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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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We Interrupt This Aggravating Seminar on Leadership to Bring You an Aggravating Ballgame

Going into the weekend, I was pretty happy about our being the ESPN Sunday night game. Thursday and Friday night I worked and gave what attention I could spare to Howie and Wayne on the radio. On Saturday night Emily threw me a 40th birthday celebration at B61, which was enormous fun but meant Johan and Co. were viewed and listened to on the run. (In the ninth Joshua's babysitter called in distress — the cable feed had cut out and Joshua was demanding updates. I listened to the last three outs via Gameday and SMS'ed Joyce after each one.) Given the whole 40th birthday celebration, I knew today would begin with a king-sized hangover and afternoon baseball hours might need to be occupied by a restorative nap. (You know it's going to be rough when you begin the day showering in the dark because the bathroom light feels like a Gitmo interrogation.) Anyway, given all this, 8 p.m. sounded much more promising for enjoying a couple of hours of baseball.

The only problem was I somehow forgot (or more likely blocked out) that Sunday night means Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips.

Speaking of Gitmo.

I don't mind Jon Miller — he seems to genuinely enjoy himself and inhabits the game easily and mostly unobtrusively. But oh man, the company he's forced to keep. Joe Morgan's reflexive hatred of any kind of modern thinking about baseball is well-known and properly derided (there's this definitive takedown by Tommy Craggs, not to mention Fire Joe Morgan's entire existence), but what irritates me about his knuckle-dragging isn't the anti-intellectualism but the laziness — give me a couple of helpings of grit, season with intangibles and knowing how to win and call me next Sunday. Well, that and the fact that Joe Morgan's job is to watch baseball and talk about it and yet he seems to be having about as much fun as the guy at the end of the line at the DMV. When he's actually breaking down baseball instead of crabbing about the unquantifiable, Morgan can be interesting — witness his discussion of why some batters are unsettled by a runner going on a two-strike count. Unfortunately, I usually miss any such wisdom if it's imparted after the third inning, because by then I've willed myself to go deaf for fear that otherwise I might snap and try to perforate both eardrums with a chopstick.

And then there's whatever the fuck Steve Phillips does.

Listening to Morgan and Skill Set agree, kind of agree and not agree about “leadership” was slow torture, like being a lobster in a pot with the dial turned all the way to Suck. Ugh, Omar's stupid quote about the Mets and their lack of edge. … let me guess, Wright is too young and Reyes makes mistakes and Beltran is quiet … did Jon Miller pick out that shirt and tie because he fears he'll be lost at sea? … if Derek Jeter's name is brought up I'm going to fly to San Francisco and hit Joe Morgan in the face with a pie … good God, they're still at it, this has been going on for more than inning … HOLY FUCK PLEASE GOD MAKE IT STOP I WILL DO ANYTHING. Generally when Morgan and Skill Set were talking I was rocking back and forth and quietly sobbing, so I'm sure I missed some details, but I do seem to remember that Morgan said the Mets were 11-2 but not playing well, just taking advantage of other teams' mistakes (huh?) and that Skill Set advocated trading Carlos Beltran because he doesn't make game-winning plays. (Good Lord, shut the fuck up. Isn't there a secretary in Bristol you can chase around a desk or something?)

Oh yeah, the game.

Mike Pelfrey balked three times and spent an inordinate amount of time trudging around the mound looking like he was plotting how to get a flaming bag of dog crap onto each umpire's front doorstep without the second victim alerting the others. The Giants' astonishingly anonymous lineup — the last names make you think you're playing a videogame whose makers wouldn't pay the MLBPA — pecked out runs on singles sandwiched around Balk #1 and a starting pitcher parachuting a single over short after failing to bunt fair on a suicide squeeze. The Mets left 12 on base and got zero runs out of the following situations: Runner on third, one out (first inning), bases loaded, none out (second inning) and runners on second and third, none out (eighth inning).

In other words, if you had to pick the perfect game to be accompanied by Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips, it would be this one.

Greg promises that the audiobook adaptation of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets will not be read by Jon Miller, Joe Morgan or Steve Phillips. It's available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

13 comments to We Interrupt This Aggravating Seminar on Leadership to Bring You an Aggravating Ballgame

  • Anonymous

    Getting the bases loaded on walks and NOT scoring in the 2nd was the tell-tale sign for me. Not to mention that balk, which led to the first run or that other balk-which led to a run!
    Was Pelfrey stoned?

  • Anonymous

    Jason, I knew I couldnt be the only one who ready to lose his mind. Its almost as if the baseball game is secondary to Morgan and Phillips yapping away. They must have wasted 2 innings and just wouldnt stop. I never heard so much complaining about a team that is actually on a winning streak. And yes, those wins count if they just take advantage of other teams errors. I got my radio but that delay is just too much.

  • Anonymous

    The worst was the 8th, when there were actually hits. in the second it's hard to hit a guy that's throwing balls, and it was mostly luck that Reed's ball went just the right speed and location to allow the DP without scoring a run.
    Worst is Manuel. How do you pinch hit for Murphy with Pagan? It wasn't even a lefty/righty thing. It didn't even make sense.
    I'm kinda tired of this 'presence' in the lineup thing. Sure, Sheffield has a career behind him, but teams are going to learn pretty fast that he's basically a singles hitter with high OBP, and the OBP will come down as they stop being scared of him. How about we get Murphy in there, who's looked like a good player excepting for small samples here and there, and let Wright and Beltran be the presence? I mean, Beltran leads the league and Wright's actually been IBB a couple of times this year.
    I'm worried Santos might finally be getting exposed too. Why does it feel like when Santos plays and doesn't get a hit, he still come up to bat, but when Castro plays and gets a hit, he inevitably gets pinch hit for anyway?

  • Anonymous

    When I hear Steve Phillips offer lavishly compensated analysis of the organization he helped run into the ground, I think of this John Fogerty lyric regarding those who perpetrated Watergate:
    And them that was caught in the cover
    Are all rich and free

    Substitute that a-hole sensei from Karate Kid who reappears in Karate Kid III if you like.

  • Anonymous

    Last night was just one of those bad luck games. I would have felt more comfortable with somebody other than Reid coming up with the bases loaded and nobody out But I felt even less comfortable with two on in the eighth and Angel Pagan pinch hitting. Why the need for the lefty/righty matchup with for Murphy batting .375 against southpaws? Manuel's explantion was Murph wasn't swinging the bat well Plausable, even though he got a pinch hit Friday night he was still 0 for 2. But Murph could have lifted a fly (a productive out) and cut the deficit to one. And why not Castro in lieu of Angel Pagan? Or even Jose Reyes?
    Maybe those inside baseball could explain the rational better to us than Jerry did.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, they can't always score 7+ runs, Reed's hit was kinda bad luck (and no on in that inning got a hit). The Pagan thing.. I dunno. I would've hit with Reyes, keep him 'fresh' in terms of seeing pitches. And then put Pagan in to run anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Just un fuckin believable.
    You mean to tell me there was actually a Karate Kid III?

  • Anonymous

    This was the most infuriating move of the night. Put up a career minor leaguer merely because he can hit right-handed. Let Murphy hit. And did the Mets lie when they said Reyes was available to PH in a key spot? Hard to imagine a more key one than that. If you are going to hit for Murphy, the only batter to put up there was Reyes.
    As for the comment re Santos, dead on. It's like he's Manual's new toy. Castro deserves a lot better.

  • Anonymous

    Agree 100% regarding Phillips. Actually, San Francisco fans had to be upset too, since their team was practically ignored throughout the broadcast!
    Regarding Jerry's ponderous decisions: if your first baseman is hitting eighth in the line-up, then he ought not be your first baseman.

  • Anonymous

    You at least found someone who agrees with your trade analysis. Thankfully we get to choose the company we keep…

  • Anonymous

    I thought I was the only one that thought Miller and Morgan just really hate the Mets for some reason. It was the same thing a couple weeks back when the Mets were on ESPN. The pair just spends the entire game complaining about the Mets in some way or other. I hate them both, and I'm glad I'm not alone on this.

  • Anonymous

    Francesca ripping into Morgan and Phillips for ludricrious comments last night along with Manuel for having Pagan hit for Murphy instead of Castro or Reyes (also questioning why in the first place).

  • Anonymous

    yeah, like Wright is the MVP of the NL. Hah!!