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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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Insults to Injuries

A grim exercise, for posterity: With one out in the Brewers' fourth, Johan Santana walked a 29-year-old journeyman starting pitcher. He got Corey Hart to fly to center, but Fernando Martinez fell down, literally landing on his face to put runners on second and third. Santana walked J.J. Hardy and went to an 0-2 count on Ryan Braun … to whom Johan then threw a meatball. The ball sailed over Gary Sheffield's head and bounced off the wall. Alex Cora had a play at the plate on Hardy, but his relay throw got past Omir Santos. Santana, backing up the play, saw Braun stray too far down the third-base line — and promptly threw the ball over David Wright's head. Cora fell down in a vain attempt to corral it. All four runs scored.

Oh my God, wasn't that awful?

Young baseball fans learn by about their eighth birthday that baseball can be shockingly cruel. There is no mercy rule for bad teams, battered teams or unlucky teams. Quarter is neither requested nor given.

But my goodness, has any team and any fan base staggered through half a season with this many horrifying, stomach-punch, throw-the-beer-at-the-set, call-the-FAN-in-a-lather, kick-the-dog, bag-on-the-head losses?

Let's review:

April 12: Daniel Murphy's dropped fly ball against the Marlins keys a Santana loss.

April 21: Murphy plays left field wearing ice skates against the Cardinals.

May 2: Sean Green walks in the winning run against the Phillies.

May 11: Jose Reyes' seventh-inning error (behind Santana, of course) opens the floodgates against the Braves.

May 17: Mike Pelfrey balks and mutters the name of the pitch he's throwing, tipping off the Giants, while Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips all but call Carlos Beltran a member of Al Qaeda.

May 18: Ryan Church misses third base.

June 1: The Mets are up 5-0 in the third; the Pirates score five in the 8th.

June 10: After Jayson Werth does a heck of a Ron Swoboda imitation, Chase Utley's second homer of the night beats the Mets.

June 11: Ken Takahashi, meet Raul Ibanez.

June 12: Luis Castillo drops the ball.

June 14: Yankees 15, Mets 0.

June 18: Frankie Rodriguez gags against the Orioles.

June 26: Three errors in the second lead to a 9-1 Yankees win.

June 27: The Mets manage one hit against A.J. Burnett.

June 28: Frankie walks Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded.

June 30: You just saw it. (Greg didn't — he was at Yankee Stadium. Tough night when you're better off at Yankee Stadium in the rain.)

July 1: God only knows. God only fucking knows.

Turn off the FAN, put in earplugs and seek solace in 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.

12 comments to Insults to Injuries

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, Holy cow and Christ Almighty.
    My only solace right now is that I agree with Andee's post from yesterday. People keep talking about trades when there's nothing really out there. Too many teams in contention. Maybe Adam Dunn. Maybe Alex Rios since the Blue Jays will need money to resign Halladay. But if ANY team could make a deal where they'd get Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, J.J. Putz and Billy Wagner in July and August, they would know that they could make a run. The NL East is turning into a mess, but the Phillies, Marlins and Braves have their own share of problems. The Mets, at least, will be healthier late in the season.

  • Anonymous

    How about the first at-bat at Citi Field being a HR by the opposing team?

  • Anonymous

    I agree that there prob isn't a trade that can fix this team. Too many problems.
    My dad's off next week, and I had been looking forward to taking him to Citi Field. Not so much anymore.

  • Anonymous

    They need help, Lordy they need help, but yeah, let's not be swapping Jason Bay for Steve Reed on the off chance that we're not out of it when we're on the cusp of being in it.
    In better news, I'm not a pillar of salt.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing we can do. There is just nothing to be done. It is amazing to me to hear the same fans who complained about aging veterans now demanding we go pick up, say, Damion Easley.
    Everyone knows how hurt the team is, we can't hide that any more.
    Omar can't pull a rabbit out of his hat. It's amazing to me that “clubhouse veterans” think that there's someone out there to be had, magically.
    It would be okay if it was just a matter of the other team out hitting us and out pitching us. The errors in every game just make it unbearable.
    My only consolation is that the Phillies suck. Um, go Fish.

  • Anonymous

    Urgh, thanks for that list. My breakfast is a-churning in my gut.

  • Anonymous

    Apropos of something-or-other, of those 16 FUGly losses, 10 of them came in June.
    Which rhymes with…

  • Anonymous

    Believe it or not, the Mets are still just a 5 game winning streak from most likely being in first place by Sunday night. Even the worst Met teams of all time (late 70s, early 80s, 1993) won 5 games in a row at one time during the season. If this team can do that now, they would most likely be in first place by Sunday night.

  • Anonymous

    HI Greg,
    The biggest shame is that not one of those eleven incidents involving individual Mets (not team efforts like 15-0 and one-hit losses) was by a player called up as a replacement.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of injuries, might there be better news on the horizon…?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, in almost any other year, I'd be going, “Sell, we're buried anyway.” Because in any other year, with all those injuries and all those thoroughly bizarre happenings (how can Francisco Rodriguez walking Mariano freaking Rivera with the bases loaded possibly be called anything else?), we WOULD be buried.
    Instead, because EVERY team in our division blows mountain lion sized hairball chunks, we are TWO games out. That's it. If you're that close to first place, even with an endless list of problems, you just don't throw in the towel. You just don't.
    And people can yell “fire the manager!” all they want, but Jerry's not going anywhere. He has an extension (which I understand hasn't even kicked in yet!), and they've already, in just the last seven years, had to fire BV and eat his contract, fire Howe and eat his contract, fire Willie and eat his contract. We already look enough like the post-Ralph Houk, pre-Buck Showalter Yankees, skipper-wise, without doing likewise with Jerry (and the guy after that, and the guy after that, and the guy after that, ad nauseum). The only way Jerry gets himself shit-canned is if he gets himself permanently on the bad side of one of the Big Five (Johan, Frankie, Wright, Reyes, Beltran — not so much Delgado because he's on the way out anyway).
    And firing Jerry is not going to change anything much anyway. Most managers are dumb-ass strategists — no, really, they are, almost none of them could beat a six-year-old at chess. And managers can't make players do anything anymore unless they are very young or last-chance scrap-heapers. Managers used to have some leverage over players by fining them, benching them, or sending them down, but once a player has a guaranteed multi-million dollar deal, there's no leverage there. Fining a guy with $20 million in the bank is a joke, he won't be benched for months if he's making a fortune, and he can't be sent down. So what else could a manger do except grumble and complain and throw food and furniture around? Today's players aren't going to be intimidated by that. Just ask Piniella how well he's doing making Milton Bradley and all his other problem children “behave.”

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I hate the very idea of firing Manuel. I can't stand people bringing it up. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but I think he's managed the team pretty well through a very difficult spate of injuries. Honestly, and I'm not trying to psychoanalyze the guy or anything, I thought the whole “we've got to keep our heads above water because we're really in trouble here until our star players get back” line was a deliberate attempt to downplay expectations in the press and an attempt to get players like Wright, Santana, Rodriguez, Beltran and probably Cora, Sheffield and Church pissed off enough to start contradicting him in the locker room, pumping everyone up and convincing everyone they were good enough to contend.
    I think the downplaying of expectations in the press worked well enough, but Beltran got injured himself, and although Wright and Santana do seem sincerely pissed lately, I'm not sure how well the second half of Manuel's efforts have played out.
    He's a manager that obviously understands that baseball seasons are marathons, and as you said yourself, the team is depleted and lacking several of its stars. I very, very much prefer a manager who isn't trying to yell Argenis Reyes into Hanley Ramirez right now. I'm just clinging to hope that his closed door conferences and team bus things and his comments to the press are helping to unite these guys during a difficult time. It could matter later.