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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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Minor Mysteries of Cleveland, Ohio

The Roberto Alomar trade aside, is there anything about the Cleveland Indians to stir the blood of Mets fans? Has an Indians diehard ever gotten up in arms about what’s transpiring at Shea Stadium or Citi Field?

When Mets-Indians actually compares favorably to such epic tilts as Mariners-Cardinals, Blue Jays-Padres and … ZZZZZ, oh, I’m sorry, I dozed off there, where was I … Rangers-Marlins, do you have to be a cynic to say that for the most part interleague play is a strained, stupid gimmick?

Do those casual-dress business guys in the insanely great seats behind the net at field level ever ACTUALLY WATCH THE FREAKING GAME? I mean, those seats are better than the batboy’s, and tonight I saw one of those guys pay attention to the field for perhaps six seconds total.

Speaking of the seats that are an order of magnitude better than any I’ll ever sit in, why is there a TV in there? YOU’RE ESSENTIALLY SITTING ON THE WARNING TRACK! WHY DO YOU NEED A TV? Why not give the left fielder one too?

Does it bother anyone else that while you’re watching your TV, you can see the TV that gives the people in the great seats another way to not watch the game, and that TV is a second behind your own TV? Because doesn’t that imply if you got really close you could see another littler TV on the little TV you can see while watching your own TV, and that littler TV would be yet another second behind? Which means with a TV of infinitely good resolution you could go down a wormhole of tinier and tinier TVs, each further and further behind live action. So how far back could you ultimately see? Would you glimpse Bob Feller in his prime? Steamships and fur traders? Dinosaurs?

Even when such ineptitude suits your own purposes, isn’t it quietly depressing to see teams play baseball as badly as the Orioles and the Indians play it?

Why do some people still exalt Manny Acta as a great manager? Granted, I’ve put in about three hours of work watching the Indians. But they sure look like the Nationals under Acta’s watch, reliably making dopey errors as well as ugly physical ones. Doesn’t a general air of distraction and dimwittedness eventually start to reflect on the manager?

Granted, it took a dozy play by Russell Branyan to make it possible, but how about Jose Reyes scoring from second on an infield hit by David Wright? Have you ever seen a runner go around the third-base coach on his way home? Me neither!

For anyone who doubts baseball is unfair, how does Wright collect two RBIs on a bouncer to Jason Donald that a better shortstop would have converted into an out, while Angel Pagan hits a laser right to Branyan’s glove and gets a complimentary trudge back to the dugout? Pagan’s ball was the hardest hit that inning, even including Ike Davis’s summer homer.

Speaking of Ike Davis, how happy is he that his bunt up the third-base line was near-perfect instead of perfect?

Does it amuse anyone else that when he’s at the plate Ike Davis looks like he’d rather be anywhere else? He looks like a husband who’s convinced himself to knock a wasp’s nest off a branch and into a garbage can, after which he’ll put the lid on real quick.

Have you seen a more discouraging game for a middle infielder in recent memory than Jason Donald’s? If he wasn’t making errors, he was making throws that arrived at first half a step after Met runners.

Am I a bad Mets fan for not being surprised that Francisco Rodriguez nearly blew it? OK, am I a bad Mets fan for being grimly certain that K-Rod will manage to blow others? If you’re still with me, am I a bad Mets fan for thinking that Francisco Rodriguez is a shell of his former self, a horrible closer, and heartbreak waiting to happen?

When things are going this well, doesn’t it somehow seem perfectly natural that a mediocre starting performance, lousy appearance by a closer and a bushel of infield hits would add up to a victory?

19 comments to Minor Mysteries of Cleveland, Ohio

  • Lenny65

    “If you’re still with me, am I a bad Mets fan for thinking that Francisco Rodriguez is a shell of his former self, a horrible closer, and heartbreak waiting to happen?”

    Yes, still with you and no, you’re not. K-Rod is merely following in the footsteps of other legendarily terrifying Met closers of yore, no need to list the names here because you already know them well enough. There are few baseball terms as scary to Met fans as “save opportunity”.

  • Jacobs27

    “Which means with a TV of infinitely good resolution you could go down a wormhole of tinier and tinier TVs, each further and further behind live action. So how far back could you ultimately see? Would you glimpse Bob Feller in his prime? Steamships and fur traders? Dinosaurs?”

    Good stuff, Jason.

  • You’re not a bad Mets fan for doubting Frankie Rodriguez. You’re not wrong that Frankie Rodriguez is far from a sure thing, to put it mildly. But I can feel this building a la Jose Vizcaino, Bobby Jones, Shawn Green…whoever it is you have decided is the bane of your existence, it will be my impulse to overcompensate on that Met’s behalf. Next time Frankie doesn’t give up an unnecessary home run, I will feel compelled to note, “Look, Frankie’s not so bad.” Same as I did every time Shawn didn’t fall on his face, Bobby didn’t leave before the fourth inning, Viz didn’t drain the life force out of you. And I will be moved to present some sheath of statistics and anecdotes proving, in fact, Frankie Rodriguez is not the worst closer in the history of Metkind all in the hopes of moving you one solitary degree off your hard and fast position that nothing could be worse than watching Frankie Rodriguez enter a game. And you won’t move, because you never move, and I’ll be frustrated at both my inability to persuade and your refusal to uncement, and you’ll still be mad at the player in question and this will go on until his contract runs out or he’s traded, at which time there will be another test case for this yin and yang or whatever you’d call it.

    But you’re not a bad Mets fan.

  • Andee

    As long as Wayne Twitchell continues to have existed, nobody will ever be a worse late-inning reliever for the Mets than he (well, okay, maybe Dick Tidrow was equally horrid, but at least they cut him quickly). Even Smell Blojas couldn’t compare. And did you ever watch John Franco close out a game and not have to have Zantac at the ready? Really, Armando Benitez was as good as it got (until his last year, anyway), and he wasn’t no Mariano.

    Who knows, maybe the people who say any old scrubbola can be the closer are nearer to being right than the ones who say a good closer is worth an 8-figure salary. Brad Lidge was in Blojas territory last year, and the Sillies still nabbed another pennant.

    Which is what leads me into my grand theory about Jenrry Mejia, which is that Jerry’s wanting him on the big club doesn’t have much to do with anything. Yeah, he makes noises like Mejia’s helping him keep his job and blah de blah, but I have to wonder if that isn’t just Jerry’s bizarre sense of humor talking, because Mejia’s hardly been used in high-leverage situations at all. No, I think what’s happening is that Jeff Wilpon has seen enough of Frankie and would very much like to dump him before he gets too expensive to dump, and replace him with Mejia as soon as he demonstrates that he can protect a 1-run lead.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Jason Fry. Jason Fry said: Join the #Mets in pondering the minor mysteries of Cleveland, at Faith and Fear in Flushing. http://bit.ly/9EL7E7 [...]

  • FormerDirtDart

    I’m calling him Armando Rodriguez.
    Think we could sell t-shirts?

  • Closers are all like that, and Frankie’s better than most, but doesn’t make you a bad Mets fan..but have some faith. :-D (And don’t let the Yankees fans fool you. That guy blows plenty too, they just shout BESTEST CLOSER LIKE EVER!! at you if you start talking about that. They lied about being too classy for a mascot too. they weren’t too classy, they just bumbled it.)

  • On a administrative note..why do I frequently get bounced around from one comment format to another?

  • March'62

    It’s time to change K-Rod’s nickname. Here’s a suggestion courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
    Don Stanhouse’s nickname was Full Pack. This nickname was given to Stanhouse by his manager with the Baltimore Orioles, Earl Weaver, who claimed he went through a full pack of cigarettes while the reliever pitched. Another memorable quote of Weaver’s was, “He doesn’t suffer from stress. He’s a carrier.” Stanhouse got hitters out, but was notorious for throwing a lot of pitches to each batter. Even in his best seasons, 1978 and 1979, he walked 6.3 batters per 9 innings pitched.

  • SJGMoney

    Talk about winning ugly!! The reason we take it to heart is because we are used to LOSING ugly. Another W, that’s all we care about right? Another trait of the bully team we are hopefully becoming.

    Our ace pitches like a jack, no worries we’ll finally score some runs for him.
    Can’t get the ball elevated against a sinkerballer, no worries we’ll score two runs on a infield non-hit.
    Cozy 3-run lead for our closer who insists on throwing change-ups to guys who can’t get around on a fastball, no worries (gulp).

    No worries when you are the new bully in town.

  • [...] Minor Mysteries of Cleveland, Ohio »    [...]

  • LarryDC

    Jesse Orosco (most of the time) and Randy Myers (shockingly, almost all the time) were the only two closers who didn’t give me a pit in my stomach. The litany of ninth-inning chokers is remarkable. It’s gotten to the point where, to me, the ideal scenario isn’t a 1-2-3 ninth — after all, how many of those can a Met possibly deliver us? — but a two-run ninth with a three-run lead, like last night. Perfect! We didn’t waste that rarest commodity, a non-suck night, and yet we still won.

  • Jason,

    Re-read this post, and then tell me it shouldn’t have ended thusly:

    “Tune in tonight at 7PM to find out! Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!”

    Anyway, after castigating Rodriguez again last night for nearly blowing another one, my brother and I decided that he’s really not much different than most closers. Outside of that guy across town and maybe Trevor Hoffman a few years ago, most of them make their fans nauseous on a regular basis. There’s a reason Rolaids sponsored the award for relivers for all those years, after all.

  • March'62

    Oy-Vey-Rod?
    Blow-Rod?
    Oh-No-Rod?
    K-there’s-always-tomorrow-Rod?
    Agita-Rod?

  • Kiner's Coroner

    “One-two-three is not exactly in Frankie’s repertoire.” -Gary Cohen, during last night’s broadcast (before the Shelley Duncan bomb).

    Gary is sometimes prone to understatement. BTW, I’ve started referring to Frankie as “BB-Rod.”