- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

The Beating Goes On

Well, at least it’s another day off the calendar, what with the Mets all but drowned in the mire of another Mike Glavine [1] season.

I keep thinking about The Other Glavine as a beacon of futility. He got his lone big-league hit on the final day of the 2003 season, a 4-0 beating by the Marlins. The Mets’ lineup [2] on the day that wretched season finally put us out of our misery? Roger Cedeno [3], Jay Bell [4], Ty Wigginton [5], Tony Clark [6], Raul Gonzalez [7], Vance Wilson [8], Joe McEwing [9], Jorge Velandia [10] and starting pitcher Jeremy Griffiths [11].

My first instinct is to say that assemblage makes me feel better about the 2017 Mets. That white flag of a lineup contained one formerly good player (Bell), an OK complementary player (Wigginton) and a couple of useful role players miscast as starters (Wilson, McEwing). There aren’t any guys whose only fault was being young and not yet ready.

But perhaps that’s hindsight. Faith and Fear didn’t exist yet, though Greg was unknowingly prototyping it through frequent emails to his baseball circles. I don’t know, maybe there are exchanges in which he and I wax rhapsodic about the potential of Gonzalez and Griffiths.

Or maybe it’s as I remember, and that season was a disaster whose only redeeming quality was that it ended — and which, more than a decade later, can be boiled down to grim shorthand: Mike Glavine.

So, anyway. The Mets got pounded [12] by the Marlins. They were noncompetitive once again. Got swept.

Brandon Nimmo [13] hit a home run and would have have been on base more than that if not for the baseball norm that the strike zone varies depending on one’s seniority, the quality of the matchup and the month on the calendar. (I, for one, am ready to welcome our new robot balls-and-strikes overlords.)

Kevin Plawecki [14] got two more hits, continuing to look like the player we thought he might be not so long ago.

Rafael Montero [15] wasn’t very good, but at least his recent performances have earned him the right to have “Rafael Montero wasn’t very good” games, as opposed to “Rafael Montero is perpetually timid and faked a shoulder injury and doesn’t know how to pitch and has failed 56,000 times and simply has to be released immediately because he is driving everyone insane” games. If you squint that’s kind of something.

That’s all I’ve got. Maybe, a decade or so from now, we’ll stumble across this box score and note the presence of Nimmo, and Dominic Smith [16], and Phil Evans and try to reconstruct if we grasped things would soon be a lot better. Perhaps we’ll be confused briefly over whether or not Amed Rosario [17] was up by then. We might recall that yes, Asdrubal Cabrera [18] and Jose Reyes [19] were near the end but sure had some great Mets moments before that. I can imagine reminding each other that Montero’s career is an object lesson in not giving up on guys too early. Possibly we’ll salute Nori Aoki [20] as the kind of useful bench guy good teams need.

Or, alternately, we’ll grimace and say “Tommy Milone [21],” and everyone will understand that means that whatever’s gone wrong with the 2031 Mets, at least it can never be 2017 again.