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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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Garbage Time Is Here Again

Watching Daisuke Matsuzaka get spanked the Tigers, I found myself depressed.

I wasn’t depressed because Matsuzaka got pummeled, though that wasn’t much fun — the Mets put up a bit of a fight early, then trudged through the rest of the game. Matsuzaka said after the game that he found himself after the Tigers’ initial barrage, and the play-by-play acknowledges that the results were much better, but I think it’s a charitable interpretation. The Tigers look like a superb, playoff-bound team, and it’s a hallmark of such teams that they play about as hard as they have to in unequal August contests. The Tigers put it in cruise control and were content to occasionally check the rearview mirror for Mets creeping up on their bumper, which the Mets never did.

And I wasn’t depressed because Miguel Cabrera hit an enormous home run that he then pimped like some mutant offspring of Carlton Fisk and Joe Carter, with an outside-the-dugout celebration that lasted a good 45 seconds. That made me mad, because no one on the Mets, in the ballpark or even on Twitter seemed terribly bothered by said display. I get that Cabrera is a majestic, monstrous hitter, but you don’t need to be Tim McCarver going on about Bob Gibson to wonder if a pitcher ought not to put up with this level of disrespect. Get off my lawn, Miguel Cabrera. Get off my lawn, modernity.

It wasn’t the presence of Matsuzaka that bothered me, either. After I got over the initial surprise, it struck me as a perfectly sound, potentially smart move. The Mets don’t want to disrupt their young hurlers who are approaching innings limits and see some value in letting their minor-league teams pursue their postseasons at full strength. I agree with both those ideas. Matsuzaka is accomplished enough and young enough that letting him audition is a low-risk, potentially high-reward venture. All good. And did I really want to see, say, the itinerant Chris Schwinden return to get pounded every fifth day? That would be no.

I think what’s depressed me is that the season’s truly over. No more debuts of note. No goals to reach that are really worth fighting for, not with the wild card long gone and the chances of reaching .500 slim at best. I know Max Scherzer faces Matt Harvey tomorrow, but ehh. It’s a curiosity. The only time I’ve been excited by the prospect of playing the Tigers was October 2006.

Daisuke Matsuzaka makes sense, with his tarnished glories and his maybe-healing elbow. But he makes sense because the season has shrunk to innings to be eaten, and games to be crossed off. It was inevitable that we’d get to this moment, but I’m still not happy to realize it’s arrived.

10 comments to Garbage Time Is Here Again

  • 9th string catcher

    I got off work around 10:30 and heard the recap, having the same disheartened feeling, wondering who they’ll roll out to replace Harvey and Wheeler. Definitely curious enough to see what Dice K has to bring to the party – a little unfair to sacrifice him to the Lords of Michigan, but I guess someone had to do it.

    Sad that it’s only August and we can start reviewing the season as it’s basically over. Can’t wait to see what the September rotation is going to look like.

  • joe nunz

    I’m glad that I (mostly) #DidSomethingElseThisSummer

  • Kevin from Flushing

    Typical goddam Mets: “we signed Dice K because he’s an innings eater… Ok, 87 pitches through 5 is enough.”

  • Steve D

    The only thing left to do to take our last shred of dignity is to put a Walmart over the footprint of Shea.

  • Felt like they sleep walked through the whole game to me. Dice-K was interesting, but, holy crap, I’ve worked with Asian nationals in this country for five years now, and to a person, they TRY to learn English. He still needs an interpreter to talk to his CATCHER? I mean, in a press conference, sure, but in the the dugout to his catcher? Give me a freakin’ break!

  • Andee

    Go Rays. That is all.

  • open the gates

    Typical. When They (and we all know who They are) get someone from that part of the world, it’s Hideki Matsui, or Chieng-mien Wang,or a still-in-his-prime Ichiro. When we do, it’s Yoshii or Igarashi or Kashiwada, or a way-past-their prime Nomo or Chan Ho Park or Dice-K. And we talk up Jae Seo like the second coming of Seaver, rather than the second coming of Bobby Jones (who was also supposed to be the Second Coming of Seaver…)

    We never get good presents like our rich cousins in the Bronx. No fair.

  • mikeL

    what really got me depressed about the series with detroit is that i was inexplicably unable to watch friday’s and saturday’s contests.
    SNY: tiathlon and women’s boxing, respectively
    fox: dodgers-bosox
    local nyc (now cbs) : yankees friday nite no coverage saturday…
    mlb tv: cards on friday, little league on saturday.

    the local fox radio affiliate dropped the mets in favor of the bosox before the start of last season;
    now that it’s august and the mets meaningful games are over, mets fans in the albany area need to subscribe to mlb tv or be content with checking the scores online.

    it’s absolutely absurd that the mets have their own tv channel, yet in the state of NY i can’t watch the game. anywhere. hundreds of channels and one fewer reason of the few reasons to turn the tv on.

    thus is the state of monopolized media.

    i thus left the tv off in silent protest.
    (if the game’s not on tv, am i really missing it?)

    the sunday game was on the tube but by then i had gotten used to working on the weekend tasks without distraction. another loss. just as well…

  • […] their quest to host the Wild Card game. Call it Dice-K in renaissance mode, making each of us who doubted him, scoffed at him and napped to him very slowly eat our […]