The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Be Like the Braves

By predictably losing on Sunday — between Kris Medlen’s streak and Chipper Jones’s farewell, I had next to no doubt about the outcome at Turner Field — the 73-86 Mets made certain their record in 2012 will not be as good as their record was in 2011 (77-85), which wasn’t as good as their record in 2010 (79-83).

That’s progress?

It’s not, but neither would have been creeping from 77 wins last year to 78 this year. That’s why the Alderson quotes from the trading deadline about finishing over .500 or the “one source said” emphasis on making it to third place did nothing for me. Those aren’t goals. They’re stepping stones. The Mets aren’t within an incremental step from being where they need to be. The more bracing reminders ownership and management receive that they weren’t close to being all-around solid in 2012 — spirited start notwithstanding — the better it will be for all of us in the long run. Remember the emptiness of July, August and September and resolve to start filling the void.

If the Mets had eked out a smidgen of forward statistical motion, I could picture everyone from Jeff Wilpon to Sandy Alderson to Terry Collins contracting tendonitis from patting themselves on the back over minute improvements — and the players getting all giddy from sucking a little less while playing dress-up for their next flight. Never mind the good first-third of this season, when they peaked at 31-23 (which is that high bar Collins keeps alluding to — playing pretty well during a span of 54 games out of 162). Own your subpar performance. Acknowledge it as unacceptable and then put it behind you. Build a better team, one that isn’t above average for a couple of months and dreadful for many more months. Set aside a few keepers and decide nobody else is sacrosanct and every option is on the table.

Those Braves who put the Mets away with no extraordinary effort on Sunday? That’s a better team. Save for two Jon Niese starts, the Mets didn’t share the same planet with them in the second half. There’s talent all over that pitching staff and all over that roster and they’re not even the best team in their own division. They fell on their faces last September and it didn’t stop them from getting back on their feet a season later. The Braves are what I want the Mets to be when they grow up.

4 comments to Be Like the Braves

  • Andee

    So how is it that Craig Kimbrel is so unhittable, while Bobby Parnell isn’t? Parnell pitches like he’s scared to death of hitting someone with that fastball of his. I don’t know whether that’s a coach who put that fear into him or whether he’s always had it, but really, Bobby, just keep it below the shoulders and you’ll be fine.

    I suppose it’s asking too much, though, to have a reliever who’s unhittable all year, year after year. This team has never had that. Every damn closer we’ve ever had gives people heart attacks. But I mean, Kimbrel never blows up. Never ever ever. He’s given up seven earned runs all year. Frank Francisco gives up that many runs before breakfast every day, when he can pitch at all. Twenty-six hits in 61 innings, Kimbrel has. Parnell is the best we’ve got, and he’s given up 64 hits in 65+ innings. How are we supposed to compete with that?

    Yeah, obviously some outfielders who can hit need to be acquired, at the very least. But since the Mets are where good hitters go to die, who is going to escape the curse? They might be better off acquiring some bad hitters and trying to troll the cosmos that way; it worked for the Giants.

    • “How are we suppose to compete with that?”

      Not quite the exact quote, but now I’m thinking of young Dewey Cox in the talent show scene in Walk Hard: How are we supposed to follow that? Indeed, Parnell crossed my mind and not in a flattering comparison to Kimbrel this weekend.

      Mets vs. Braves. Dewey Cox vs. Bobby Cox. Or their heirs.

  • Just_Da_Damaja

    So true —> “If the Mets had eked out a smidgen of forward statistical motion, I could picture everyone from Jeff Wilpon to Sandy Alderson to Terry Collins contracting tendonitis from patting themselves on the back over minute improvements — and the players getting all giddy from sucking a little less while playing dress-up for their next flight.”

    And this is why the mets kept Scott Hairston and Tim Byrdack rather than trade…

    this team is neither concerned with the present ( no bullpen help came in ) …nor the future..they are and have always been concerned with image…

  • Seth

    No — I don’t want the Mets to be like the Braves. The Braves love themselves a lot, don’t they? They love their 15 straight division titles. They love their Chipper Jones, their Turner Field, their Smoltz/Glavine/Maddox, their tomahawk chop. What have they really got to show for all that in the last 20 years? ONE World Series championship. Now as a Mets fan I appreciate the number of times the Braves been in post-season play, but one World Series victory from all that, has GOT to be considered a massive disappointment. And again this year — one big honking, smelly, messy, beer-can ridden failure.

    No — I respect and admire the St. Louis Cardinals organization and their winning tradition. Yes, 1985, 1987, and 2006 still hurt. But the St. Louis Cardinals are what I want the Mets to be when they grow up.