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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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REALLY!?! with Ronny & Jordany

The Mets scored nine runs Thursday afternoon. Really? They scored nine runs one night after leaving everybody on in San Francisco but Tony Bennett. Thursday they had one fewer baserunner than they did Wednesday but crossed the plate seven more times despite hitting one less homer — or zero. And they won both games. REALLY!?!

Ronny Cedeño drove in five runs. Really? The guy who nobody remembers is on the 25-man roster…and that includes his blood relatives. He hit a ball that clanged off Melky Cabrera’s glove, or as the Giants’ official scorer calls that sort of defensive lapse, a double. REALLY!?!

The Mets won this series. Really? The Mets, who only fly to California after the All-Star break for funerals, and then only for their own. They took three of four from the first-place Giants and are 4-1 since losing 14 of 16. And Terry Collins attributes the turnaround to having had “a meeting” in Arizona…like it was the most effective meeting since the Constitutional Convention. REALLY!?!

The big story to come out of the last game at Phone Company Park wasn’t Cedeño’s sudden liberation from the witness protection program or Chris Young pitching seven innings when his outings are normally as short as any of our Olympic gymnasts, but a t-shirt — Jordany Valdespin’s t-shirt. Really? The Mets have a policy against their baseball players, who wear baseball jerseys as part of their jobs, wearing t-shirts as they walk into the clubhouse…where they’ll take off whatever they’re wearing and put on those jerseys in about five seconds. All Mets are instead supposed to wear a shirt with a collar because each of them is expected to emulate Herbert Hoover because being a Mets fan doesn’t already conjure associations with the word “depression”. REALLY!?!

Valdespin left his shirt in his locker Wednesday only to find it cut up and written on by his anonymous veteran teammates. Really? Those are the veterans who are supposed to be older and wiser, not kindergarten bullies gone wild with scissors and magic markers after one too many Oreos. This behavior was condoned by their teacher/manager on Thursday because it was Valdespin who made “an error in judgment,” according to him. This is the kind of error that Terry Collins worries about, not the one he makes every time he spells “Bay” correctly on his lineup card. REALLY!?!

Met veterans reportedly don’t like Valdespin’s supposed “brashness” and “cockiness” because he’s a rookie. Really? Of course that could be a problem in a sport that hinges on competition. The last thing you want is a teammate who acts as if he expects to succeed in any situation…and then often succeeds in the most pressure-packed of situations. Between cultivating young men who will preach unquestioning adherence to rules rooted in ancient dogma that can appear bizarre to the outside world and this obsession with collars, the Mets almost seem less interested in building a winner than they are in running a seminary.

Really.

8 comments to REALLY!?! with Ronny & Jordany

  • Tom

    Wow – good point about the brashness. When my older brother and I were watching the Mets and Yankees, and watching Nick Swisher grin and showboat – we were both yearning for somebody to drill him at his next at bat. And just came up empty with names as to who would possibly do that.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    His actions remind me a bit of Lastings Millege and some I think we’ve all encountered behaving like they were “it” before they became “it” but at least in 2006 that group of veterans didn’t stoop to destroying his personal property.

    Maybe the frustration of the season got the better of this edition and they unfairly directed that anger entirely on the young rookie. Even if true, that was a classless act. I hope R.A. wasn’t a part of it.

  • Andee

    Hey, at least Spin wore the “doctored” T-shirt into the clubhouse today and got a big laugh. Kid’s got a sense of humor. On this team, gods help you if you don’t. Just ask Jeff Kent, if you dare.

    Yeah, all the rookie hazing stuff has been going on probably since the volunteer fire department days. There was one incident I heard about with the Dodgers from when Mike Piazza and Chan Ho Park were with the team, and Park was a rookie, so this would have been around 1996. Piazza’s idea of fun involved cutting up Park’s suit, not because Park did anything wrong, but just because people probably did shit like that to him his first year. Park was visibly upset, saying that his mother had made him that suit. Piazza felt bad about it and made it up to Park by buying him a new, custom-made suit. A T-shirt is pretty danged cheap by comparison.

  • Dave

    Only in this era of 24/7/365 multimedia saturation would the t-shirt thing be a story. They’re paid handsomely, have a dress code, and they’re the chronologically grownup versions of high school jocks, with lots of time to kill. Men behaving badly, and as we’ve seen with some Mets alumni, that behavior can be a lot worse than trashing someone’s shirt.

    Bay is still on the team? And in the lineup every day? Really? Nobody on the waiver wire can hit more than .160? Really? But it’s only August and he’s already in double figures in RBI’s…really…

  • boy I hope no word on the Mets Bloggers initiation rites ever get leaked. No garments are ever mutilated because as everyone knows bloggers don’t wear pants

  • Will in Central NJ

    I’m waiting for The 7 Line to produce a “Know Yer Place, Rook” tee shirt, or some variation thereof.

    For what it’s worth, regarding Milledge: he seems to have a bad reputation, but when I got his autograph on two separate occasions while he was a Met minor leaguer (in Trenton, 2005; in Scranton, 2006), Lastings was patient, smiling, made eye contact, posed for pictures and spoke in English and Spanish as the need arose, for me and for many others who crowded around him. I can’t help but wonder if his reputation is a result of at least some exaggeration…

  • [...] things up more than he conforms to the established norm of his new surroundings. (As long as he doesn’t wear a t-shirt to the clubhouse, heaven [...]