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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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Metropolitan Research Calling

Hello, sir or madam, I am calling today from Metropolitan Research Inquiries, or MRI. Your name has been chosen at random from a database of fans of your baseball team to determine which ways you’d prefer your team to lose. Results will go into helping create potential future losing experiences your baseball team might offer fans like you at a later date. Do you have a few minutes to complete a survey?

You do? All right, then.

I am going to read you a variety of elements that could go into your team losing its most recent game. After you hear each, please tell me, on a scale of one to ten, one being the least awful, ten being the most awful, how you would rate them. For example, if I say, “your team was no-hit,” you would give me a number on the scale as I just described it. Do you understand?

Good. I will begin.

“Your team’s starting pitcher, who you consider one of your better starting pitchers, gives up four runs in the first inning.”

“Someone comes up to you after the first inning and says, ‘At least it’s a nice day for a game.’”

“Your team gets to hit against your opponent’s subpar bullpen early and ties the game at four, giving you the impression your team might surge ahead despite its early mishaps.”

“Your team’s starting pitcher recovers and keeps the opponent from scoring any more runs through the fourth inning, only to surrender two more runs in the fifth inning.”

“Your team’s best hitter leaves the game with an injury vaguely referred to as abdominal tightness.”

“Your team’s cleanup hitter, whose three-run homer tied the game, leaves the game with a concussion experienced when he ran into a teammate who has been a disappointing performer all season long.”

“Your team’s bullpen allows one more run in the seventh inning.”

“Your team, down by three runs in the ninth inning, pushes two runs across the plate, loads the bases and has as its last hope a bench player who had one hit in his previous twenty-three at-bats. That batter strikes out and your team loses, 7-6.”

“Your team faced six relievers from a notoriously bad bullpen and scored nothing off four of them.”

“Someone comes up to you after the game and says, ‘At least they made it close.’”

Now, for control purposes, I have a few additional questions to ask you regarding a game in which the aforementioned scenarios might have unfolded. Please tell me, “I agree”; “I disagree” or “I don’t know” in response. For example, if I were to say, “Baseball is fun no matter who wins or loses,” you’d respond as I described. Do you understand?

Good. I will continue.

“As a result of this game, I am more likely to watch, listen to or attend my team’s next game.”

“As a result of this game, I never want to watch, listen to or attend another game my team plays.”

“As a result of this game, I am more likely to consume an antacid product.”

“As a result of this game, my next haircut or hair-styling appointment will require less time because I have already pulled out a significant amount of my own hair.”

“As a result of this game, I can’t help but be unpleasant to those around me.”

“As a result of this game, I question my priorities.”

“As a result of this game, I realize life goes on no matter the fortunes of my team.”

“As a result of this game, I will seek counseling or some type of mental health service.”

One more section. I am going to read you a list of situations. For each, if they were to occur, please tell me if you would still plan to be a fan of your favorite team. For example, if I say, “My team was no-hit,” tell me, “I would continue to be a fan”; “I would not continue to be a fan”; or “I don’t know.” Do you understand?

Good. I will continue. This won’t take much longer.

“My team traded not only my favorite player, but indisputably the best player my team ever had.”

“My team has wallowed in multiple periods of losing lasting several years.”

“My team generally does not pursue star players when they are readily available and instead regularly tries to get by with marginal players.”

“My team has lost playoff spots on the final day of the season in consecutive seasons after holding significant leads for a playoff spot mere weeks before in each of those seasons.”

“My team shows little sign of playing consistently well.”

“My team seems only intermittently concerned with presenting its history warmly and accurately.”

“My team uses as its manager someone with no obvious skills related to managing.”

“My team uses as its general manager someone with no explicit experience related to being general manager.”

“My team is not owned by people who give me confidence that my team will ever win more than it loses on a long-term, consistent basis.”

“My team doesn’t seem to care which pitchers constitute its full starting rotation.”

“My team seems more concerned about banning backpacks than winning ballgames.”

“My team rarely overcomes injuries.”

“My team keeps me up nights wondering both what is wrong with them presently and how there have been things wrong with them for generations.”

“My team is going to have its ups and downs, and even though the ups are outnumbered by the downs, there will always be just enough of a hint of ups to make it seem more ups are possible.”

That completes our survey. Thank you for participating.

9 comments to Metropolitan Research Calling

  • Greg Mitchell

    All you had to say was: “Keon Broxton.” Up twice no for final outs with bases loaded. Hitting .143, and seemingly always has. Yet Brodie takes him knowing he has no options remaining so can’t be sent down without losing–so has stuck around already 3 weeks after sell date. And there you are.

  • JoeyBaguhDonuts

    This piece was written how quickly? This IS an actual survey with real and significant data points! Impressive.

    Yes, we all feel that same feeling that compels one to create in this manner. For me, it’s an intellectual “d’oh!” bashing a frustrating disappointment. Again.

  • It figures Robinson Cano was involved in Conforto’s concussion. He has rapidly become the third in a Carlos Baerga-Roberto Alomar-Cano Unholy Trinity.

  • That had to be the most painful game of the season. When Conforto gets back, it is time to give up on Keon Broxton or Juan Lagare. I really don’t care which. If they want to keep Keon with an eye on the long term, jettison Juan. If not bye Keon.

  • LeClerc

    There is no joy in Metsville

    Mighty Keon has struck out


  • open the gates

    Great. Now I’m gonna be depressed the rest of the day.

    Silver lining – at least it’s not as depressing as the political surveys. (Yay?)

  • open the gates

    OK. this question wasn’t explicitly on the survey, but I can name the two least painful ways for the Mets to lose (Wilpons, take notes):

    1 – Mickey mismanages a totally winnable game so atrociously that Brodie VW has no choice but to fire him. Or

    2 – It’s a September game in a hopeless season, the Mets are interleaguing against an AL East team, and the other team’s victory would knock the Yankees out of the postseason. Heck, I might even root for the other team then.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    ::sigh:: I would continue to be a fan.

  • Daniel Hall

    “As a result of this game, I am more likely to watch, listen to or attend my team’s next game.”

    “As a result of this game, my next haircut or hair-styling appointment will require less time because I have already pulled out a significant amount of my own hair.”

    “As a result of this game, I can’t help but be unpleasant to those around me.”

    “As a result of this game, I question my priorities.”

    Ten! Ten! Ten! Aah, it hurts!! (And I didn’t even get to see this one on delay, just some “highlights”, which were really just “lights”… and dim)

    Second-most-stupid collision between infielder and outfielder I remember seeing. I vaguely remember a Blue Jays second baseman backing up slowly into a firmly planted centerfielder and collapsing upon contact. Don’t remember the players involved. But I am pretty sure they at least made the catch…

    Okay, maybe it is the most-stupid collision……