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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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The Way We'll Remember This One

Truth be told, I never had any use for “Friends.” It just didn't work for me — I found the characters dull or actually irritating, and so never cared what happened to them. But I did think the method for naming the shows — each show is formally known as “The One With…” or “The One Where…” — was clever. That's how we all describe episodes of our favorite shows anyway, so why not keep things simple?

So, what's the Friends-style description of this particular episode of Subway Series, the finale of Season 13? (Remind me not to ask for the Complete Season DVD. Easily the worst one since the 2003 DVD, the one with Jason Phillips and Roger Clemens on the cover. If either one of those DVDs shows up under the Christmas tree I'll know I pissed Santa off something fierce.)

Let's review some candidates.

The night started off as The One Where Taqueria Forgot How to Make Skirt Steak. El Verano Taqueria has become my favorite Citi Field food choice, ranking above even my beloved Shake Shack, and with the added benefit of a line that's usually about five minutes at the worst. Tonight it was more than 20 minutes, which I attributed to lines full of Citi Field newbies and general crowdedness. But when I got to the front of the line, I had to wait at least five minutes for an order of skirt steak. Huh? You have basically three menu choices and orders coming in every 30 seconds and you manage to fumble things that badly? How is that even possible? When I joined Emily, Greg and Jim in the Promenade it was 2-0 Yankees, I'd had to hear that awful news chronicled by the despicable Morgan and Miller and Phillips, and so I was already thoroughly pissed off. Still, this was a problem for one person, not 20,000.

Was it The One Where Daniel Murphy Got Too Cute? Well, yeah, Murphy needs to realize that you treat Derek Jeter like some malign force of nature to be contained or avoided. Don't think about outfoxing him if you're wearing a Met uniform, because it just doesn't work. (Oh, how I wish it were otherwise.) But let's give Murphy a pass — he was being aggressive and he's been a lot better at first than any of us would have guessed.

How about The One With Fernando Martinez Batting Instead of a Pinch-Hitter? That would seem to fit — and underline the point that one double doesn't disprove the amply demonstrated theory that young Mr. Martinez is hopelessly overmatched at a big-league level right now. I think everybody in the ballpark knew Brian Bruney would tempt him into a strikeout, and everybody in the ballpark was right. Still, this one's unfair — Ryan Church was a late scratch, so what option did Jerry have?

We could call it The One Where We Didn't Hit Chen-Mieng Wang. Yeah, except everybody saw that one coming, too. I had Wang penciled in for a seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball. Pessimistic, but not by much.

Besides, all this is overlooking the obvious. There's only one way we're going to remember this game, and we're going to remember it forever.

It's The One Where We Walked in a Run With an American League Closer at the Plate.

Ugh.

***

ADDENDUM: An added head-scratcher at Citi Field tonight was the number of Mets fans wearing inexplicable Met uniforms or t-shirts. McREYNOLDS 22 was old and eccentric, MILLER 25 more so, but neither is obviously crazy if you're a history-minded fan But what to do with the guy woman in the SEO 26 jersey? Or the one heading down the rotunda steps in CEDENO 19? Or the one that took the cake, on the 7 train home: a t-shirt that said BURGOS 40.

BURGOS 40? Really? With all the others, you can at least think of a point in time during which someone might have gotten a little too excited and headed to Modell's. McReynolds was a capable player until he got done eating half of Arkansas, Miller was feisty and gritty if not particularly talented, and Roger Cedeno was decent everywhere except the outfield for a couple of months. Heck, even Jae Seo had a good game or two. But Ambiorix Burgos, owner of one win as a New York Met? Ambiorix Burgos who got hurt and then made news during his rehab from Tommy John surgery first by assaulting his girlfriend and then by being charged with hit-and-run in a case in which two women died? (And who then turned himself in to Dominican Republic officials wearing White Sox gear?) You're a Mets fan, and this is a shirt you a) actually bought; b) kept through all that; and c) decided to wear to show your bona fides against the Yankees?

There's only one explanation for the wearers of SEO and CEDENO and BURGOS shirts: These people are plants, Yankee fans sent to Citi Field in disguise to make us look bad. Which is unsportsmanlike and not terribly necessary: This weekend, the people down there on the field wearing Mets uniforms with their actual names on them had that covered.

ADDENDUM ADDENDUM: The wearer of the BURGOS shirt offers a winning explanation/defense in the comments. I recant my accusation that he's a Yankee plant and tip my cap to him instead. And somehow now even though our lineup is as crappy as it was last night and we're in as much or more trouble standings-wise, I'm more cheerful about things.

Need an antidote to what just happened? I'd suggest a liberal dose of 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.

30 comments to The Way We'll Remember This One

  • Anonymous

    Ah, the National League, where pitchers bat — even the best pitcher most New York baseball fans now living have ever seen, and I ain't talking about the Fresno vintner. Real baseball.
    From this day forward, I don't want to hear any Met fans talk about how they play “real baseball.” The best relief pitcher you've ever had (may Tug forgive me) walked a guy with 2 previous career at-bats. With the bases loaded. Turning a one-run deficit into a two-run deficit. You guys should now get down on your knees and beg Bud Selig to put in the designated hitter, because you can't even get Mariano Rivera out.
    There's an old saying: Fool Mets once, shame on you; fool Mets twice, shame on them; fool Mets five times out of six, and the ghost of Casey starts asking, “Can't anybody here play this game?” Yes, Casey: The team you took to 10 Pennants and 7 World Championships — not the team that, in your own words, “showed me ways to lose I never knew existed before.”

  • Anonymous

    OK, I thought I saw you on the 7 heading back from the game last night, now I know it was you; I am the guy with Burgos t-shirt.
    How exactly to explain it? First off, I got it at the start of the '07 season, so I didn't yet know how terrible he would be (on and off the field). I had the idea to get the t-shirt of the 25th man on the roster, kind of to show some love to everyone and be a bit on the unique side. I wasn't sure if this was a good idea or not, but then he struck out the side in the 2nd or 3rd game of the year in st. louis (his finest met moment perhaps) and I thought of it as a sign and made the purchase. They have upped the price of the t-shirt with the customized name on the back to like 30 bucks, so I am holding on to the one I have instead of getting a jj putz (we are both michigan men, no other reason).
    I would have come over to say hi and that I'm a big fan of the site, but I was way to drained and depressed after this weekend of baseball to talk to anyone. Though now that you are questioning my fandom I'm glad I didn't :) We true Met fans have to be a tad idiosyncratic to remain so for so long, I just happen to wear my idiosyncrasies on the back of my shirt. (Or at least one them)
    You must recant your public attack on my fandom! :)

  • Anonymous

    PS- At least I wasn't wearing a Glavine shirt!

  • Anonymous

    I was at a game where they were giving out Jae Seo shirts years and years ago. I don't remember why or how. But if you see someone wearing it–it might be for/from that.
    I also got a Matsui shirt for 5 bucks when they were trying to move that merchandise after he left. These shirts show a certain sense of humor as Mets fans, I think.
    Cedeno just seems a bit masochistic though.

  • Anonymous

    Ha, that is awesome. I wish you had said hi — we would have had a very entertaining conversation, and my addendum would have been about Mets fans sticking to their idiosyncracies come hell or high water (or assault or hit-and-run) instead of being so grumpy.
    I suppose I could have asked you about it, but I was drained and upset and exhausted myself.
    And you're of course right re Glavine — I didn't see one of those, thank God.
    Anyway, very glad to hear you're not actually a Yankee plant. :-) Still, holy cow man. That shirt's got to be at least minorly cursed!

  • Anonymous

    And people wonder why we hate Yankee fans…

  • Anonymous

    I was beyond bewildered when I arrived early for Tuesday night's game (the lone loss to the Cards) and I saw that the Mets Team Store (Jackie Robinson Rotunda Edition) was hawking jerseys bearing the names “Gee” and “Warthen,” along with several other PSL never-weres.
    Maybe they were “game used,” even though the games didn't count?

  • Anonymous

    Douchebags. There's just no other word. I had the grand wizard of the Yankee Fan Douchebag Army sitting behind me last night. I really think he flapped his gums from first pitch all the way to the end. He managed almost half of an intelligent statement — that was, of course, totaling up everything he said all night. He was trying hard to get me to turn around so we could get into it, but I kept my resolve, since my 7 year old was sitting next to me.

  • Anonymous

    I've seen some weird ones at Citi. Backman and Magadan?
    http://picasaweb.google.com/ceetar/040909_Pirates#5336098549774824178
    Isringhausen?!
    http://picasaweb.google.com/ceetar/041609_Padres#5333546813759592914
    I used to see a guy around Shea wearing a (robby) alomar. ick.
    I like Murphy. I think he can be a solid player if Manuel lets him play. I'd say his biggest issue is pressing and rushing. You could see it the way he played the outfield too. I like this. I think he'll be an excellent First baseman. Delgado never makes the extraordinary play, such as throwing to second on a bunt, although he's better around the bag, fielding throws, slapping tags when he's pulled off it. (maybe it's cause he's fielding righty?) Murphy seems capable of being an above average guy there. He needs to relax though. David needs to take him out and get him wasted one night or something.
    I'm hoping for The One Where the Manager Got Fired.
    or
    The One Where Tatis Gets Released.
    (Don't give me that injury stuff. at least Martinez _could_ wake up tomorrow and have figured it out and be awesome. Tatis won't. I'd rather see Corey Sullivan, or Bobby Kielty, or any of those other guys we have down in the minors somewhere. )
    The One With Mariano's RBI Walk.

  • Anonymous

    I have seen Alomar at 3 games in a row (unfortunately, in those games, the Mets have had 1 run and 7 hits), including an Alomar 90.
    Also spotted a Takahasi t-shirt the other day.
    Was disappointed that the guy wearing “Becker 55″ apparently wasn't paying tribute to Rich Becker.

  • Anonymous

    We have a winning record vs. the Washington Nationals. Not everybody can say the same.

  • Anonymous

    While Jace was awaiting the skirt steak, HERSHISER 55 (black t-shirt rendition, with the completely inappropriate wide lettering; similar style to the BELL 16 I saw Thursday) looked for his seat. A Los Mets HEILMAN 48 also came and went. I assume that was a raffle winner from '07 and '08. In retrospect he might have asked if there were a spare BURGOS he could have instead.

  • Anonymous

    Also, I'm not feeling quite as clement towards Daniel Murphy. Yeah he's been pretty good at first, but, that was flat out the wrong play. You get the out in the first inning, especially when you double clutch against a fast runner. Trying to get Jeter wasn't aggressive, it was reckless.
    And then dropping the throw on that double play ball didn't help. Jerry needs to address these things.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my! Burgos, I saw you at Queensboro Plaza last night on my way home from the “game”. Was going to inquire, but after witnessing last night, and the 15-0 Johan game in person, as well as surviving the Luis Cast-astrophe game, I was left with little strength to formulate words.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Uncle Mike, Pool Party at Mo Rivera's! Bring your friends!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Uncle Mike needs to understand that strange things happen in baseball. Yes, like our closer walking the other teams closer with the bases loaded. Also, much like a team leading 3 games to 0 in the ALCS, then losing the next 4 in the biggest choke job in post season history. (In case he has selective memory, that would be the 2004 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox).

  • Anonymous

    To paraphrase my grandfather, “Schver zu tzein ein [Mets fan]. (It's hard to be a Mets fan.)

  • Anonymous

    I've been a Met fan my whole life and I almost wish I had a Glavine Mets shirt just to piss off you so called experts and self appointed abiters of Mets fandom.

  • Anonymous

    It's not the losing that bothers me so much, it's how this version of my beloved Mets keeps finding new and ever-more humiliating ways in which to embarrass themselves. Things have bottomed out when you're rooting for a mere hit to avoid being no-no'ed vs. that other NY team which cannot be named.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous, I can't speak for Jason, but I am not a self appointed “abiter” [sic] of met fandom, I was appointed by a secrtive three judge panel, so your beef is with them.

  • Anonymous

    I too had a little stregnth left; in the future one and all should come and inquire about the shirt. I had three or four people say something to me yesterday, but normally nothing.
    As for the shirt being cursed, the met's record is actally pretty good when I wear it, I sadly keep track of such things. Its why I no longer wear my once “lucky” Michigan Charles Woodson jersey, which i was wearing for Endy catch and all that came after.

  • Anonymous

    Jason,
    I don't know what you and the others are talking about. Over the weekend I saw the Mets win three straight, taking each in thriling come from behind fashion (two of them in extra innings!).
    …. of course, those were games 3, 5 and 6 of the 1986 NLCS airing on MLB Network.

  • Anonymous

    While we were in the middle of a fight, my girlfriend thought that she would set things right by surprising me with a Met jersey that she could wear when we go to games. So she went to a place that sells second-hand jerseys (since we live in Toronto and new Mets gear is hard to come by) and was able to find a lovely female jersey that fit her great.
    When she showed it me, I was, naturally, filled with a lot of affection for her – I mean she just went out and spent a lot of time going through God knows how many old, cast-off jerseys until she found a Mets one that fit, just so that she could show her love for me by supporting my favorite team. It was completely unexpected, and since the Mets are, well, my biggest obsession/love/hatred/cause of pain, it was great that she got this. I mean, I was blown away.
    But then I turned it over, and it had the words ALOMAR stitched on the back.
    So while the whole thing made me love her, I have not let her wear the jersey yet. After I explained to her about his days in NY, she understood (she was, of course, as a Canadian and as someone who did not follow baseball aware of why she should not have gotten the jersey to begin with – she was also too young and not in Toronto when Robbie had his best days here). I am going to try to get the letters off the jersey, so hopefully that will work out.
    But yeah, if any of you guys see a young woman at a Mets game with an Alomar jersey, and I don't know a maple leaf, don't get angry.

  • Anonymous

    Two generations of Sandy Alomars were model citizens as Mets. It's not the store's fault that they got the number confused with that of a family black sheep. So your girlfriend is in the clear even without considering her lovely gesture.

  • Anonymous

    My self-appointment as arbiter is always subject to challenge, as this thread demonstrates quite nicely.
    Still, for your own good, please don't get a Glavine shirt. There are so many other ways to make your point. Matsui? Zambrano? Newhan? A. Nunez?

  • Anonymous

    I'd prefer Anon. wear a Gl@v!ne Mets shirt to Gl@vi!ne having worn one.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like Greg's story about his mom and an innocent looking batting helmet… (Buy the book!)

  • Anonymous

    OH, and PS — Uncle Mike? Mo (heh-heh) Rivera couldn't carry Tom Seaver's jock strap…

  • Anonymous

    Why not just get a Castillo shirt and keep twisting that knife in our backs; at least the rest of them are long gone.
    -seth

  • Anonymous

    My favorite shirt sighting was at fenway in 06 someone had a black mets Buckner Jersey with I believe 86 as the number..I only wonder why he went with the modern black and not an '86 style jersey. But this past trip to fenway; I spotted someone sporting a Mets Fernandez Jersey sitting in front of us. Only it wasn't El Sid's 50. I just checked metsbythenumbers for reference; and neither Chico nor Tony fernandez wore 2 on their unis. That had me confused.
    -seth