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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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Where Did Everybody Go?

The Mets entered their series against the Nationals with a clear shot at the top spot in their division and exited it scrambling for positioning in the Wild Card race. They scored four runs in the first three innings on Monday, two in the last inning on Wednesday and none in the intervening twenty-three. One starting pitcher was overwhelmed by the running game. Another starting pitcher was undermined by the rain. A third was no match for his opponent. Elbow spurs have been revealed as present in two valuable arms. The lineup on any given night is not only dull, it is unfamiliar, stocked primarily with relative strangers and contingency additions who simply don’t inspire a midsummer’s passion. Next up: four contests against the consensus best team in baseball.

It wasn’t long ago that a Met season teetered on the brink only to straighten up and soar to the stars, leading one to conclude you can’t give up, no matter how tempting doing so seems.

Though, boy, after getting swept three by the Nationals and losing four in a row overall, it sure seems tempting.

Nah, can’t think like that. Eighty-five games remain. A playoff spot is still within reach. Ebb tide is bound to be followed by high, valleys by peaks, eighteen losses in thirty games by…well, there are no guarantees, but opportunity lies ahead.

As do the Cubs. Had to play ’em sooner or later. What the hell, we’re on a four-game winning streak against them. So let’s go get ’em, Neil and Asdrubal and James and Alejandro and René!

Seriously, sometimes I wonder who these guys are. I root for them, even if a year ago I was no more than mildly aware of their existence. Turnover and attrition are part of baseball, but some years are more jarring than others in that regard. I look at the Mets who are Mets now and I have to ask, whatever became of the Mets who were Mets for so long?

***

Anybody here seen our old friend Daniel?
Can you tell us where he’s gone?
He missed a lot of grounders and threw to the wrong base
But in the batting race he’s listed number one

Anybody here seen our old friend Jose?
Can you tell us where he’s gone?
His career got rocky when he moved to Colorado
They say Jose’s playing third in Binghamton

Anybody here seen our old friend David?
Can you tell us where he’s gone?
He’s got stenosis and a herniated neck disk
He can’t help us chase down first-place Washington

Didn’t you love these guys when with us?
Didn’t they drive in a couple occasionally?
Maybe even three?
Some day soon, we’ll score that many

Anybody here seen our old friend Lucas?
He was someone we’d all like
I hear he’s weeks from beginning baseball activities
Though reportedly he’s pedaling his stationary bike

13 comments to Where Did Everybody Go?

  • argman

    That made me chuckle. Thanks.

  • Eric from BK

    It’s strange and I can only chalk it up to the high expectations but I’m finding it almost impossible to watch them every night. I’m a guy who watches 140+ games a year and watched every game last year excluding day games. This year they are boring, not fun, and heart breakingly disappointing to watch.

    This is the first year in the last 10-15 that I find myself flipping to non-baseball TV every night. It’s really crazy that the Met’s always follow up successful years with heart wrenching falls from grace. Eh, what can you do, life of a Met fan. You really, really have to win when you make it to the WS, it’s very hard to make it back.

    PS- I think big issue is that last year it was such a tight knit group that was so like-able. This year its a bunch of individual players slogging through.

    • Tim Donner

      This is exactly how I feel. My wife and I have watched about 140 games a year for as long as I can remember…even during the 2009-2014 losing seasons. But we have probably missed more innings this year than any other season I can remember because the team is just so maddening and uninteresting, a lethal combination.

  • Stephen Keane

    If you’re taking requests I’d like to hear Eve of Distruction

  • Left Coast Jerry

    With apologies to Don Henley and the late Glenn Frey.

    At Citi Field, they seem to find out early
    The hitters don’t produce while in the clutch.
    A pitching staff most other teams would envy
    Be careful or you’ll use them way too much

    Every night we see the same illusion
    Nobody out and a runner safe at third
    The next three hitters add to the confusion
    They all strike out and no runs is the word

    You can’t hide your lack of hits
    And your team has fallen in the pits
    Even though your guys can pitch
    You can’t win games without some timely hits.

  • Greg Mitchell

    From Buster Olney just now:

    “On June 22, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was pulled from his start because of discomfort in his elbow and sent for an examination, and according to the Mets, he was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

    “Standard operating procedure in the industry in a situation like this is caution, especially with a young pitcher. Syndergaard is 23 years old, with the best fastball of any starting pitcher in the game, and theoretically could have a long and successful future ahead, if he can stay healthy.

    “Which is why the Mets greatly surprised a lot of rival executives by keeping Syndergaard in the rotation, to face the Nationals this week. “Have you ever heard of anything like that?” one executive asked rhetorically.”

  • Dave

    And here we were thinking Freddie Freeman was the new Chipper, yet he was among us right through to the World Series. Et tu, Murph?

    I can’t think of any revised song lyrics to describe what’s going on with this team, but a good song title to borrow would be “Atrocity Exhibition” by Joy Division.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Just in: Mets call up Seth Lugo, with a 6.50 era in AAA, as reports circulate that the Marlins have obtained Fernando Rodney, with a virtually zero major league era this year, for an A-league prospect.

  • mikeL

    he’ll fit right in ;0/

  • Tim H

    Let’s take a moment and wish Miracle Met Ron Swoboda a happy 72nd birthday.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROCKY!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Anybody here seen our brief friend Juan. Very quickly he was come and gone. We coulda kept him for a song.

    With his new team he’s only hitting 235..and they have a 12 game winning streak, and are in first place. No rhyme. Just sayin’

  • Ed Rising

    Love these song parodies!