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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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The View's No Better Out Here

I went 615 miles to see the Mets and they didn’t look any better than they do at home.

More like the Mehs.

Meet the Mehs, meet the Mehs
It seems they’re half-asleep, the Mehs

A few months ago Emily and I decided on an August ballpark tour: fly to Cleveland and see a game, drive to Detroit for a game the next day, then a game in Pittsburgh. That would get me to three new stadiums, bringing my count to 24 of the 30 current MLB parks, we’d both get to finally see the much-celebrated PNC, and I’d set foot in Michigan, giving me 49 states visited. (If you’re curious, after tomorrow night the missing parks will be Miami, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Texas, the White Sox and the Reds; the missing state is Alaska.)

Cleveland-Detroit-Pittsburgh is literally a loopy way to see those three cities, but we juggled a bit for scheduling and because this way our second ballpark visit would feature the Mets, facing the Tigers at Comerica Park.

The trip’s been great. The Mets, though, were pretty much what we needed a vacation from.

You saw it: Noah Syndergaard was capable but inefficient, victimized by his own inability to hold runners and a mammoth home run. The Mets were awful with runners in scoring position, a familiar malady. They struck out and fussed irritably at the home-plate ump and lost without showing much of a pulse.

(Oh, and I went to get food right before Kelly Johnson homered, then returned — having forgotten forks — as Victor Martinez was trotting around the bases. So I managed to miss the vast majority of the action, as well as the approximately three minutes for which the Mets led.)

At least Comerica Park was worth the price of admission. It’s not the late, lamented Tiger Stadium, which I never saw but my blog partner adored, but it’s a pretty impressive place and will age beautifully.

I’ll have a full report later, when I can talk about Progressive Field and PNC as well, but Comerica does at least three things really well: a) it celebrates tigers, from the giant one outside the gates to the ones adorning the walls with baseballs gripped in their mouths and a ton of tigers inside; b) it celebrates Tigers, with nods to variants of the D, the old park, decades of history and franchise heroes; and c) it’s alive with the sense that the Tigers are Detroit and Detroit is the Tigers, inextricably woven together.

There are a bunch of things about Comerica that the Mets could and should copy; they’d help give Citi Field what it still lacks, which is a sense of the team that plays inside as a presence and a source of lore and love. More on that in a few days.

Then again, I saw the team that plays inside Citi Field, and right now they’re nothing to celebrate, wherever one happens to see them.

10 comments to The View’s No Better Out Here

  • Jacobs27

    Speaking of being asleep, the broadcast didn’t dwell on it, but I’m pretty sure Kinsler stole third uncontested because he wasn’t even really being held on at second, let alone paid attention to.

    Could you guys tell?

    Very cool trip. I timed a visit out to see my brother in San Fran in a couple weeks so we could go see the Mets… it seemed like a much better idea at the time!

    We’re also gonna see the Sonoma Stompers, and independent league team that’s just signed two women, a pitcher and an outfielder. So that at least should be cool.

    • Was in the top deck, so no idea.

      Sonoma Stompers sound great. I have to read the new book about them.

      • Jacobs27

        Didn’t know about the book. Cool, thanks for the tip.

        I looked at the Tiger’s highlight feed of Kinsler’s steal and Walker is in fact in the area code of second. Thor just never looked over.

        As for his pitching, Keith was stressing on the broadcast that Syndergaard has been living too much on the outer half of plate, especially to righties. Not establishing inside. And that his slider has been much less sharp. And maybe that is bone-spur related. Compared to deGrom, I think he’s also throwing a lot more fastballs on basically the same plane–not changing the eye-level enough. And Gary Apple pointed out that he’s been throwing more first-pitch balls than strikes lately. Syndergaard himself said after that he’s been trying to be too fine. His best inning by far was the 5th when he broke out a nice curveball we haven’t seen much in a while. Maybe he can build on that?

        Every pitcher’s gonna have control issues from time to time, but these problems seem so fixable, don’t they? And yet they linger. Same thing with Matz apparently having obvious tells as Ronnie keeps pointing out. If that’s true, why doesn’t it change immediately? I don’t get it.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    48 out of 50 here (Alaska & Hawaii). It was a goal of mine in my 20’s instead of, you know, establishing a career.

    Looking forward to the review of the 3 stadiums, none of which I’ve been to although I’ve been to each of their predecessors.

    PS: Saw the B-Mets in Binghamton a couple of months ago. Wiseasses up there call them The Meths, in honor of the seedy neighborhood the stadium is in. The night I was there they too sucked with RISP. I guess it’s part of the culture, along with “hunting for strikes” whatever the hell that means.

  • Jacobs27

    The Cyclones have been pretty bad this year in that regard as well. Though they’ve got some nice pitching.

    My Dad and my sister are also play the state game. But here’s a question: do you actually have to stop and do something in the state or does driving through a bit of it count?

    • Ya gotta stop. I got to 50 a long time ago if you count airports, which I maintained I should be able to count because I’d run outside in both Juneau and Detroit to gulp actual down-from-the-heavens air, but I have been told by multiple people that these visits are inadmissible, and have reluctantly dropped my claims.

      So, 49.

  • NostraDennis

    My friend Amanda just got to her own personal 49th state (North Carolina on the way through to her new digs in New York), and is also one Alaska short of a full deck. I should try to hook you two up for that.

    I have no thoughts on Friday night’s game, as I’ve been attempting to think about positive things.

  • eric1973

    The Dodgers are only 4 GA of us for the 1st WC, and no Kershaw (or Puig, for that matter), so they are no cinch to clinch anything either. Still right in the thick of it. Just let the talent take over. We gotta have the best RP, don’t you think? And SP, too.

  • Sounds like Noah is on his way to becoming mired in mediocrity within a couple of years. Can’t even stomach watching the games that he pitches. I agree with the commenter about Binghamton. Drove through there on vacation last month and my first thought was that it needed to be blown up and rebuilt (for comparison, the area looks like NY/CT border once you get out of Stamford).

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