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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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Losing the Way We'd Prefer It Not Be

Losing with the kids is OK, at least as I see it — tonight Amed Rosario hit a home run (awesome) and nearly got thrown out to end the game stretching a double into a triple (yikes don’t do that). And Kevin McGowan escaped ghost status, keeping the roster of Mets ghostsat nine.

On the other hand, Tommy Milone? Was anyone not closely related to Tommy Milone sad to see him leave the team the first time? Who in the world was hankering for his return? Nothing against Milone — he’s a major-league baseball player and I’m the farthest thing from it — but with the Mets retooling for next year I would rather have seen anybody I could at least pretend might be a prospect. No Rumble Pony might need to be added to the 40-man roster in the winter? No Brooklyn Cyclone hurler has impressed the front office with his diligence for learning the game? Tommy Milone was really the best answer?

Down in the minors, Jeurys Familia pitched for Brooklyn, which is good — going into the offseason, the Mets desperately need to reduce the number of question marks about important 2018 arms.

And David Wright DH’ed for St. Lucie. In the grand scheme of things, that’s — sadly — not particularly important. Wright is 34 and battling multiple injuries that have ended careers; my first impression watching video of him from the Florida State League was that he looked worrisomely gaunt. Foreseeing Wright playing an important role on an active Mets roster again demands optimism that’s crossed the line into fabulism. (Though imagine if David would like to be a bench coach, minor-league manager or even … hmm.)

Still, in this crowd I don’t need to write about Wright’s service to the Mets or his decency as a person. His being cut down in the prime of what might have been a Hall of Fame career is one of the great tragedies in franchise history, one we’ve collectively pretended isn’t happening at times, because the unfairness of it all is so piercing.

Wright finishing the season with a handful of pinch-hitting appearances or a start at third wouldn’t tell us anything about 2018. But it would be a nice grace note in a season turned flat and discordant. Not everything has to be about investing in an uncertain future; we’re allowed a quiet commemoration of what’s come before, too.

24 comments to Losing the Way We’d Prefer It Not Be

  • LeClerc

    David Wright would make a great field manager for the 2018 Mets.

  • Lenny65

    Tommy Milone is a pitcher for the New York Mets. That said, I couldn’t agree more, there’s no other available live body worth taking a chance on for a month of meaningless baseball? Sigh. Remember back when we were worried about having too many starting pitchers? Sigh again.

  • Harvey Poris

    With the trading or injury absence of all the major league talent and aside from Ramos and possibly Rosario, their replacement by minor leaguers or has beens, the Mets should reduce all ticket, concession and parking prices by at least 40% for the rest of the season. Look whose gone: Bruce, Walker, Granderson, Reed, Duda, Rivera, Thor, Familia, Wheeler, Harvey, Matz, Lugo.

  • MetsFanMD

    Wright is the Mets version of Chad Pennington. Super good guy, awesome talent that was unfortunately cut down by injury.

  • Gil

    It’d be nice to see David start one more game in the show. Just so he could have his due.

  • Jacobs27

    Calling up anyone, even a single-A pitcher, rather than resort to Tommy Milone again does seem appealing. Unfortunately the Cyclones are somehow having an even worse season than the Mets. They’ve lost 11 straight. They’re 2-17 in August, 15-44 overall… I know the performance of your farm teams doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of individual prospects, but damn, that can’t speak well for anybody’s future. (Meanwhile, Staten Island leads the league at 39-20 and recently had a 11-game winning streak. May that have no bearing on the future either…)

    In the immediate future we’ve got that double-header with the Nats coming up. Oh, boy! I assume Milone with start again. And who, Tyler Pill? Kevin Plawecki? How many gifts must we lay at the altar of Nats-dom?

    Re: David Wright. I would love to see a final tour with the Mets, as I imagine most of us would. But if he’s really not physically up to it, I hope he doesn’t push it. It felt a little uncomfortable watching him in the videos. He really does look so…thin, to avoid that word you said, Jason.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    You know how tough things are when the best chance to avoid being swept is Montero’s start tomorrow. The Mets need to go 13-25 the rest of the way to avoid losing 100 games this season. Frankly, I don’t see it happening

    • Paul Schwartz

      Uh Jerry. I know we’re awful right now but we only need 9 wins in 38 games and even the 62 Mets won 1/4 of their games.

  • Jason, I like your musical references: “…it would be a nice grace note in a season turned flat and discordant.” That was really, mm, sharp! Have you had musical training? You’re a ‘natural’! As a fellow writer and punster, I appreciate such gold nuggets!

    • Dave

      This season is so discordant they might as well be playing simultaneously in Bb major, E minor and 12-tone. Without tuning their instruments.

  • 9th string catcher

    I don’t need to see Wright up here this year if it will cost the team the insurance revenue from him being out the entire season. If the team is committed to giving away players to cut down their bottom line, don’t blow it with a sentimental sendoff in a loser of a year.

    As for Milone, I think I would rather see Plawecki at this point. But what’s the difference? We’ll get 3 innings out of any of these guys and it’s off to the bullpen. I think you’d be better off bringing Edgin up and have him throw three innings.

    My bigger issue is with the unending presence of Cabrera in the lineup. Note to Sandy – no one is going to pay the rest of his salary for this year. There’s a month left. Release him or bench him. Any scout that doesn’t know what Cabrera can do at this point should try looking at a video.

    Moving Flores all around the diamond doesn’t tell you anything. Everyone knows he can fill in poorly at any position defensively. If his role is 2B in ’18, stick him there now and leave him so maybe he can improve. If it’s 3B, stick him there. And if the plan is not to have any idea what to do with him, by all means, keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Jacobs27

      “if the plan is not to have any idea what to do with him” Definitely this!

    • Eric

      In moving Flores around, they’re trying to figure out what they have with Reynolds and Cecchini, too. Though as you point out, Cabrera’s eating up innings right now that should be going to younger players.

      • 9th string catcher

        And I’m in full favor of seeing what Reynolds and Cecchini can do. But I would focus on one thing at a time. If Flores is 2B, start a platoon at 3rd with Reynolds and Cecchini. And vise versa if Flores is going to be at 3B, though I seriously doubt it. Rosario knows his role on the team. You can see him making adjustments and getting better. Same with Smith. Can they do it? We won’t know for sure, but we’ll have a better idea by the end of the season. Flores? All we know is he can’t play SS. Make a decision.

        Make a decision on Alderson and Collins as well. The future is now. If they’re going to be here next year, let them know so they can start working on ’18. If not, get the new people in. The offseason will be here any minute and there’s a lot of work to do.

        • mikeL

          For all of his shortcomings i have always held TC on the positive side of my opinion. He has always carried himself professionally while wearing his big heart on his sleeve. And he’s held diminished teams together until the reinforcements arrived. I was nothing but happy for him after that great turnaround in 2015…and for repeating it (somewhat) a year later.
          But with such a turnover in personnel I’d like to see the mets hire a younger, more hardass sort of skipper.
          One that would feel comfortable sitting cespedes for never running out dropped third strikes – and by extension any player who doesn’t care to play fundamentally sound ball. If not now, when?

          • 9th string catcher

            TC is pretty polarizing – some people over-appreciate the way he inspires and backs his players, other people kill him for bizarre in-game decision making. I think overall he’s done a good job, but I agree with you – I think he’s reached the level where he starts to become more of the hindrance than a solution.

            Think about this – Conforto almost didn’t make the team. Almost didn’t make THIS team. Think about how much playing time Reyes, Granderson, Cabrera got while TJ Rivera and Flores couldn’t crack the lineup until there were injuries. Think about the daily burning of the same guys in the bullpen until their arms pretty much fell off.

            Throwing all that on TC? Not all of it, but some. I really fault Alderson and ownership a lot more than TC. Too many people on expiring contracts including the manager. It was an all or nothing season, and it was clear early on that is was going to be nothing. They needed to identify next year’s manager, infield, outfield, call-ups and strategy for 2018.

            The other culprit in my mind is Warthen. His pitchers refuse to throw strikes. They go 3-2 on almost every batter and are generally long done by the 6th inning. Whatever he’s trying to do, it’s not working anymore. With a guy like Frank Viola hanging around at AAA, I would make that change.

  • mikeL

    Who would have thought we’d be again at a pount where there appeared to be *no one* available on the farm clubs to spot start? I can’t remember the name of the guys we kept seeing in the pre-Matt Harvey era, but it feels the same and much worse at the same time.

    Off topic (somewhat) did it seem odd that Wilmer would leave ceccini on his back as he did when they clumsily positioned their two bodies to catch one ball?

    No comment from the booth but it seemed as though there might be some tensions between a surviving ‘veteran’ unsure of his future role and an untested rookie working to carve one out for himself. Whatever the case I didn’t like the look. The taller Flores looked like a bully.

  • Off topic — the media has been making rumblings about Tebow again… it makes me wonder if anyone else saw him in that pre-season game when the umpire had to tell him he was in the wrong on-deck circle… he thought you went to a circle depending on whether you were a lefty or a righty… I mean — had he ever even watched a baseball game ??!!

  • Dave

    The reason Milone is starting and not an up and coming Rumble Pony or Cyclone is that when a minor leaguer is placed on the 40-man roster, they have to pay him MLB minimum while in the majors and a higher salary while he’s in the minors (higher than his regular minor league salary). Milone was already on the 40. At this point of the season, it probably saves a whopping $80K or so to keep sending a conspicuously failed major leaguer out there than whoever was next in line after Chris Flexen. And the Wilpons would definitely make decisions like that to save the amount of money that Shake Shack probably brings in by the 2nd or 3rd inning. Sad!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Not sure why you’re complaining about Milone starting. Looking at his final line I’d say it was a seamless transition from Steven Matz. Good to have that sort of depth during the stretch run…

  • Eric

    The Mets rehabbed Milone. They may as well as give him the emergency spot start in place of Matz to check the box on Milone before sending him on his way.