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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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When It Gets Late Early

A day game right after a bad loss is often a good thing — right back at em, rinse that bad taste out of our mouths, and what-not. The Mets will put that baseball truism to the test in a couple of hours, and most likely give us a reason to doubt it the way this season’s made us doubt all sorts of conventional wisdom. (Turns out an 11-1 start, while recommended, is less help than you think.)

We’ll record the particulars out of historical duty and then decorously move on. Zack Wheeler looked pretty good but got undone by some soft contact and then got tired. Paul Sewald, once thought of as reliable in a reasonably good way, gave up a game-killing grand slam to Ozzie Albies and cemented his new reputation as being reliable in Roblesian fashion. Albies, we were told, was slumping and going through young-player doldrums, which now seems fixed. Jay Bruce had a good game in a way that no longer matters. Johan Camargo made a beauty of a double play. Dominic Smith is here and still thin. Mickey Callaway was ejected for the first time for arguing an overruled hit-by-pitch that Brandon Nimmo leaned into, a call the umps made correctly.

And I think that covers it.

The most interesting news came from Sandy Alderson, quizzed by the beat scribes about various and sundry. Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes aren’t coming back as quickly as we’d like, which if translated to Latin would make an appropriate Mets motto. A.J. Ramos is dead, basically. Sandy is aware of Peter Alonso‘s minor-league heroics. The Reyes decision will be made on the merits, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And, reading between the lines a bit, while the Mets aren’t considering a full teardown, they’re going to be evaluating where they are.

It was that last that made me sad. I don’t think the Mets should go full rebuild, actually — they still have the young, cost-controlled core a team tries to find as a foundation for more. But it is pretty clear that this year will be like last year, ending with veterans sent off for lottery tickets, potential prospects standing on the field looking wide-eyed, and injured guys returning to tepid acknowledgment. That’s not the end of the baseball world — it happens, even to teams that aren’t the Mets, and it’s not an illogical course of action. But it’s sad to have that scenario already creeping into view in mid-June, in a season that started with such promise.

* * *

If you want to feel better, watch this. It’s video of Terry Collins losing his mind after Syndergaard’s 2016 ejection for throwing behind Chase Utley, with umpire Tom Hallion trying to defuse the situation. I love it because everyone involved acts exactly the way I’d expect: Terry swears with impressive venom and is adorably old school and unhinged, Noah would rather just get back to hurling baseballs, and Neil Walker is weirdly polite. Baseball, man.

20 comments to When It Gets Late Early

  • Daniel Hall

    “A.J. Ramos is dead, basically.” – Funny, because when Gary said that he will get ‘a second opinion’, which is on-air shorthand for “oh [bleep], he is so [bleep] [bleep] and will never play again. [bleep]”, I wondered aloud where we should donate to in lieu of flowers.

    Given his deeds as a Met, a tenner to the animal shelter will probably do.

    Wait, the game starts in 30 minutes?? Aren’t the Barves the team that always makes visiting ballclubs play on 7:35 on getaway day?? I have nothing to eat at home! Help!

  • Daniel Hall

    Also re the Terry video: I think the team wouldn’t play quite like this kind of arse if Terry was still around, and we are talking about “no team has been this kind of arse for 99+ years” right now depending on what horrendous stat they are pulling up. Terry was almost 70 but still had a fire burning him from the inside and it most of the time caused some sparks.

    My proof? The 2013, 2015, 2017 Mets were not quite as bad as the 2018 Mets in terms of offensive futility. We have had the stats cited over and over for a while now. First team to lose eight straight while the starting pitchers hurl to a 2.12(?) ERA since the 1919 Senators?? And there was another one in this game they brought up about batting .147 or something on a homestand and no team had done that … ever. But I didn’t get it all because I wept too loudly.

    • Jacobs27

      That last one stood out to me because it means that the Mets offense is struggling *worse* than Reyes.

  • Will in Central NJ

    The Metropolitans had a winning percentage of .917 on the morning of April 14th. Ever since then, it’s been .333. Bruce Almighty, help us!

  • mikeski

    deGrom pulled after 86 pitches thru 7; Blevins immediately gives up a HR to Freeman.

  • Dave

    Mets have lost 38 of their last 21 games. Hitters are a combined 0 for 7,652 with runners in scoring position. Freddie Freeman’s WAR against the Mets is 74.5, and that’s this season alone. In his next start, deGrom will pitch an 18 inning perfect game, and the Mets will lose, 0 to negative 3. The Mets cleanup hitter in that game will be Tim Tebow.

  • mikeL

    wow this couldn’t be scripted any worse!

    could mickey be here simply to keep the mets elite arms fresh for a big sell-off, to make degrom BEG to be traded to an actual major league team?

    is mickey paid to actually WIN games??

    please package him up with sandy and the wilponaires and get them fcuk away from new york!

    it really is time for citi to become a ghost town. a season or two of sub 1million attendance might be the only way to send these clowns packing…

  • Gil

    spectacular ineptitude.

  • LeClerc

    DeGrom the master craftsman and the embodiment of grit – betrayed again by a bunch of shameless bush-leaguers.

  • Eric

    That video is great. It had soul. Just as good (better!) than just about any similar scene from a baseball movie I can think of. In contrast, the impression we so often get across TV is sterile. It makes me miss Collins and the 2015-2016 Mets.

    If MLB is smart, they’ll turn that clip into an ad with just enough bleeps to pass the censors but still make obvious the terms used.

  • mikeL

    yup great vid. terry – for all his flaws – was a pretty lovable character. loved the way he engaged the fans in the stands for an extended period when the mets clinched in cincy.
    i had lost a cat earlier that day (and a cat who’d watched the 99 playoffs with me at just 8wks old) and terry’s finally letting loose and celebrating with the fans AS a fan moved me to tears. much needed catharsis.

    the current mets situation (and skipper) make me numb -when not completely pissed off.

  • K. Lastima

    Never thought I’d think the following thought: “I miss Terry Collins”

  • Lenny65

    MLB has been trying to speed up the pace of play…well, just follow the Mets example and never get on base! BOOM…two hour games! Of course soon they’ll screw THAT up too and we’ll get five and a half hour 15 inning 1-0 games but hey, at least they’re trying to help.

  • Jon

    Nothing can make me miss Terry Collins, even in this video he swore a lot but he could have done better at it. Callaway swore at the ump last night over the Nimmo HBP. Everything stupid that Callaway does doesn’t make me miss Collins, it reminds that Collins did the same stupid things for a longer period.

  • sturock

    The headline in the paper version of the Times was:

    “How a Team That Was 11-1 Suddenly Turned Back Into the Mets”

    Besides the usual bitchy Times attitude towards our favorite team, it trades in a narrative I’m really sick of. “Of course, the Mets suck and they’re just so entertaining because they find new and novel ways to do it every year. ”

    It’s not fun. It makes me angry and sad because it feels perpetual. Soon I’ll just become numb to it, winter will come, “improvements” will be made, and the whole cycle will repeat.

  • Richard Porricelli

    You have to have an unyielding love for the game to follow a losing team..Im many years a fan of this team and have seen it all. You just have to breath deep and carry on..

  • ljcmets

    My favorite part of that video isn’t the swearing or “our ass is in the jackpot” (huh?) although that is mildly amusing. It’s when Terry says “MLB didn’ Do nuthin’ to that guy.” So, so true. Bingo, Terry.

    It also made me miss both the 2015-16 Mets (could it really be only two years ago-it seems like forever) and the 1986 Mets -the subtle evocation of the racing stripes – compared to this bland, listless, losing outfit. I’m trying to remember if the 2015 Mets or even the 1973 Mets looked this bad in mid-June. Regardless, both of those clubs were more fun to watch.

    Unlike most, I’m OK with keeping Reyes. The Mets don’t seem to be going anywhere, and Reyes is at least a reminder that at one point, they could play good, exciting baseball. If Wright were ever to come back this year, the game with the two of them would be must-see TV and probably get the highest ratings of the season.

  • mikeL

    only caught end of game on last night re-b’cast but why was jay bruce allowed to swing at first pitch with a runner at 3rd…let alone BAT?

    post-game mickey : “there’s nothing to say”. wow

    damn shame long wasn’t given the job.

  • Pete the Midnight Golfer

    The late and great baseball owner, Bill Veeck, made his St. Louis Browns manager sit on a rocking chair just outside the dugout while he deployed the first social media management system. All fans attending had a cardboard sign with a Yes on one side and a No on the other. At certain times during the game, Veeck would have a large sign held up like “Steal?” if the Browns had a runner on base, yes or no? “Bunt?” and such as well. The coach sitting in his rocker was not allowed to coach the game. Sadly for the coach, the Browns won the game. In that light, I’d change it up a bit. Fred and Jeff would have to act as 1st and 3rd base coaches when the Mets were batting. Also, they would have to do the basepath run between innings dressed as the Joker and the Penguin while 2 fans got to chase Gotham City’s evil doers with shaving cream pies. At least we’d get some entertainment and the Wilpons would have to actually participate in a Met game and listen to their fans! I can dream…