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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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Numb, Helpless, Etc.

I give up. No, not forever, but until this team gets its head out of its collective butt. Which will be … well, if you know, please tell me.

When your team can't hit, on one level it's hard to evaluate anything they're doing — in a way they aren't your team at all, but a bunch of impostors as startling and unwelcome to the players they're impersonating as they are to all of us. So what's the point of discussing them?

But still, ohmygod. Beltran looks completely lost. Piazza looks like he'll never again be anything close to what he was. Reyes is popping everything up and can't seem to hit from the right side. Cameron is on the shelf. Mientkiewicz seems to have forgotten how to hit. Matsui seems to have forgotten how to play baseball. Wright is killing himself trying to hit five-run homers — and almost literally killed himself today catching a foul ball. (Nice play, but discretion, valor, etc.) No matter how healthy he finally is, Floyd can't carry eight other dudes on his broad shoulders.

Nor is there much hope from our once-vaunted bench. Diaz went to AAA and somehow forgot everything he seemed to have learned early in the year, meaning his resemblance to Manny Ramirez is now chiefly mental. None of Matsui's replacements are exactly worth of hosannas — Woodward is a utility guy, Anderson can't field, Cairo is hobbled, and Jeff Keppinger and (dare I say it) Edgardo Alfonzo managed to get hurt, depriving us even of hypotheticals. Daubach can draw a walk but can neither field nor run.

The pitching? Better than that, for all it matters, but not that great. Ishii's continuing presence in the rotation is baffling. Glavine finds a way to pitch badly enough to lose more often than not. (If we want to find a bright side, it would be that the other three guys — including the much-maligned Zambrano — have been more or less above reproach recently.) Nobody trusts Looper to close out a game that matters. Bell has guts but gives up too many gopher balls. Hernandez has looked decidedly mortal after a strong start. Graves may find himself, but he hasn't been reliable since the '04 All-Star break. Heilman is being wasted in the pen. DeJean having a roster spot is a travesty, seeing how he's a horrible pitcher and a bad teammate to boot. Meanwhile, Jae Seo is pitching somewhere with dizzy bat races and lots of ads on the outfield walls.

Are we too injured? Too old? Too young? Too old and too young? Too unlucky? Enduring a difficult transition? Just a more-sickening version of your typical .500 team? I don't know. Maybe you do. If so, please tell me. Tell me about the worm turning, about Willie's patience being rewarded, about a division still within reach, about Trachsel returning and a glut of tradeable starters, about healing and regressing to the mean in a good way. Tell me about Brian Bannister and Philip Humber and Lastings Milledge. Tell me about our new park. Please tell me something. Please tell me anything.

4 comments to Numb, Helpless, Etc.

  • Anonymous

    How about some useless platitudes?
    “You're never as good as you look when you're winning, nor as bad as you look when you're losing.”
    “These things have a way of turning around.”
    See? Isn't that better? Actually, although the team blows right now, I'm still just taking it as a bad stretch. Another turn through the rotation like this and it will be a different story.
    There's some positives to hang our hats on, and maybe to build toward next year. Like David Wright.
    Aaaaaaand…the ummmm….uhhhh….that uhhhh….our kid third baseman. And the….uhhhh…guy who made the diving catch in the stands last night. He's good. And, anyway, what about the young hitter that popped up to end the game? He had a pretty decent at bat, didn't he? I think that's a good sign for next year.
    The Mets' full slogan: “Next Year is (what you can start thinking about) Now”.

  • Anonymous

    It makes me sick too. Let's face it: the idea that the Mets were going to be competitive was based on the following:
    1. reyes was going to get on base fairly often and steal a lot
    2. Piazza could still hit a little
    3. Beltran was going to be the rock they were lacking
    4. Minky was going to hit 280 or so.
    5. Wright was going to hit 300
    6. anything from cliff floyd was going to be gravy
    so of these 6 things, the “ifs” that all teams come out of spring training with, only one if has actually turned out.
    they suck, they can't hit. Beltran has been an absolute bust. Piazza is a ghost of himself. Matsui needs to be sent far away, you are right about Dejean wasting a roster space. Wright should bat third since he's the best hitter we have. rest Beltran. Push piazza back to 6th or 7th. Bring up Jeff K. asap. Either give Heilman a regular starting job of make him first out of the pen.
    Randolph's handling of Heilman is the number one worst thing he's done this year. I can't blame the lack of hitting on Randolph.

  • Anonymous

    I say the fans start extending their logic, and start booing everyone, all the time. It's becoming blindingly obvious that The Beleagured Kaz Matsui is not “the” problem on this team (one look at the team's equally pathetic performance without him–not to mention the lower fielding percentages of the rest of the infield, save Minky–will show you that), so why save the love for him and him alone?
    Boo 'em all! They all suck, don't they? Boo 'em all, long and hard, that oughta fix things. Don't rest until every last one of them is so demoralized they can't put on a uniform. No point singling out one guy for all the patented Mets fan love. The TEAM sucks, people. Not just one guy. With very few exceptions, this team–team–is horribly, unwatchingly, depressingly, going-through-the-motions BAD.
    No one guy is about to sink OR save this team. Kaz isn't the glaring hole and Player X isn't going to come up from the minors and propel us into first place. There is no missing link. It takes 25 guys to win OR lose. 25 guys to beat the Braves and 25 guys to be looking up at the freaking EXPOS, for crying out loud. THEY'RE STILL THE EXPOS!! AND THEY'RE LIKE A HUNDRED TIMES BETTER THAN US!!
    That being said, once they come home, being supportive might help more than booing, so let's hope the fans find winning more important than their own personal demons for a change. Yeah, we totally suck right now. Big time. But it is only June, kids. We absolutely can still do this. Way stranger things have happened. All you need is love… ;-)

  • Anonymous

    What's that? Perspective? It has no place amid panic.
    That said, as Diamond Dave hobbled out of the third base stands with his souvenir, the first words I involuntarily uttered were Let's Go Jets.
    But he stayed in the game and looked no worse for wear. Turns out baseball season isn't over after all.