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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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All-Star Selection Show

Once a year I forget how much I hate every player on 15 rival rosters and root for the National League All-Stars. But every year, given the shark-infested waters under the various bridges we've burned ('06 NLCS, '07/'08 collapses), it gets harder to muster that ol' team spirit.

It got more difficult between innings at Sunday's Mets game when the CitiVision operators offered a “salute” to the 2009 Senior Circuit standard-bearers.

They commenced by showing us first baseman Albert Pujols. I don't think anybody in the stands was really paying attention at that point. No reaction whatsoever for someone who usually generates jeers and bad 33-month old memories. I applauded so softly that it was imperceptible even to myself. But I did applaud. At this point Albert Pujols is the George Washington of the National League. He's at the head of the list and you can't dispute his ranking.

Then second baseman Chase Utley. This unleashed the furies. BOOO!!! Chase Utley? Signature player of our current archrivals? The only batter in the history of civilization whose home run stroke has been shown to have benefited from Citi Field's contorted dimensions? I know we're all in this together come Tuesday night, but nobody here wants to look at Chase Utley unless it's video of him falling into a pit on top of…

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez? YEECH! And BOOOOOO!!!!!! Hanley Ramirez is a one-man teal wrecking crew. He plays on while Reyes gingerly jogs. His team is ahead of ours in the standings, which isn't nearly the Marlins' biggest crime based on their accumulated record of late September misconduct in these parts.

Third baseman David Wright. Supportive applause, warm cheers. Our guy. The Mets brass sometimes likes to promote its own. Sometimes.

Outfield starters next. They begin with Carlos Beltran. Good choice. He won't play in St. Louis. I don't know if he'll even show up (probably not). But nice to remember he was having a good season before going down. Another positive reception.

Outfielder Ryan Braun. A pin could drop.

Outfielder Raul Ibañez. That's not Ra-uuuul we're responding, but it's his uniform absorbing the abuuuuse more than the man. He hasn't been around here enough to meaningfully stoke our collective ire (though he's sure making strides).

I'm thinking we're moving onto the pitchers, but I've conveniently forgotten the other position whose starter is voted on by the fans. And the Mets being the Mets, it is his face now featured on our screen.

Catcher Yadier Molina.

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Part of me respects the Mets' attempt to accurately complete the lineup. I don't like when history is revised to make people comfortable (our 2006 highlights DVD implies Game Seven ended with Endy's catch). But the Mets can sure be weirdly selective in what they choose to emphasize. The key, I suppose, is making certain Mets fans feel at least a little belittled by their own organization. Two weeks ago, during the Subway Series finale (the score of which was 3-2 at the time), they skipped the Eighth Inning Singalong altogether. The Eighth Inning Singalong is a dopey conceit, but this was when “Meet The Mets” had trumped “Sweet Caroline” as the song of record. To the extent the Singalong is liked or even anticipated, “Meet The Mets” is the reason why. “Meet The Mets” is our song.

But gee, you could hear somebody in charge thinking, if we play “Meet The Mets,” a good portion of this crowd at this particular game might mock it. And since we can't count on our Citi Field patrons showing any more life than our baseball team, let's just skip the whole thing.

The organist did play “Sweet Caroline” during the pregame that Sunday night, incidentally. They really can't help themselves, can they? (It was booed at 7:20 prior to an 8:05 start.)

As usual, I digress. The Mets plastered, without a satiric caption, the face of Yadier Molina, the single worst villain from a practical standpoint in Mets history. Quick — name someone else who hit a home run that almost literally ended a Mets postseason. Do the Yankees blow kisses to Bill Mazeroski or Luis Gonzalez? Falling down the Chase-Hanley hole isn't good enough for Yadier. Get those Arpielle mini-excavators to race over his supine body, and that we can applaud. Better yet, announce Yadier Molina's All-Star image and post “NO PICTURE AVAILABLE”. You don't need to be John McEnroe to declare YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS about expecting a respectful round of applause from a building filled with Mets fans when you're beaming Yadier Molina in oversized living (unfortunately) color.

Catcher Yadier Molina.

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

It crossed my mind that maybe somebody in the control booth was having diabolically ironic fun with us. But I don't think the fourth-grade interns they hire for stuff like this go that deep.

They finished up by showing Johan and Frankie, and they were clapped upon, but geez. After the Mets sent their best to Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez and Yadier Molina, it's no wonder the apple was too embarrassed to show its face more than once.

8 comments to All-Star Selection Show

  • Anonymous

    'our 2006 highlights DVD implies Game Seven ended with Endy's catch' .
    Good one.
    The other outfielder? Can you say Victorino???? Going to be hard to root for the NL team this year.
    Finished your book a couple of weeks ago. Great read. You're just a few years younger than me, became a NY Met fan a year after me, so many of the memories in the book brought back memories of my own through the years of watching Met baseball.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks regarding the book, Anon. And I guess credit should be given the Mets for choosing to spotlight Carlos over the In Hell We Can Only Hope He's Fryin' Hawaiian.

  • Anonymous

    i hate to bring this up, but i have yet to see meet the mets in the 8th get any sort of reaction. it was a lot better earlier in the game. i don't mind a pop song in the 8th as long as it isn't sweet caroline. i supposed it shouldn't be summer of 69 either because that would make sense.

  • Anonymous

    It isn't the singalongiest song ever written, but I find it always get a nice reception when announced. It's a tough number to follow through to the end unless you're committed to it.
    I assume Wise paid for a singalong or something like it, otherwise they'd let it go already yet.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    I have as much interest in the all star game as the players do.
    In fact, I have more interest in the singalong. The way we're going I cast my vote for “You Gotta Have Heart” because this team really needs it.

  • Anonymous

    A few years back it seemed like we were starting a new, awesome, anti-opponent / pro-Met tradition on Diamondvision. Somewhere in between innings during the game, Diamondvision would show a Met fan to no reaction. Then a fan of the opponent would gather some boos. Back to showing a different Met fan, who would get some cheers. Back to a visitor fan, and this time the crowd is curious what all the hubbub is about so they look at Diamondvision, and hence more boos. Back to a Met fan, more cheers. So on and so on. It was great fun! WHY DID THEY STOP DOING THIS?!
    In response to the singalong, I will sing Meet the Mets in the 8th inning for the remainder of my 2009 games in gratitude that it's not SC. But I agree with dykstraw, the song should come earlier in the game. If there must be a singalong, I think I've come up with the perfect solution: Tequila! It's easy, it's fun, everyone already knows the “lyrics” and sings them anyway, and to top it off – anyone still at a game in the 8th inning could probably use some.
    “There are two types of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him.”

  • Anonymous

    8th inning at Mets home games must belong to “The Curly Shuffle”
    The Mets haven't won a World Series since it left.

  • Anonymous

    'Cause if they don't play it during the eighth the team plays like the Three Stooges the rest of the game.