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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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Purest and Simplest Joy

My pal Will likes to strip away the sepia Valhalla folderol around baseball and replace it with a simple rule: “When my team wins, I am happy, and when they lose, I am sad.”

Pretty much. But there are degrees of happy and sad. There’s the sad of losing a ho-hum game in August when you’re a dozen games up and next month’s call-ups won’t be any better than what you have. And balancing it, there’s being happy because it’s May and you left your coat at home without checking the weather and you had hot dogs and ice cream and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the team looks a little better than you thought and they won 5-1, or maybe it was 6-2, you’d have to check but they definitely won.

A lot of games during a typical year are like that — thumbs up or thumbs down, part of the day. But some are exceptions. For instance, there’s the sad — some would rate it devastating, others merely disappointing — of having everything come down to a single game in which your veteran starter gives up seven in the first while recording one out. You know it’s just baseball, but that kind of sad gets into your guts and bones somehow and sticks there, to seep back out at 3 AM or ambush you in your car or breathe down your neck while you’re minding your own business walking down the street. Did you really just spent 20 minutes muttering “fucking Timo” or actually cackle at the idea of Kenny Rogers sitting on a tack? Of course you did — and it’s not the first time either.

Fortunately that kind of sad has its opposite too.

Tonight was why we act stoic amid fizzled comebacks and stare heavenward after extra-inning stumbles and bear witness to second and third hours of laughers in which our guys are the laughees. Because every so often your stubborn, even stupid faith is rewarded, and baseball hands you a night of pure and utter joy — a gift that makes you remember that one audacious, world-turned-upside-down comeback feels better than a dozen gag jobs feels bad.

And every so often, one of those every so oftens comes when it matters most to a team, a season and a fanbase.

A billion years ago, at the beginning of Tuesday night, the story was Matt Harvey, seeking redemption amid a self-created storm about his innings limit, his commitment to his team and whatever the hell it is his agent thinks he’s doing. Harvey actually didn’t pitch that badly — he didn’t give up an extra-base hit, for instance, and a lot of balls found holes. Not to say that he was blameless by any means: His location was off in the early innings and he compounded a physical error with an unwise play to get that awful sixth snowballing. But turn Yoenis Cespedes‘s error and the resulting Little League grand slam for Michael Taylor into the RBI single it should have been and Harvey’s line might have looked a lot different.

None of this would have mattered if the night hadn’t taken many incredible turns. But before we go on to subsequent events, let’s take a minute to point and laugh at this dummy:

Actually I was playing to the Twitter cameras there. Yeah, it was 7-1, but the Mets had gnawed away at Jordan Zimmermann with relentless at-bats and would get into the Nats’ highly flammable bullpen. And, well, there’s something about the ’15 Mets 2.0 that makes you hope even when things seem bleakest.

Harvey was excused from scapegoat duty because of his teammates; the Mets’ seventh delivered redemption for Cespedes and then brought me back to another risen-from-the-dead inning that was a slow-motion nightmare for the other team, an endless parade of ball fours and a slow wheeling of baserunners that kept grinding along, with a third out seemingly at hand but repeatedly postponed. I’m thinking, of course, of the 10-run inning — a Shea night rivaled only by the Grand Slam single and Mike Piazza‘s post-9/11 blast in terms of sheer transformative joy experienced at a ballpark. And when Travis d’Arnaud stepped up to the plate with Drew Storen having unraveled into a pile of red and white yarn on the mound, the parallel seemed perfect. Surely this catcher would blast one over the fence, releasing the accumulated tension in a crazy big bang of an instant, just as that catcher did 15 years ago.

D’Arnaud got his pitch and clobbered it, but this line drive didn’t go over the left-field fence. It vanished into Bryce Harper‘s glove.

Storen had looked like there wasn’t enough air out there on the mound — I felt sorry for him, enemy status and all, as I think you feel for anyone struggling in the grips of a nightmare. That looked like it was happening to Addison Reed too, but the latest Met reliever auditioning for seventh-inning duties found enough on his fastball to escape a jam. Ironically, Jonathan Papelbon — the closer who displaced Storen and was summoned to pitch the eighth — was the only reliever out there for either side who didn’t look like he had a bit of jelly in his knees. Amid all this ludicrous drama Papelbon was his usual self, hunched over and glowering at home plate like a vulture.

Up stepped pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis, whose 2015 has been ridiculous even by the standards of wacko baseball narrative: a three-homer game bracketed by not much. Kirk failed as a pinch-hitter in New York and was sent through waivers so he could be sold to the Angels, which worked out so well that he came back through waivers and got stashed in Las Vegas. And now here he was, pinch-hitting again.

Papelbon missed with a fastball for ball one, then aimed another one at the inside corner. It slid over the heart of the plate instead and the moment bat hit ball you knew it was gone. Nieuwenhuis raised his head, appreciated the trajectory for a moment, set his bat down gently and floated around the bases and into Met lore.

Magic, though, isn’t magic until there’s an F by the score. The Mets had six outs to get. Tyler Clippard, whose little squint and lip curl always makes him look perturbed, put down his old team in the eighth. The Mets rather meanly refused to put up four or five runs worth of insurance in the top of the ninth, and so in came Jeurys Familia.

It didn’t start out well — Jayson Werth lined an 0-2 quick-pitch slider up the middle for a single, barking at Familia as he went. But Matt Williams then inexplicably handed the Mets one of his three precious remaining outs by having Anthony Rendon bunt and then keeping the bunt on with Familia struggling to find the plate. Rendon, perhaps protesting having to be a party to Neanderthal idiocy, bunted so poorly that Lucas Duda forced Werth at second. The Nats probably don’t have enough season left to salvage things by firing Williams, but if I were their GM that’s what I’d do posthaste.

Familia dueled Harper, trying to tempt him into swinging at splitters that sought at his ankles, but walked him instead — which baseball orthodoxy deplores but I didn’t particularly mind, because I’d had visions of Familia hanging a splitter and Harper doing cartwheels around the bases, after which I’d have to spend thirty or forty years reading about how Harper’s ascent to the Hall of Fame and every American home’s Wheaties box really began the night he saved the Nats’ 2015 season and kick-started their dynasty.

Up came Yunel Escobar, who whacked an 0-2 fastball into the ground, a high bounce to David Wright. When Wright returned in Philadelphia you could see the game was too fast for him, and it was painful to watch him struggle to force his brain to speed up and command his body properly. But that was a while ago; Wright’s glove shot up to spear the ball and he flung it to Murphy, who surrounded second and heaved the ball to the mitt waiting at one end of the massive outstretched bulk of Duda. It found its target for the most beautiful two outs we’ve seen around here in a very, very long time.

Remember this one when baseball makes you sad, when cold rain’s falling and you’re huddled under a plastic poncho that smells like a refinery, or when it’s sunny but a Met starter’s trudging off the mound with one out in the second and the stands a-growl. On that day, remember this night and have faith that good things can happen, that this may be the game where the misery is but a prelude to a bolt of joy out of the blue. And even if it isn’t that day, take solace in the fact you’re closer to the next improbable burst of happiness that will make all of all of this worthwhile — the day that will remind you of why you love this confounding, unpredictable and beautiful game so much.

62 comments to Purest and Simplest Joy

  • dmg

    i have amused myself this year noting similarities between this team’s run and that of previous mets seasons: “hey, the 69 team also had an 11-game win streak! and they were no-hit, too!”
    no more — no need to. this team is its own beautiful thang. the soundtrack on nights like this one ought to include “ode to joy.”

  • Art

    I am the only big sports fan in the small firm in which I have worked for 21 years. I have tried to share my love of this game repeatedly, but the others just don’t get it. I will try again today, with the huge smile I will be wearing leading the way.

  • Matt in Richmond

    I remember many who mocked the reacquisition of Captain Kirk. He just dropped the mic on you fellas.

    • Steven

      Yes, Matt. Nobody should’ve mocked the Mets and Kirk when he was brought back because after hitting bingo numbers in NYC (.079, 3-38), he went to the Angels and batted on the interstate (.136, 3-22), and so hitting a robust .100, a club with injuries and struggling to score runs should’ve been thrilled upon seeing him return.

      Are we all happy for Kirk and the Mets, ABSOLUTELY!
      Was there any reason to expect what has happened since he came back, including becoming the first Met to ever hit 3 HRs in a game at home? Of course not.

      But hey, feel free to point out all the posts where you wrote how great a move it was and how everybody but you would be shown up by Kirk in the midst of a comeback from 7-1 down against the Nats in D.C. I’ll wait.

  • Dennis

    Great column by Jason and an absolute stunning win. Hopefully they can stick the knife in deeper tonight and continue to make those last 3 games with the Nats in October obsolete.

  • Dave

    The fear, followed by the faith. Mets got the sequence right last night. These are the times we’re rewarded for everything else we endure.

  • Lou from Brazil

    I had just gotten home to turn on the game and witness the Nats going to town on the Mets. Any other time, even as recent as earlier this season I’d have probably turned off the audio or the game entirely. But these Mets have this incredible magnetism to them. Every guy (well, maybe all but one) is just so likable and easy to root for. It’s been this way for a few years now, but now the Mets have the confidence and talent to go with that likability. The shot of the dugout going bonkers after Kirk’s homer just makes all the years of disappointment fade away. I love this team. Fantastic, memorable win.

  • mikeL

    wow! that one surely FELT like a playoff game!
    hell, storen even threw a wild pitch right after i called-wished it, so all that talking to my tv wasn’t THAT crazy!

  • Kevin from Flushing

    Pure and simple: LGM. We’ll all remember where we were during that game.

  • 9th string catcher

    The faith and the fear! I did turn off the game at 7-1. For exactly 5 minutes. I couldn’t keep it off – I was compelled to find out what was going to happen. I pictured Bobby Parnell getting some garbage innings, maybe we’d see Plawecki play some 1st base, probably see Young steal a few bases. Before I knew it, Wilmer is up there fouling off pitches, completely refusing to quit and then I got a feeling something good as happening. he’s the emblem of the team – might not be perfect, but he’s giving his all. What a game!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    …Harvey’s line might have looked a lot different

    I’m glad you said “might”. I have a feeling those runs would’ve scored eventually anyway. By Harvey staying in or whoever replaced him giving up a legitimate triple or something.

    Nice job by Harvey. He’s on his way to us not giving a shit about him and his innings limit.

    • Steven

      Yeah, can’t say at that point I would’ve expected him to avoid giving up at least one more run, likely two. So perhaps one less earned run, maybe two, but not a lot different.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Matt Harvey is having one of, if not the best year(s) ever for a guy returning from TJ surgery. Whether you give an expletive about him or not, we aren’t in this position without him.

      • Steven

        I agree he’s having a great year for a guy returning from TJ surgery. But if you want to go purely on numbers, the Mets are 16-10 in games Harvey has pitched and 65-51 when somebody else starts. That’s a .561 win percentage when he doesn’t throw. If we took his 26 games using that win percentage, the Mets would be 15-11 in those games.

        Now don’t get me wrong, we know he’s more valuable than pure won/lost record. Who knows how well the team fares if he wasn’t on the club. But to just flat out insist the Mets aren’t in this position without him is pure speculation. And considering how he handled the innings flap, I’d say give people plenty of time to vent.

  • Rochester John

    I know you can’t give the MVP to a player who was only in the league for a third of a season (can you?), so when Harper’s coronation occurs, remember how he did against the one team that his team most needed him to be spectacular against. 4 RBIs in 14 games, so far (averaging out to 46 over 162 games), and none since April.

    • Dave

      Better hitter: Harper against the Mets, or Bartolo Colon? Not sure.

      Hell yeah, you should be able to give Cespedes the MVP. Harper is having a nice year and his team is fading. Cespedes is carrying the team in first place and completely represents their turnaround.

  • Gianni Privacio

    We actually hooked up a radio to listen to the play by play as Duda stepped up. DMG is right, this season’s roller coaster defies comparison to ’69. It’s starting to look like a hybrid of that season and ’86.

    Like ’69, the central theme is “revenge of the little guy”, and anyone who follows the team closely smiles today as Neuwenhuis, who always plays hard, carried the team for the second time this year.

    Re ’86, and with apologies to the great Hernandez, and obviously early for these types of proclamations but is anyone else here thinking aloud that Cespedes is looking like the best and most complete player ever to wear the silly blue and orange? The deal was dictated by finance but, er, gee, Fulmer better pan out or that trade may go down as one for the record books. Because while the role players have certainly stepped up, Granderson has been steady all year, Lagares has actually played well and responded properly to his reduced role despite the pointless lashing he gets from the Posties, Conforto continues to surprise, Cuddyer seems to have returned from the dead, and even Neuwy chips in, by comparison Cespedes seems like he’s from a different species.

    Certainly don’t want to tarnish the glow here, but fast forward to off season, given the money invested in Grandy and Cuddyer, wonder if the Wilpons will step up and do the right thing.

    Here’s hoping he gets his due and is reunited with his family.

  • argman

    I had to see the clip of the last out this morning on the internet, I was bellowing in unison with Gary Cohen when Murphy made the relay to Duda for the DP.
    And speaking of the internet, here’s a clip of the Washington announcers describing Taylor’s Little League Grand Slam –
    http://m.mlb.com/wsh/video/topic/135309324/v465949383/nymwsh-taylor-tops-20-mph-on-little-league-slam/?c_id=was

    Momentum changer they say.
    I don’t want to get overconfident and this thing is by no means over, but that was something else last night.

  • Matthew

    I watch this game and I read this blog because I love this confounding, unpredictable, beautiful game so much. My grandmother, and genesis of my Mets fan-dom died last October and I watch every single Mets game this season as if I am watching with her. This October, I hope I can keep watching them win.

  • Ed Rising

    Beautiful piece Jason. I will keep this game with me when in the offseason there is only football and basketball and no baseball and I can remember a game like this! Lets go Mets and make more of these wonderful games!

  • JackH

    We still have a bit to go, with three opportunities for the Nats at Citi to top it all off, so I’ll curb my enthusiasm for now.
    But last night sure reminded me of those epic contests in good ‘ol ’86 when you would watch simply to find out which player would save today.
    Certainly tonight could be the silver nail in the coffin for the Nats, who would certainly be totally demoralized to lose all three at home in a must-win scenario.
    Great column Jason – this season is bringing out the best in you and Greg as well as our team!

  • DAK442

    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when Rendon squared to bunt… and then kept doing it! I almost feel sorry for Matt Williams – he was a good player but he is going to be remembered chiefly as the guy in WAY over his head as a manager.

  • sturock

    Has any one of us every experienced a Mets season like this one? The high of April followed by three months of absolute mind-numbing crud and now this?

    I was riding the train back to Summit, NJ, last night, “watching” the dots on ESPN Gamecast. This team does things that are so improbable. And the change in July was so sudden.

    Sure, I was bummed by the 7-1 deficit, but I wasn’t really shocked as they inched back bit by bit. I had a feeling they would at least make a game of it and more. For the first time in ages, I am *expecting* the Mets to win.

    Isn’t this the most fun we have ever had with a Mets team?

    PS And Cepedes’ agreement to extend the negotiation period with the team just adds to the good vibes.

  • open the gates

    A game for the ages. Of course I missed it – kids’ back-to-school night – but I kept checking the score while running between classrooms, and I remember the moment I said, “Waitaminnit – that score can’t be right!” Oh well. The Mets will have to play a few more classic games this year do I can watch them. I’m sure they’ve got it in them.

    And by the way, maybe as important as the actual game was the pre game news that the Mets got the right to negotiate with Yoenis Cespedes through the winter. Hope the Wilpons don’t blow the opportunity. Put it this way: Imagine not having Cespedes and Flores for the last month. Imagine, instead,it was Carlos Gomez and, say, Soup Campbell. How many games back of Washington would we be right now? The Mets have gotta find a way to keep this guy. Period.

    • Eric

      Or Bruce or Parra.

      Hopefully, Wheeler comes back strong from his TJ surgery in case Fulmer is good.

      Slick move by Cespedes’s agents. They know no team will have greater fan pressure than the Mets to sign Cespedes. If the Mets don’t deliver the top offer, bringing the Mets into the mix is a good bet on at least one good offer to goose the bidding.

      It’s impressive how many of Cespedes’s big hits have come in big spots. He can have at-bats that look like he has gaping holes in his plate coverage, and then he comes up with missile shots with the game on the line.

  • argman

    Also, Jason you make a great point about firing Matt Williams now. That’s about the only thing that could possibly save their season. It’s certainly not all his fault, but maybe that would give their team a jolt. Of course, I’m hoping they let him finish out the season…

  • cleon jones

    What a game. Lets go Mets!!!!!!!!!!

  • wooferson

    I love Kirk. He giveth a joy that speaks of improbable heroes. His script could have
    been written by Bernard Malamud or Mark Harris.

  • open the gates

    Wooferson – agreed. Captain Kirk enters the Mets Pantheon of Unlikely Heroes alongside of Al Weis, Todd Pratt, and Bobby Jones. May he live long and prosper.

  • 9th string catcher

    Oh, and let’s give Collins a little respect here as well. In this really critical series, he’s made all the right moves in the bullpen and is making good substitutions at the plate and in the field. We give him a lot of shit when he deserves it, but a few props for pinch hitting Uribe and Kirk, and sequencing the relief pitchers two days in a row when their starters didn’t have it.

    • Steven

      Like not pulling Niese before he gave up 5 on Monday? OK, I’ll let that one go because he has done a nice job otherwise in this series.

      Am I happy TC isn’t Matt Williams? YES! But beyond that, let’s not get crazy.

      • Rob E

        I don’t get the reluctance of some people to give Collins his due at this point. He’s not perfect, and his moves are not above criticism, but he shouldn’t be judged against whatever your definition of “managerial perfection” is, he should be judged against his peers and judged on what he’s done with this team. ALL managers are flawed….you just get to see THIS one every day.

        The Mets have dealt with a lot of adversity this year, they’ve played hard through it all, and now they are 6 up with 24 to play. Don’t know what else you could possibly want from the guy.

    • Matt in Richmond

      Collins deserves TONS of credit. This team has all the hallmarks of a well coached team. They are resilient. They get production from top to bottom. They are unselfish. The way he has juggled the lineup and the bullpen and has them firing on all cylinders at just the right time iOS brilliant. Of course there are many who are so beholden to the notion that he is a bad manager they’ll refuse to give him any credit.

      • Dennis

        Both great points by Rob & Matt, pretty much what I’ve been saying all year long with my defense of Collins as well. Especially the point about all managers being flawed. I think he deserves the most credit for keeping things together before they were reinforced by Sandy’s moves and once players got healthy.

        • dmg

          i count myself among those who in previous years found fault with collins’s in-game managerial calls. even this year, he stumbles, though on far fewer occasions. (and is a genius when compared with the likes of matt williams, say.)

          but props are due, not only for minimizing his mistakes, or for holding the team together when all he had was a triple-a lineup.

          for the first time with the mets, he has a solid, legitimate major league lineup to work with, with an honest-to-god bench. and he is making the most of it.

          now, about the bullpen….

          • LAJake

            When it comes to TC, I see a guy who hurts the team with his strategy and bullpen moves more often than he helps. We can agree to disagree but if you said pick a manager based on just Xs and Os, he wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of the list (unless the only other choice was Matt Williams).

            Moving past that, many insist he deserves credit for “holding this team together” when the team had tons of injuries. To me, this is mystifying and based on some emotional response and not on any facts.

            The Mets went 36-45 during the stretch between the 11-game win streak at the start and the arrival of reinforcements via trade and promotion. That’s the time period when the team scored 267 runs and gave up 304, which produces an expected mark of 36-45.

            That’s also 9 games under .500 which would be a full season of 72-90. He deserves credit because the team was on pace to win 72 games? Teams with no pitching and a crappy offense win between 65 and 75 games each season routinely. The Phillies, Rockies, Brewers, Reds, A’s and others will all win around that number. So exactly what should I be giving him credit for in this scenario?

  • Ian

    Harvey owns Harper so badly that he’s going to need Lincoln to emancipate him.

    What a game! ☺

  • Dave

    A moment here to reflect on how much it must suck being Dillon Gee. Banished to Vegas and off the 40-man roster most of the year, and now thanks to Torres’ injury, the Mets need somebody/anybody for the pen, mostly to pitch in situations that they’d rather not be in, like extra innings and you’ve already used 6 pitchers. So we get Tim Stauffer? Wow. If any of you are applying to grad school and studying for the Miller Analogies tests and you see “Dillon Gee is to 2015 as _____ is to 1986,” the answer is “Ed Lynch.”

    • wooferson

      I like your compassion for Gee, Dave. He was treated shabbily and deserves better. None of us will know the feeling of being left off the bandwagon as it motors down the highway into October. Surely it hurts for some more than others. Rather than crying in his beer, didn’t Lynch turn his Dartmouth degree into a high level baseball exec with the Cubbies?

    • 9th string catcher

      Great point, Dave. You can’t tell me Gee wouldn’t be every bit as good as Stauffer in a mop up role. Would be a nice story, just like Nieuenheis.

    • DK

      I follow some demoted and ex-Mets on Twitter — both Gee and Josh Satin chimed in after the Nieuwenhuis HR. Must be especially tough for Gee.

      Gee: Oh my Nieuwenhuis!! This team is unbelievable. #clutch

      Satin: Newey!!!

    • Eric

      I was disappointed, too, that Gee wasn’t brought back with the roster expansion and then with Torres’s calf strain. He wouldn’t be on the post-season roster regardless, but he deserves to be part of the September roster over a journeyman like Stauffer.

  • Steven

    Despite my earlier responses to comments, I just want to reinforce that I’m thrilled beyond belief at the Mets season.

    At the start of the year I said they would win 90 and while I looked like the village idiot (as I often do) from May to July, now it’s looking like perhaps I underestimated them. With 24 games left, there’s good reason to believe this team will go at least 13-11 and probably better.

    And when your team does this:
    -Runs off an 11-game win streak at the start of the year
    -Takes 2 of 3 in LA and 2 of 3 SF and then sweeps AZ to head into the break a contender
    -Follows up an aborted trade and a player crying on the field with a gut-wrenching loss amidst a monsoon the next day, and then responds to that terrible 24 hours with a sweep of the team they are chasing in the standings, kickstarted by the player who cried hitting a 12-inning walk-off HR.
    -Wins back to back 14-9 games in Colorado
    -Comes back from 7-2 down to beat the Philthies 16-7 as everybody homers
    -Comes back from 5-0 down to finish off a 4-game sweep of the Philthies that includes the Hacky Sack play
    -Thrashes the Marlins 7-0 including the biggest and oldest pitcher in baseball performing circus acts like a behind-the-back flip for an out
    -Follows up an ugly weekend in Florida with another ugly outing by a pitcher who flushes an early lead and then roars back to beat back the Nats
    -Falls behind 7-1 as the starting pitcher surrounded by a “will he or won’t he pitch” controversy gets shelled but then picks him up and rallies to tie the game and wins it when a guy who hit .079 early in the season and was sent to LA and then came back after doing nothing there and then became the first Mets player to hit 3 HRs in a game at home but subsequently was sent down and now has returned with roster expansion hits a no doubt about it HR off the Nats closer who also happened to be the hated Philthies closer.
    YOU KNOW IT’S YOUR TEAM’S YEAR!

  • I love reading these posts, capturing so well the essence of being a Mets fan…faith and fear was inherited from generations rooting for the Bums and Jints, before they left…life isn’t easy, rooting for the Mets is not easy but those moments of happiness make it all worth while…thx

  • Matt in Richmond

    I just read that after TDA made the 2nd out in the 7th the Nats had a 99.2% win probality (according to FanGraphs chart). Games like last night are indeed the reason why we keep watching, keep coming back, keep caring. Sheer exhilaration. The dugout after Capt Kirk’s bomb was priceless. Keep the faith people. LGM!

  • Jacobs27

    One for the ages.

    Re: Cespedes. Definitely out of this world and absolutely on fire right now. But he’s got just a little Puig in him. Flashy, not Fundies and I could see that breaking our hearts at some point. Fear never leaves we Mets folk, eh?

    • Eric

      Fear not: he won’t break our hearts this season. Cespedes is focused by his FA contract run. Right now, we’re getting Cespedes at his peak and his best. However, if the Mets sign Cespedes to a long contract, then yes, I suspect he would disappoint us later.

      Enjoy the flash of greatness he’s giving us right now. It’s likely not his norm.

      • LAJake

        Is he having a ridiculous stretch? Of course. But the guy has a track record of being a quality right-handed hitter with power who plays good defense and has a great arm and speed, who played most of his previous games in the wretched hitting park in Oakland. He’s exactly what every team wants and the Mets sorely need. Not sure why that would be disappointing.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cespeyo01.shtml

        • Matt in Richmond

          He is having by far the best stretch of his career right now, which is awesome. However, if we were to open up the vault for him, which would of course limit what we could do in other areas, there is every chance we may end up regretting it. Signing him after this stretch he’s had, particularly if he keeps this pace up, is going to cost a fortune, and would be a classic “buy high” situation which rarely works out well.

    • Steve D

      He has another big HR and is just carrying the team. If he were a couple of years younger, I would say back up the truck. He is nearing his peak, but it may still be worth it. I don’t have hard numbers…but my educated opinion is if the Mets win a championship, they are good for about 30-50 Million more revenue due to playoff revenue, attendance next year, increased ratings and ad revenue and merchandising. Cespedes is going to cost about 20 Million a year and if he keeps them in contention for a few years, it would be worth it I think, but it ain’t my money. Now, is he playing for the money? Who knows.

  • eric1973

    Hey, we’re paying a guy such as Cuddyer 12 mil, so what’s a few more million per, for Cespedes!

  • 9th string catcher

    Cespedes makes the rest of the lineup better. The As imploded as soon as they traded him. He is the Vladimir Guerrero decision of 2015. The mets were too afraid to sign Guerrero when they had a shot. I would take that chance this time around.

  • Lenny65

    Going to Washington and leaving the Nits in tatters…wow, that was a long, long time coming. And the way they did it was just spectacular, it was delightful seeing their baseball souls crushed like an Oliver Perez fastball. If this dream ends, please, don’t wake me.

  • nestornajwa

    Mets Nation: You’re welcome. In April, with the punchless Mets looking at a long road of 3-2 and 2-0 losses and the Islanders packing their bags for a studio apartment in fashionable Brooklyn, I vowed not to watch a single Mets game (or any other sports contest) all year. I kept that promise, except when I was celebrating a milestone birthday in June and my friends, unaware of my private vow, “treated” me to a game — June 13 — that hideous loss vs the Braves when three Mets pitchers combined to blow a lead in the ninth (while Familia was celebrating a milestone of his own: the birth of his son) and the bloodletting eventually stopped in the 11th with a 5-3 Braves win. I chuckled to myself and continued to ignore the Mets. Yes, I’ve been following every recap, every score, but I won’t watch. How can I? This is a kind of torture. Anyway, you’re welcome.

  • Made in the Shea-de

    So I’m a day late on this but had to comment.

    This piece is damn-near sublime. Well done, Mr. Fry.