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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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Better Things to Watch

I liked the parts I watched, which is to say my splintered Wednesday night attention served me well for roughly 8½ innings. I was watching when Ruben Tejada slickened a tough grounder into a 4-3 double play. I was watching when Randy Wolf proved reassuringly human and balked for the first time ever (ever!). I was watching when Jose Reyes added a couple more cha-CHING!s to his initial negotiating session. I was watching when Big Pelf made like a stampeding elk to beat wispy Nyjer Morgan to first. And I was watching most heartily and happily when Ronny Paulino rediscovered the lost species known as the New York Mets Three-Run Home Run.

It was such an oddity that even Jason Bay emerged from his fainting couch to see what one looked like.

Yeah, those were the good parts. The bad parts I had the good timing to avoid as I immersed myself in reruns of Modern Family and the DVR’d season finale of South Park. I didn’t watch Prince Fielder take Mike Pelfrey on one of his patented bratwurst-powered thrill rides. I didn’t watch Pedro Beato implode and Jason Isringhausen get sucked into the very same vortex of bullpen futility. Whereas I had watched every one of the Mets’ six runs cross the plate, I managed to miss Milwaukee matching them.

But through the magic of the remote control, I got the gist as things moved along.

My keen sense of timing betrayed me when I flipped back to SNY for the bottom of the ninth. Responsible reporting demanded I monitor every pitch. Personal satisfaction suggests I should have stuck with The Daily Show. Hence, I watched a Bison too far, a.k.a. Dale Thayer, entrusted with a 6-6 tie. I watched Craig Counsell — whose every sighting since about 2004 compels me to ask, “Craig Counsell is still playing?” — single with one out. I watched Paulino get tangled up in Rickie Weeks’s strikeout but not tangled up enough to throw to second and earn an interference call that would have sent Counsell back to first.

I watched Thayer’s journeyman essence again and sensed imminent doom. I watched Morgan — as good an advertisement as has ever been for the well-placed purpose pitch — drive Thayer’s last delivery down the right field line to score Counsell. I watched Morgan hop, skip and jump like he’d just won the sausage race. I watched what was about to be an exhilarating 6-2 triumph dissolve into a miserable 7-6 defeat.

Then I flipped to Jon Stewart and tried to forget what I just saw.

11 comments to Better Things to Watch

  • I guess I was lucky. My local Time Warner’s SNY had a frozen image of a prizefight on the screen all night.

  • dmg

    i was getting the account online. pitch by pitch.
    excruciating, and as bad a loss as they’ve had all year. and doesn’t it seem like the majority of their losses are like this? defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, etc.?

  • Rob D.

    you knew as soon as Gary mentioned that if Paulino had tried to throw Counsell out and hit Weeks that it would have been interference, that the Mets were doomed.

    • Actually, as soon as Gary praised their grittiness and their projected one-under-.500 record, I felt a little unsettled.

      • Rob D.

        Yes, I overreacted and said to my son..wow if they can win this won and then sweep, we’ll be 31-31 with 100 games to go!

  • 9th string catcher

    Had a similar experience, except that when I turned from Modern Family, I saw the 6-2 turn into 6-4, then repeated the process until it was 6-6. The only thing that has helped deal with this horror was your post. Thanks, man.

    Geez, you get a good Pelfrey start and offense and still lose. That was a tough one. Still, would rather lose with this year’s team than win with last year’s.

  • Joe D.

    HI Greg,

    Last night’s heartbreaking loss was just another in a long line of those that correctly according to Terry Collins we coulda, shoulda, woulda.

    If we added them all up, we’d be ahead of Philadelphia by this time.

    Despite the big build-up that Boyer, Byrdak, Buccholz and Carresco would add depth and quality to our bullpen (which many of us though was just a lot of bull anyway), the situation become such that two weeks ago Alderson then had to acquire Dale Thyer. At least this time there was no fanfare involved like over the winter. And, of course, Dale has already shown that he can fit right in with the other above mentioned relief aces.

  • Ken K. from NJ

    (whose every sighting since about 2004 compels me to ask, “Craig Counsell is still playing?” )

    Ha! That’s EXACTLY what I thought when he stepped up to the plate last night.

    Here’s what The Onion had to say about Craig Counsell a few years ago:

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/turns-out-craig-counsell-was-actually-best-basebal,6581/

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    How many days till “Pitchers and Catchers report”?

  • Rob D.

    What’s funny is that I am sure every team has these kind of losses and we don’t know about them cause we don’t follow that particular team. Mets sure seem to have more of them, though.