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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Nothing Wrong With a Ho-Hum Win

The Mets won a game tonight that was a little snoozy, frankly.

Jacob deGrom was pretty good, being more inclusive with the change-ups he’d left out of his repertoire in his last two starts. Kevin Plawecki came out during the game’s key at-bat by gigantic Orioles slugger Chris Davis and gave deGrom a little pep talk, after which everything went well. (Though deGrom kept missing his location rather thoroughly.) Dilson Herrera hit a home run. Daniel Murphy, our own Swobodan avatar of chaos, got between a runner and his route back to third base and everyone decided it was fine.

Oh, and Juan Lagares made a nice play in center. But honestly I could have that one on a hotkey.

That was really the entire game. One weird play by Murphy, just enough good hitting, the usual Metsian good starting pitching. Not a lot to wax poetic about, or that we’ll remember very long.

And you know what? That’s just fine.

willie-zestThe Mets 11-game run of glory was exhilarating. Their 3-7 stumble while neither fielding nor hitting baseballs was deflating, to use a word much in the news today. The immediate proximity of these two states was exhausting — and it’s a long season. Too long to spend alternating laughing-gas euphoria and hide-under-the-bed despair. If that keeps up we’ll all look like end-stage Howard Hughes by Independence Day.

An unmemorable 5-1 win? I’m fine with it. Just like I’d be fine with some 3-1, 5-2 and 4-1 snoozers, games you can watch with one eye half-open and a bit of drool on the pillow.

Though if they want to bulldoze the Great Philadelphia Tire Fire this weekend, I’d be fine with that too. Whatever works.

* * *

By the way, Willie Montanez got mentioned during Jim Breuer’s entertaining appearance in the booth tonight, which reminded me of the Montanez card I didn’t know existed until a few months ago.

That’s Montanez’s 1978 Topps “Zest” card. What the heck’s a Zest card? Well, in ’78 Topps was trying to market itself to Spanish-speaking baseball fans, and it chose to work with Procter & Gamble with a promotion tied to Zest soap. Send in (to Maple Plain, Minn., inevitably) two labels from Zest bars and an order form and you’d get (in six to eight weeks, inevitably) a pack of five baseball cards. (Here’s a bit more on the set.)

The players were Joaquin Andujar, Bert Campaneris, Manny Mota, Ed Figueroa and Montanez. Other than bilingual backs and different numbers, the cards looked the same as regular ’78s. Well, except Montanez was a newly minted Met. He’d been a Brave in the regular ’78 set, but for Zest he was remade as a Met, with a much better photo. (O-Pee-Chee also had him as a Met, though they kept the Brave photo.)

Great card, ain’t it? I’d go so far as to call it a cardboard classic. Nearly 40 years later, the Zest cards remain both plentiful and pretty cheap. Get yours today! Odds are you won’t even have to send money to Maple Plain or wait six to eight weeks.

8 comments to Nothing Wrong With a Ho-Hum Win

  • BlondiesJake

    Great to see the boys win back-to-back games for the first time outside of the 11-game streak. I would love to be able to peer inside Daniel Murphy’s brain and know what he’s thinking as plays happen. Very nice of deGrom to get back to being deGreat. Can’t wait for The Dark Knight to lead the Mets on Friday against arch-villain Cole Hamels.

  • dmg

    congrats, jace, it seems like it’s been a while since you got to do a recap of a win.

  • open the gates

    Was busy with something else last night, and I kept a half an eye on the feed. I saw “Field call overturned; Herrera hits home run; two runs score”. Yes! Then it said “On field delay.” I’ll bet there was.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Interesting about the Zest Cards, news to me also. I followed your link to the blog item about them, and part of the opening picture features Johnny Wyrostek and Sal Yvars of “The Fightin’ Phillies”. In one of those million to one coincidences that seems to happen every other day since the WWW became ubiquitous, just last night I had come across this:

    Two Fightin’ Phillies references in 12 hours. Just in time for Harvey Night in Philadelphia.

    • Jason Fry

      It gets weirder. Just went through a stack of cards to toss/give away/etc. and on top was … a Topps Archive ’53 Johnny Wyrostek.

  • Swobodan avatar of chaos. lol. That’s pretty classic Fry.

    Did not know about the Montanez card, and I collected all kinds of obscure Mets. That’s major info, thanks. :)

  • FL Met Fan Rich

    I wish I could have heard Jim Breuer’s inning in the booth. He does a great video recap on every Met game on Facebook. They are great and hysterical. It shows what a passionate Met fan he is.

    Let’s make it three in a row today! These are the games we need to win!

    Wondering if there will be any ” pitches that got away” or brush backs? I still think Harvey hitting Utley and coming off the mound towards him after it was a major turning point in this team!