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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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Another Strange Night, Another Strange Season

Matt den Dekker is a plus center fielder for a team that suddenly has a surplus of them, has some pop, and looks like he’s got an idea about how to approach an at-bat.

Travis d’Arnaud, despite being written off by people unfamiliar with the concept of “small sample size,” has a good arm and an unfussy swing that ought to keep him out of Ikean trouble as a hitter. He collected two hits and saw an atom ball go for naught, which might help him relax at the plate and realize that he’s here to stay, upside-down “p” and all.

Lucas Duda didn’t kill himself at first.

Beyond that, I got nothing. Justin Turner grabbed at his hamstring and departed for some to-be-determined measure of time (could be a few days, could be forever), thereby depriving us of our best hitter. I find myself writing that, somehow, with equal doses of sincerity and snark: Turner’s been on a nice roll and has grown on me as a useful, level-headed player, but he’s still Justin Turner, and the fact that he’s our best hitter right now says a lot about the current state of affairs at Citi Field.

As this strange season nears its strange conclusion, it may be that the adventures of den Dekker and d’Arnaud and d-Uda mean more than we might think. The September when den Dekker and d’Arnaud found their footing and Duda gained confidence after being freed of the outfield may prove to be time well spent next spring. If so, those fleeting memories of good things may be more important than the bad — the heinous Jayson Werth blasting balls all over Flushing on an off-night for Dillon Gee and the doleful sight of crowds that have shrunk to the Party City Deck, Cuppy and some rounding error of fans scattered elsewhere. (They’re more like gatherings.)

Or perhaps that’s the optimist in me, gazing at the glass, smiling and declaring it one-eighth full.

I’d say you be the judge, but it’s too early for a ruling — which is why this is all so strange. Ask me after this offseason, when we should have a better sense of what money will or won’t have been made available. Ask me when Matt Harvey returns. Ask me next September, when perhaps losing a utility infielder won’t feel like yet another body blow. Ask me next time we’re relevant with fall in the air.

Just don’t ask me when that will be.

10 comments to Another Strange Night, Another Strange Season

  • mikeski

    Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
    Other times, I can barely see.

    It would be nice to have the light shining on us again.

  • open the gates

    Yup. When the Justin Turners, Tim Bogars and “Super Joe” McEwings become the indispensables, you know you’re in trouble. Although I think we caught on to that idea a while ago.

  • ToBeDetermined

    “that ought to keep him out of Ikean trouble as a hitter.”

    Upon first reading, I wondered what connection Travis d’Arnaud’s swing could possibly have to that furniture store chain. Only after a moment’s reflection did I think “Ike”.

    There’s definitely a lesson in that. I’m just not sure what it is.

    • March'62

      I think the lesson is that sometimes when you need an important piece, you can’t settle for ‘paying less’ and trying to patch things together. Sometimes you have to spring for the Huffman Koos or Raymour & Flanagan

  • Steve D

    I saw a swing analysis of d’Arnaud (forget who it was) and they showed him pointing the bat right at the pitcher before his swing, thus making for a very long swing (not good).

  • Rob D.

    When your flagship radio station lets you go after 25+ years, after paying $7MM a year for the rights to broadcast your games, and they claim to be losing money, and the same station turns around to pay your crosstown rivals $14MM, your product clearly sucks.

    • Steve D

      Good point…as far as I am concerned, this franchise is rotten at the core and not even worthy of being called the Mets anymore. Only new owners could possibly restore it to past glory now. This is 1979 repeated.

  • Dave

    Problem isn’t just that it’s 1979, it’s that we’re in our 5th consecutive 1979. And to time warp it further, the best we can probably hope for next is a return to the early 70’s, when great pitching and absolutely zero freaking offense resulted in a bunch of .500ish teams. So if Sandy keeps looking for one year bargains to mix and match a lineup, we’re going from 79 to about 72…is den Dekker the new Don Hahn?

  • Lenny65

    All the positive vibes went flying out the door as soon as Harvey’s elbow did. Now they’re just dreary again. But hey, at least they made it to August before the wheels came off again, usually it happens way earlier than that.