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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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One True Outcome

The Mets lost on Saturday afternoon. The Mets will lose any afternoon, any evening, any day of the week. It’s what they do more often than not. Very recently it was only what they did as often as not. In their previous four games, the Mets had lost only once. In their previous eight, they were 4-4. Throw in the pair off of days this past week, and it was like they were moving away from the concept that the Mets do nothing but lose each and every day of their and our lives.

Saturday brought it back, right up to Promenade, Section 523, Row 7, where my pal Joe and I took in the 3-0 shutout Blake Snell and three Rays relievers threw at the Mets. I didn’t know the Rays used starting pitchers like normal teams. To make up for adhering to an established baseball pattern, they sent out their starting pitcher in a jersey bearing a single numeral: SNELL 4. What innovators. I kept thinking they were cleverly deploying a position player.

The draw for Joe and me was Jacob deGrom Bobblehead Day. The figure was very lifelike. The Mets don’t score for Jake’s bobblehead, either.

Meanwhile, Steven Matz threatened to behave like a Transformer. Every inning he came disturbingly close to transforming into Jon Niese. But Steven is somewhat better than his role model. He kept giving up doubles but avoided giving up runs almost altogether through six-and-a-third. He might have matched No. 4 from the Rays with 0 after 0 except Amed Rosario lived up to only half of his good-field/no-hit reputation. Actually, I don’t think that was his reputation at all, but it is where he’s trending.

Amed wasn’t surehanded on Saturday and he sure didn’t hit a lick. Licks generally go unhit in the midst of Mets. Rosario’s batting average is in the .230s, and it is higher than four of his Saturday lineup compatriots’ (Bautista, Plawecki, Frazier and Conforto). Nimmo got himself thrown out at third for no good reason in the first, so let’s not let him off the hook, no matter his lovability. Actually, the only regular who did much with a bat was Flores, whom we’d call time and hug every plate appearance if it wasn’t likely to cost us a mound visit. Wilmer got three hits. Alas, based on his accumulated acumen for the finer points of the game, Wilmer will never be known as Johnny Field. It’s fun to clap along when he’s introduced to the theme from Friends, but friends, let’s just say I’d be there for any legitimately worthwhile offers from anybody for anybody on this team, no matter their Flushing Q rating.

Except the guy who theoretically inspired Saturday’s bobblehead. Try to imagine the 2018 Mets minus deGrom. Then again, the 2018 Mets in reality with deGrom are enough to not want to imagine.

Did I mention the weather was beautiful in Promenade? It was. Meteorologists would call it unSwarzakish. So nice to have the humidity take a hike. It was probably beautiful elsewhere in the Metropolitan Area, so one didn’t really need a Mets game. But Mets fans’ homing instincts are well-honed. We hear the call of the Vaguely Resembling Bobblehead and we come flocking, some of us two or more hours ahead of first pitch, lest we not get our hands on our Jake. Then we sit for a while. Then we watch the Mets stand in place, at least on the scoreboard.

You know who else didn’t look thrilled Saturday? The kids who were selected as part of the perks program to trot out to their heroes’ positions ahead of their heroes. I use “heroes” lightly. I have no idea if Petey from Port Washington, Robbie from Rockville Centre or Freddie from Forest Hills necessarily idolize Todd Frazier, et al. When each young’n was introduced by preternaturally ebullient Colin Cosell, none, and I mean none, looked happy to be there. C’mon, I said, this is the thrill of your young lifetime, though perhaps I was projecting.

You know who looked happy? The guy from the charter bus company who threw out the second first pitch (a guy from a car company threw out the first first pitch). The charter bus company guy was stoked to stand at the lip of the same mound Steven Matz was about to tread, even more stoked to toss one on the fly to Kevin Plawecki. Imagine being that happy to see Kevin Plawecki. I know we idealize children’s fondness for the National Pastime, but maybe save this sort of on-field interaction for those who’ve survived childhood, adolescence and puberty to remain Mets fans through it all. Seriously, that charter bus company guy was happier than the nine kids combined. The charter bus company is apparently some kind of Mets sponsor, but we’re used to that. Based on the bobbleheads we were handed after our tickets were scanned, the Mets’ best pitcher’s name is quite possibly Ford.

12 comments to One True Outcome

  • Steve D

    The Mets’ most diligent employees are the ones who will ask for your ticket to the 300 level even when you are carrying ice cream, it is the end of the 8th inning and half the stadium is empty.

  • Lenny65

    Rosario concerns me. I figured that by this point we’d have at least seen some flashes of what one of baseball’s top prospects was capable of but so far all I see is Reuben Tejada and that’s if I’m being charitable. Like the rest of our Mets he’s just sort of there. And Dom Smith is already our “top prospect” who’s just sort of there. Two is two too many.

    “Imagine being that happy to see Kevin Plawecki.”…line of the year. Where have you gone, Ron Hodges, Mets nation turns its lonely eyes to you…whoo-hoo-hoo.

    • Jacobs27

      Yeah. The hope was, I thought, with Reyes staying on this year to “mentor” Rosario, that the latter would be the second (well, third, I guess, since Jose came back) coming of Jose Reyes or at least show flashes of being that kind of dynamic player. But… not really. He looks mostly like a guy with an awfully big swing for a speedster, and a poor sense of the strike zone. Good but inconsistent defense, no ability to steal bases… he did put down a beautiful bunt in the 9th the other night, but those moments have been pretty rare. Dominic Smith still deserves more of a chance than he’s getting, but he hasn’t shown much either. That’s what’s so troubling about this awful season. The future just seems to promise more of the same.

      • Steve D

        The future is bleak as you suggest. Based on the Rotowire top 400 prospects, here are the top minor league systems by prospects:

        Yankees 23
        SD 23
        Cleveland 22
        TB 20
        Houston 19
        Atlanta 18

        The Mets have 9. Also remember any Met hitting prospect is very likely to be a bust in the vein of Dilson Herrera, Ike Davis, Rosario, Dom Smith, etc. This has held up for over 50 years. Expect a star hitter once every decade. Not really enough to field a team given this ownership doesn’t have the ability to spend like they used to. So talk about the Mets ever owning NY again will not be possible for another decade it looks like. If I trusted this team to make smart trades, they should trade deGrom and Syndergaard and get 8 prospects from the list

        • Lenny65

          IMO the alarming thing about it is that Amed was allegedly one of BASEBALL’S top prospects, not merely a Mets top prospect. I’ve seen a decent game here, a nice play there but no sustained “hot streak” or collection of “wow” defensive highlight reel plays either. In all honesty so far he hasn’t done anything that, say, Matt Reynolds couldn’t have done.

  • NostraDennis

    Oh, how I long for the days of “one step forward, one step back”. It’s becoming harder and harder to single out positives from Met losses. Greg, Jase…I do not envy you that task. This must be how Lindsay Nelson, Ralph Kiner, and Bob Murphy felt in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

    • Lenny65

      In a way it’s worse. Nothing was ever expected of those late 70s teams. This team has far more “talent”, yet equally piss-poor results.

  • Curt

    “The Mets don’t score for Jake’s bobblehead, either.”

    Nice!

    Yesterday I had the same, “could watch the game but it’s nice out” response I’ve been defaulting to (and am again today). Did see Friday’s though. Right now Jake pitching is the only compelling reason I have to watch.

  • If Amed Rosario can’t field a ground ball, what is he doing in the major leagues?

    And, yes, “Imagine being that happy to see Kevin Plawecki” *is* the line of the year!

  • Shawn B

    I see that the Mets lost 9-0 today. Was it a forfeit?