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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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When ‘1776’ Met 2018

Good news: the Mets won in Toronto on the Fourth of July. Better news: my wife and I devoted part of our holiday to watching 1776 together for the twenty-eighth consecutive Independence Day, a tradition that dates back to 7/4/1991, coincidentally another of those infrequent occasions when our American baseball team was sent to Canada (Montreal, natural-LEE) to conduct its course of human events. I must admit I skipped the first few innings Wednesday evening in order to complete our annual viewing, thus though I soaked in the five-run rally that provided the Met bullpen a lead that somehow defied blowing, I can tell you very little about how Corey Oswalt looked during his four innings of work. Rarely do I avert my eyes from my ballclub when my ballclub is right there for the viewing — even this edition of my ballclub — but once a year, I reset my usual priorities.

The Mets sometimes lose on the Fourth, but those thirteen colonies always become a nation by the end of the film, which longtime readers will recognize as a point of personal obsession. 1776 is my favorite movie musical, a source of incessant summertime quoting between Stephanie and me (more me at her than she at me) and one of those things that I find makes life worthwhile. The Mets sometimes feel like that. Maybe not that much in 2018, but often in other years.

Given the confluence of good fortune that befell both the Mets on July 4, 2018, and the United States of America on July 4, 1776, let us dispense with the reading of the minutes from the Mets’ 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays and instead explore the many similarities between the dialogue in our movie and the words that perhaps apply just as easily to our Metsies.

Is, “For God’s sake, John, sit down!”…
a) a stinging rebuke of John Adams’s repeated calls for a vote on American independence?
OR
b) how Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi put John Ricco in his place during GM meetings?

Is, “If you left tonight, you could be here in only eight days,” an estimate of…
a) how long it would take John Adams to travel from Philadelphia back to his farm in Massachusetts?
OR
b) the time required to get a Triple-A callup from Las Vegas to New York?

Is, “Those dispatches are the most depressing accumulation of disaster, doom and despair…”
a) how Thomas McKean refers to General Washington’s battlefield letters to Congress?
OR
b) what a Mets fan thinks upon reading about the Mets’ latest loss?

Is, “Never was such a valuable possession so stupidly and recklessly managed”…
a) Ben Franklin’s scathing rebuttal to John Dickinson’s defense of King George?
OR
b) an objective assessment of how Mets ownership has operated during the past decade?

Is, “New York abstains courteously”…
a) Lewis Morris’s polite way of telling John Hancock his colony will not be participating in yet another roll call vote?
OR
b) what Mickey Callaway says when the home plate umpire asks if he’ll be pinch-hitting for his relief pitcher?

Is, “Just a moment. This business needs a Virginian”…
a) John Adams’s realization that the Declaration of Independence can’t be written without input from Thomas Jefferson?
OR
b) somebody in the front office suddenly remembering to add David Wright’s name to the 60-day DL?

Is, “He tucks it right under his chin,” an allusion to…
a) Thomas Jefferson playing the violin?
OR
b) Brandon Nimmo intentionally getting himself hit by another pitch?

Is, “Dear Sir, you are, without any doubt, a rogue, a rascal, a villain, a thief, a scoundrel and a mean, dirty, stinking, sniveling, sneaking, pimping, pocket-picking, thrice double-damned, no-good son-of-a-bitch”…
a) the text on cards Stephen Hopkins has had printed to hand out in response to the epidemic of bad disposition he’s detected?
OR
b) typical of the season ticketholder mail that arrives on Jeff Wilpon’s desk?

Is, “We’ll be setting our own precedent!”…
a) Ben Franklin’s exasperated explanation to James Wilson regarding the effort to form a new nation?
OR
b) the Mets’ reasoning for having three general managers instead of one?

Is, “Never have troops been more cheerful. Never have soldiers been more resolute. Never have training and discipline been more spirited,” a response from…
a) John Adams to Samuel Chase when Chase doubts the Continental Army can defeat the British?
OR
b) Mickey Callaway answering a reporter’s question about all that’s been going wrong with his team?

Is, “To the right, ever to the right, never to the left, forever to the right”…
a) Congress’s anti-independence forces making clear they reject the arguments put forth by the likes of Adams and Franklin?
OR
b) Jay Bruce hitting in such a manner that will never beat the shift?

Is, “Naked bathing in the Raritan River”…
a) one of the many improprieties General Washington catalogues in his latest dispatch to the Congress?
OR
b) a juicy detail from the Page Six exclusive, “The Last Days of Matt Harvey”?

Is, “Are you mad? It’s 80 miles and he’s a dying man,” an incredulous response by…
a) Thomas McKean to John Adams when Adams insists Caesar Rodney leave his Delaware deathbed to provide a crucial vote for independence?
OR
b) Yoenis Cespedes’s agent to the Mets’ request that his client interrupt rehabbing his hip flexor in St. Lucie to visit with his teammates at Marlins Park?

Is, “Is anybody there? Does anybody care?”…
a) a cry for help shared by George Washington and John Adams as each faces his own seemingly intractable crisis?
OR
b) small talk between ushers working Promenade after the All-Star break?

Is, “I begin to notice that many of us are lads under 15 and old men…”
a) how General Washington views the ranks of the Continental Army?
OR
b) the latest update from the Mets player development department?

Is, “It’s done…it’s done”…
a) what John Adams says softly to himself as the resolution on American independence passes Congress on July 2?
OR
b) what Mets fans have been saying to each other about the 2018 season since approximately June 2?

16 comments to When ‘1776’ Met 2018

  • Steve D

    Great comparison to a great play. In 1976 it was my 6th grade play. I was Cesar Rodney.

    • Isn’t it fun being the kid who’s asked to play the older characters? I was never in “1776,” but I did have a knack for portraying doctors, senators and police inspectors.

  • ToBeDetermined

    Is, “You’re obnoxious and disliked!”
    a) a comment frequently directed at John Adams?
    OR
    b) a comment frequently directed at Mets ownership?

  • Bill Slocum

    That was brilliant. Now do “My Fair Lady.”

  • Rob D.

    “This is a revolution, dammit! We’re going to have to offend SOMEBODY!!”

    I assume you have the movie on DVD..I wait until it’s on TCM. Last night it was a 10:15 PM showing…but I made it through. Interrupted the Indiana Jones marathon.

    • TCM actually showed it last week, so I recorded it then and got part of it “prewatched,” if you will. Kept me fresh for the interval (“Look Sharp”) where my energy begins to dip. I also recorded the 10:15 airing to catch Mr. Mankiewicz’s opening and closing thoughts. But, yes, the DVD occupies a place of honor on the shelf.

  • LeClerc

    An odd feeling – watching the Mets win a game where the bullpen doesn’t blow the lead.

    Ron Darling was pushing for Lugo to go a full five innings. Ronnie sounded “concerned” when Blevins strode to the mound to start the bottom of the 8th.

    Somehow or other they won. Just goes to show you – anything can happen.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I know how you feel. If somehow thru a quirk of the schedule the Mets had a game early on New Year’s Day, I’d be watching the Honeymooners Marathon on WPIX. Other than that, I’m free 24/7/364 as far as required viewing goes.

    • You’ve reminded me of one of what my pet ideas: a midnight baseball game live from, say, Chase Field on New Year’s Eve, around 11 PM Eastern. I don’t know who would play, but it would involve major leaguers. I’d interrupt my reveling for a little MLB action at that hour.

  • Joey G

    “And it’s here a Lee, there a Lee, everywhere a Lee, a Lee,

    Miser-LEE

    Penurious-LEE

    Injurious-LEE

    Pathetic-LEE

    Graceless-LEE

    Humiliating-LEE

    Reliefless-LEE

    Depressing-LEE.

    And may the Yankees burn my land, if I can’t deliver to your hand, a resolution on Mets’ insolvency!”

    Brought to you by Roy LEE Jackson and LEE-Roy Stanton.

  • Jacobs27

    Great stuff.

    Here’s a few more.

    Is,
    “Do you mean to say that it is not yet finished?”
    “No, sir. I mean to say that it’s not yet begun.”…
    a) an exchange between Adams and Jefferson regarding the drafting of the Declaration of Independence?
    OR
    b) An exchange between any Mets beat-reporter and the GM(s) regarding any and all rehabbing of Mets injured players?

    Is “What in hell are you waiting for?!” …
    a) The end of John Adam’s opening tirade against the Continental Congress for not even so much as debating independence?
    OR
    b) The end of fans’ tirades against the Mets front-office every time they seem to have forgotten the 10-Day DL exists or refuse to make certain other roster moves for no discernible (good) reason?
    OR
    c) What you want to say to Mickey Callaway as he is staring placidly out at a clearly-lost reliever in the process of blowing another lead?

    Finally, is “That was the most revolting display I’ve ever witnessed.” about …
    a) Not Richard Henry Lee’s blustery antics, but rather Ben Franklin’s use of excessive flattery to manipulate Lee into getting Virginia to propose independence?
    OR
    b) Take your pick, really.

  • eric1973

    “Open up a window!”

    A) It’s hot in this room, John Adams
    OR
    B)What Met fans should NOT do, after watching this putrid bullpen blow another late inning lead.