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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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And We Crawl Along

Congratulations to Travis Taijeron for making his big-league debut after seven seasons in the minors — the last three spent at Las Vegas. With his 29th birthday looming, Taijeron had to be thinking he’d been pigeonholed as an organizational player, one whose impressive numbers at Triple-A wouldn’t interest his front office or anybody else’s beyond getting him another job offer as a roster filler.

That was Taijeron’s life Friday; one Yoenis Cespedes hamstring strain later … well, OK, one Cespedes hamstring strain and a Michael Conforto freak injury and two three outfielder trades later and it was Saturday and Taijeron was about to become an immortal. There must have been innumerable lonely nights, unhappy bus rides and sour spring-training cut days when Taijeron had to wonder if his best chance had slipped through his fingers, unnoticed and now unreclaimable. Whatever happens now, that peril is no more. He’s one of 1,038 New York Mets and 19,000+ major leaguers, and he always will be.

But Taijeron can be forgiven if he’s holding out for a second, smaller wish: to play a major-league game without being made to dress like a fucking rodeo clown.

There are some nice things about Players Weekend, if you squint — the Little League-inspired “evolution” logo is OK, and Darren O’Day‘s nickname is a good story. But if you stop squinting for so much as a second, yikes. There’s gobs of obscenely expensive shit you’re of course encouraged to buy, and broadcasters and team flacks and the media following orders to dry-hump this dumb idea with maximum enthusiasm (to his credit, Gary Cohen’s embarrassment has been palpable), and worst of all everybody looks like an idiot. Is your TV broken? No, it’s just Major League Baseball trotting out the latest “How do you do, fellow kids” initiative Power Point’ed into groaning existence by some dreary committee of well-coiffed, vacant-eyed marketing dipshits.

WARNING: I AM ABOUT TO ADMIRE THE YANKEES

Remember when the Yankees used to tell MLB to pound sand when confronted with stupid shit like this? What happened to that? Now the Yankees wear dumb holiday colors and moronic two-tone hats and send Todd Frazier out with THE TODDFATHER on his back like he’s been possessed by Chris Berman, and even though I hate the Yankees it depresses the shit out of me, because lots of times what MLB desperately needs is someone to say, “Nah, the way we’ve done it for the last 90 years or so is good enough.” You used to be able to count on the Yankees to be that franchise, even if it depressed you that your own franchise was run by craven losers. Now the Yankees are just as addicted to moronic hashtaggery as everybody else, and it makes me sad.

OK, IT’S SAFE TO COME BACK NOW

Anyway, the Mets took the field looking like some kind of faddish candy your dentist would warn you to avoid, and awaiting them were the Nats, dressed like bridesmaids who’d pregamed a little too hard and projectile-vomited raspberry margaritas on each other.

Neither team looked like it belonged on a major-league field; one of them at least played like it did. After taking advantage of the Mets’ shoddy defense and Robert Gsellman‘s indifferent sense of pitch selection (start caring, son), the Nats’ attention wandered and they let our ragtag band of recent 51s draw within two runs. The imminent danger got their attention (WARNING: CREAMSICLE OBJECTS IN REARVIEW MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR) and they quickly unloaded on Jeurys Familia, newly returned and understandably rusty. Good teams do that, and the Nats are a good team.

The Mets are not. At this point another wretched loss is hardly worth noting. But for this weekend, there’s added reason to avert your eyes.

19 comments to And We Crawl Along

  • Dave

    Thanks for the most laugh out loud funny article of a depressing season, one that sums up this “hey there, you young demographic we’re not reaching, isn’t this like, totally rad and cool?” cluelessness perfectly. With my daughter now older than two Mets, I’m not up on what 10 year old boys or whoever this pathetic attempt to sit at the cool kids table in the cafeteria is aimed at wear nowadays, but I’d be surprised if said demographic saw players wearing socks that look like leftover wardrobe from some 1975 high school production of Godspell and say “now that’s the sport for me…like the old guy said, totally rad.”

    But of course even if Generation Z did think those threads were like, totes awesome, there’s the Quadruple-A lineup that isn’t going to attract much attention. Whatevs.

    And no, the Yankees haven’t been doing this the right way, IMO. Their adherence to the same uniforms for 90 years is as much “Yankee Pride and Tradition (c)” marketing bullshit as are any technicolor bootleg Halloween costumes the Wilpons let the Mets parade around in.

  • Dave

    Oh, and I forgot. Has anyone ever seen a pitcher who was a worse fielder than Gsellman? As much as he gets shelled, his fielding makes his pitching look pretty good by comparison.

  • LeClerc

    Hey Jason – I really enjoy your spleen (though not in the Hannibal Lecter sense of the word – heaven forfend)!

    Gsellman’s back in Vegas with his skateboard.

    Wilmer put up a hit-storm yesterday. Now if he can only learn to field grounders and run bases.

  • Curt

    If this was really players weekend then instead of suspending those Yankees and Tigers after their little tussle we’d give each of ’em a cookie.

    At least if the team bus breaks down they don’t have to worry about highway safety – just have the players line up as emergency markers.

    Glad Taijeron finally made it up. He wasn’t hideous (outside of what he was forced to wear). That’s really what the rest of the season has for me – the next player to get his first major league game/hit/home run/pitch thrown.

    On the plus side Cabrera looks a LOT better at 3rd than anywhere else he’s played this year. I’m almost afraid to see the shadow of David Wright trying to play the position but it sounds like we’ll have a chance.

    • Eric

      It makes sense Cabrera would look better at 3B. His main flaw is diminished range, which is a bigger problem for a middle infielder. But his baseball instincts and smarts, arm, and over-all smoothness are fine, which is good enough for 3B as long as his reflexes still work, more so playing next to a SS with range.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Your 4th paragraph has been inducted into my Paragraph Hall of Fame, thanks for a great start to my Sunday.

    I’ve sort of lost track, and yesterday’s game was one of the few all season that I did not see even a minute of (games by an out of contention in August team on beautiful Saturday afternoons will do that), but I believe yesterday’s debacle by the non-caring Gsellman set the team season record for most games giving up 3 or more runs in the first inning.

    Thus, the Best Mets Starting Rotation Ever has become, by at least one measurement, the Worst Mets Rotation Staff Ever.

  • LeClerc

    Betty White will throw live batting practice in Port St. Lucie today.

  • 9th string outfielder

    Way to go Travis. In your honor, I will use an updated moniker the test of the season. Rising above ridiculous odds, passing granderson, Bruce, Lagares, Cespedes, Nimmo, conforto, Reynolds and Reyes for an outfield spot. You are the true 9th stringer.

    As for players weekend, the only thing missing is a place to put their beers during the game. Maybe in 2018.

    Still can’t wait for 2017 spring training to end.

  • Bob

    Jason/Greg:
    “Players weekend” uniforms—UGH!
    Not even Casey & Yogi on very OLD LSD could come up with something so vile and degrading!
    Good job !—MLB Marketing swine/drones for bringing baseball down to new level!
    These uniforms could serve as laxatives–just stare at them a few minutes.
    Met Fan since Polo Grounds since 1963

  • Dave R.

    I like the uniforms. The Mets have never had great uniforms. I think these are an improvement, although maybe I’m going blind.

  • Dave R.

    Oh, and does anybody know when Rosario and Smith will get hurt?

  • Eric

    “three outfielder trades later”

    Granderson, Bruce … what’s the 3rd outfielder trade?

  • Eric

    To go along with the customized individual nicknames, MLB should have employed fashion designers to work with each player to make customized individual jerseys Project Runway-style – within parameters, of course.

  • Curt

    At least this afternoon we know what we’ll get from our starting pitcher – 3 or 4 innings, 4 to 6 runs given up. Wish they had Lugo starting this afternoon. I don’t get espn.

  • Paul Schwartz

    I know it doesn’t matter. But please fire Terry now. We’re going to lose this meaningless game this afternoon strictly because he can’t handle pitchers. we’re not in a pennant race. we’re up 5-0 and now 1 inning later we’ve used 5 pitchers with a second game coming! please end his misery. he was fine for a while but stick a fork in him already√∑

  • Curt

    Terry’s managing probably won this game. Took guts to go with Ramos for 2 innings. No closer but still has some arms for tonight if needed.

  • Ken

    Well, Terry will be the Met manager with the second most wins in the team’s history during this, his probably last season as Met manager.

    Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges and “Cobra” Joe Frazier must be smiling up there in Heaven right now.

  • […] nightcap was under way when we returned, and for a while it was a taut game, marred only by those execrable Players Weekend uniforms. Then Seth Lugo faltered, but Tanner Roark out-faltered him, with Brandon Nimmo lining a two-run […]

  • Kevin From Flushing

    I’m excited to see what other posts get the tag “stupid fucking bullshit”