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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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I'd Rather Not Have What He's Having

It’s not quite “LFGM” — that was both snappier and happier — but Pete Alonso added to his book of quotations once Thursday night’s game against the Cubs had mercifully ended, telling the assembled scribes that “getting swept feels like eating a shit sandwich, to be honest with you.”

I can’t say and I hope the Polar Bear can’t either, but the last three nights of baseball certainly weren’t pleasant. The Mets lost because of a brief spasm of ineptitude, lost because that ineptitude turned chronic, and then lost a game where the ineptitude was so all-consuming that neither team deserved a W, except it’s inarguable that the Mets deserved one slightly less.

Do we really want the details? I suppose that’s why we have recaps, so fine. Joey Lucchesi continued the Mets’ recent maddening pattern of looking somewhere between effective and untouchable before falling apart. The relief corps was pretty good — particularly new import Sean Reid-Foley, who lowers his torso and stares forward to get the catcher’s sign, looking a bit like a homeowner who’s pretty sure he’s going to discover that wasps have built a nest right under the deck. On the other hand, let’s not get too excited about Reid-Foley’s debut: new export Trevor Hildenberger looked pretty good when he arrived and he’s now departed, because middle relievers. The Mets got their runs in a brief flurry of solid hitting, but left a bad taste in your mouth (that thing I just did is called foreshadowing) by following said barrage with a waste of a no-out, runner-on-second situation. Oh, and there was Kevin Pillar and Michael Conforto collaborating on not catching a pop-up that hung in the air for approximately 15 minutes, a misplay that seemed to mesmerize Javier Baez into nearly getting tagged out while lollygagging back into first. (He was safe because Alonso swipe-tagged him with his forearm and not the ball, completing a sequence best set to “Yakety Sax.”)

Aaron Loup and Miguel Castro somehow stranded a leadoff Cubs triple, but in hindsight that might have been because the Mets and Cubs had both decided to change the baseball rules and take turns trying not to win. (Who knows, maybe that rule will be foisted on some poor indy circuit before Rob Manfred is finally invited to find a new hobby.) Having won high marks from the judges for their ineptitude, the Cubs gave the Mets their chance in the 10th: Pillar started on second as the free runner, dramatically increasing the chances of his doing something actually useful, and moved to third on a wild pitch.

Normally, I’d take the odds on Jeff McNeil at least hitting a ball to an outfielder, but McNeil can’t get out of his own way right now and swung at a pitch above the strike zone. I had more confidence in Luis Guillorme, who walked. So did Francisco Lindor. Up came Dom Smith, who actually connected — right into a double play. With the Mets having failed, Baez was the Cubs’ free runner and soon scored on a Jason Heyward single through the infield after a bunch of stuff I no longer care to recall.

Honestly, this was a deeply stupid baseball game, nearly as miserable as it was to watch as I’m sure it was to play. If the best baseball games are chess matches, this was watching two blindfolded children screaming and flinging checkers at each other. It’s the first game of the season that left me fuming and muttering how much I hate baseball and saying all the usual stupid things I say about now when there’s inevitably a stupid hateful game like this.

So yeah, my views are just about the same as Pete’s. This restaurant gets zero stars. Someone give me a toothbrush, a bottle of Scope, and a new day on the calendar.

11 comments to I’d Rather Not Have What He’s Having

  • open the gates

    It’s scary how much of Mets history goes really well with Yackety Sax. You could loop that sucker for a few years worth of instant replays.

  • Iowa Pete

    I’ve been a Mets fan for my entire life.
    However, in addition to how the overall once-beautiful game of baseball “has changed,” I must admit I am rapidly tiring of Pete Alonso’s “act.” How about this Pete — try saying a sentence with out curses in it. After all, there are kids watching, reading and listening. I really can’t stand that “Let’s Go Mets” has been turned into something vulgar by him. He also needs to lose the ridiculous celebrations after he hits a homer after striking out 7 or 8 times. And staying upright in a critical defensive situation helps as well.
    Luis Rojas is a platitude muttering gas bag who does nothing more than “manage by the book.”

  • Paul

    How about when the irrepressible Pete Alonso exclaimed, “I can’t wait to be drunk on top of a float, celebrating with my teammates” (after winning a World Series)?

    Yeah, that sends an especially mature and responsible message to young and impressionable Mets fans: Go out and get wasted.

    Well, at least Pete is not pontificating on social media anymore. Leave that to Mike Lupica.

  • mikeL

    jason, you’re a more patient man than me.
    i was pretty disgusted with mets baseball into game 1 and was full-on shouting at my tv when JD butchered the would-be double play grounder in game 2.
    last nite was its the icing on the sh*t cake.

  • Seth

    I know it’s early, but this is the time when the Mets should be sending a message to the rest of the division that they are the team to beat. (By winning games, not by screaming stuff.) Sure, it’s only 14 games, but the tone needs to be set NOW. Disclaimer: I am not a baseball player.

    • Ha — this is an important disclaimer all of us should remember to make from time to time.

      I remember being on the field for a pregame event and Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes were playing catch about 10 feet away. They were literally just playing catch — but that meant zipping the ball back and forth at velocities that would have damaged my hand inside a minute. And I was like, “Oh, that’s right, the gulf between what they do and what I did as a kid is so huge we’re basically different species.”

      I will still grumble about Kevin Pillar needing to do something useful, though. Among other things.

  • Seth

    Did Luis drop the ball at any time during that sequence? Sorry, couldn’t resist…

  • Bob

    A “Shit sandwich” indeed— or as Jerome Horowitz and associates would offer–
    “a slice of Burnt toast & a rotten egg…”

    Perhaps as the weather warms up, the Mets will remember what the wooden bats they carry around are used for…sigh…

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • Dave

    As evil stepsister ugly as that series was, at least the Mets aren’t way underwater, and although yes, both teams in one given game have to play in the same weather, I’m thinking that the chances are they aren’t playing any more winter baseball, and perhaps will be cutting down significantly on the rain/snow/COVID-outs and get some rhythm going. All has to help.

    That all said, this deGrom/Stroman/have a guy ready for long relief by the 4th inning trend needs to change. Carrasco and Thor’s returns are something to look forward to, but the season can’t rest on two injured pitchers returning and pitching as though nothing happened.

  • Lenny65

    I’ve been in this for a long, long time and I fully realize that “it’s early” and this phase will probably pass. I mean after all, for the first half of the 2015 season the Mets were trotting out a lineup that could best be described as “humiliating”.

    But that said, it’s alarming when they’re donning their clown shoes this early. While I don’t have the answers, DRIVING IN A F*CKING RUN OR TWO NOW AND THEN MIGHT BE A GOOD START. Just saying is all.

  • eric1973

    Yes, and things would have stayed exactly the same, until a fellow named Ces showed up and changed everything.

    Then Ces’ contract ran out, and then the next season the headcase golfer opted out, and we had a chance to be rid of him. Then Sandy signed him to that ridiculous contract where he played a few games before thankfully leaving us for good.