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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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Varieties of Pointlessness

At least the Mets are shaking things up.

You no longer tune in guaranteed to see a valiant starting pitcher labor in futility with zero run support, waiting for the one slip-up that will prove fatal. Oh, that possibility’s still front and center, but the Mets have expanded their repertoire. You might also get an acceptable, albeit curtailed performance from a starter, one that blossoms into meaningless farce when the bullpen does something awful to once again bury the Mets.

That’s what happened to Zack Wheeler against the Braves; it’s what happened to Jason Vargas Thursday night against the Diamondbacks.

Vargas was … well, “serviceable” really is the word, a vague smear of similarly bland possibilities. The Mets hung in there until the late innings, only to have Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame conspire to shove victory out of their reach. The upside of this one, if you squint very hard, was young bats doing what one hopes young bats will do — hit baseballs a longish way. Brandon Nimmo homered, Michael Conforto connected for a majestic 450-footer, and Amed Rosario hooked a curveball into the seats. More of that would help.

Nothing else did, though. Jay Bruce is unavailable, because of back woes, but not on the disabled list, because of the Mets. (Seriously, MLB could come up with a 2-day DL and this cheap-ass bunch still wouldn’t use it.) The useless Joses, Reyes and Bautista, continue to decompose while encased in major-league uniforms they no longer have any business wearing. Before Tuesday Rhame hadn’t pitched for nearly two weeks, which perhaps accounts for his rust but raises the question of why he’s here in the first place. Hansel Robles hadn’t pitched for nearly two weeks, which would raise the same question except ideally Robles would have 52 weeks off a year. (I know he did fine Thursday night. Spectacular! Trade him immediately — his value will never be higher.) Tim Peterson was sent down to make room for White Sox castoff Chris Beck, after not pitching for nearly … well, you get it by now. Will we get a look at Beck as July dawns? The suspense is killing me.

And so is this ballclub. If you step back so you can truly appreciate the arc of the Mets’ shittiness, you’ll find something familiar: a team that’s not just reliably bad but also deeply boring. They don’t hit, can’t run, look half-asleep while not doing the things they can’t or don’t do, and the only difference between this lost season and other lost seasons of recent vintage is periodic bouts of  wondering if Mickey Callaway knows what he’s doing. I’ll leave it to you whether that’s more or less fun than watching Terry Collins‘ face turn scarlet as the second postgame question shoved him to the edge of the abyss and his fight-or-fight instinct kicked in.

Myself, I’m gonna go with equally fun, which is to say not fun at all. The Mets are a garbage fire — actually, if garbage fires could compare notes on their inconvenience and intensity, they’d probably refer to a particularly noxious colleague as a 2018 Mets — but they’re also a chore, like a nightly trip to the DMV to take the same form to a different clerk. And it’s still only June.

14 comments to Varieties of Pointlessness

  • mikeL

    yes a garbage fire. but one that smolders endlessly. toxic, but never reaching that afterwards stage when it might be possible to clean it up.

    i wish it were possible to contract the mets out of existence, dissolve the ownership..,and then power it back up a year or two later with dibs on degrom and the half dozen mets worth buliding the mets 2.0 around…

    “…joses…continue to decompose while encased in major league uniforms…”

    bravo! that’s the kind of stuff around here that makes it fun to stll pay attention to this team. if one can’t cheer for the team itself…

  • sturock

    Yeah, Jason, I watched last night too… Yeesh!

  • LeClerc

    On the bright side…,

    It’s only the middle of June, but we can all start speculating on the possibilities for the July trade deadline! Here are my initial suggestions:

    Trade worthies: Wheeler, Blevins, and Cabrera. A Post reporter suggested Bruce for Brian Shaw – but at this point I don’t think you could get a one-armed shortstop for Joltin’ Jay. Speaking of the single-limbed…, when’s Yo-Yo coming back?

    And let’s give an MLB test-drive to McNeil and Alonso.

    And DFA goodbye parties for JR & JB (Los Dos Joses).

    FYI – DeGrom now has a lower ERA than Verlander. Lowest in the majors. So thoughtful of Little League Champion Todd Frazier to apologize to Jake for Todd hitting like a Little Leaguer.

  • SeasonedFan

    Yes…“Deeply boring” and inevitably so now. Watching games has become more of an endurance test than anything else.

  • mikeski

    Couldn’t we at least have gotten Jeff Beck?

    He could play the Mets off the stage. Pickin’ it as CitiField burns, as it were.

  • Since64

    “The useless Joses..”, priceless, absolutely priceless. I wish the Mets had a way with baseball, like you have a way with words. I honestly had a real good laugh out of that one. Thanx.

  • Steve R.

    I’m an attorney who represents garbage fires in a class-action lawsuit. I’m hereby issuing a cease-and-desist order legally enjoining Faith and Fear in Flushing from further defamation of my clients by publicly comparing them to the Mets, which, in their current state of wretchedness clearly represent a level of catastrophe nothing at all like a garbage fire and much more like a Fukishima-esque cataclysm in which a massive earthquake triggers a historic tsunami which drowns whole villages, causes a nuclear meltdown, and poisons an entire ocean. Thank you.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Yes, the Useless Joses. And if that weren’t chuckleworthy enough, you then added “decompose”. In the History of Baseball I’ll bet “decompose” has never until now been used in a description of a player. Then again, no team has ever had both Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes at age 35 plus.

    Reminds me of when my friend Bob’s 96 year old Grandmother died of no particular illness, he told everybody she died of erosion.

  • Tom C.

    Love the “Hopelessness” tag at the end amongst all the other Mets duds!

  • Rob D.

    THAT’S IT!!! It’s a chore to watch them. And with 2 Yankees fans in my house, I typically will abdicate and check in on the Metsies now and again in between Yankee home runs. They’ve robbed me of another summer.

  • Bob

    Jason/Greg-
    You guys just keep getting better!
    Thanks to your writing, I can keep my BP (I’m 66) under control. I can chuckle and feel my angst melt away–
    Honestly, I find myself watching the Mets sometimes and laughing to say to my German Shepherd, “Boy do they stink”
    That’s exactly what my father ( A NY Giant fan from 1930s/40s…)used to say to me in 1963, 1964, 1965..
    How bad is this team so far–it’s regressed to pre-Ron Hunt days almost– (Degrom, Thor & a few others worth keeping excepted….)
    Thanks for helping me not choke on the “garbage fire”.

  • Dave

    It’s said that adversity builds character. Like most Mets fans, I have freaking character up the f’ing wazoo, enough of bloody character.

    I’ve been saying that Reyes is by now mummified remains. But I may be giving him too much credit, there likely is a high level of decomposition there by now.

  • JoeyC

    I don’t watch any longer. I check the score a few times, then read about it here, and there. It’s a boycott, really, done unconsciously and indifferently. Like this organization.

  • Ken Schultz

    Prior to the start of the season, I predicted the Mets would go 86-76. Has a team ever gone from 10 games over .500, to 10 games under .500, back to 10 games over .500 in the same season?