as Cora did — and double switch Santos in at the top of the inning?
    Jerry was very lucky theyu scored their lone — and winning! — run that inning.
    Now, as to the fire issue, this team needs to GROW A FUCKING PAIR! If I were Beltran — which I most assuredly am not — I would have lowered my shoulder and knocked YFM all the way to Chicago. But oh no…not our squad of polite gentlemen. Our men go into a play like that palms up, mouthing “Aw shucks.”
    Somebody on Metsblog opined that the 2000 World Series emasulated this organization and I don't half-wonder if he's right.