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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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Let's All Scream and Say Foolish Things

Metsie, Metsie, Metsie!

The amazin’, amazin’, amazin’ Mets capped a 9-1 homestand with yet another dismantling of the surprisingly hapless Dodgers, with good signs blooming all over the ballpark despite a chilly day. There was John Maine, throwing almost all fastballs and racking up swings and misses with them. There was Jason Bay, as hot as he once was cold. There were balls banging off the Great Wall of Flushing (I officially love that nickname) and plumbing the depths out by the Mo Zone and sailing past crestfallen Dodgers. There was an effusive post-home-plate greeting between David Wright and Jose Reyes, all pumping elbows and flying fingers. And there were people cheering in the stands and back here on couches and proud and happy — no, make that giddy — to be Mets fans. Including me. I’d missed that. My God how I’d missed that.

I spent most of the matinee listening on the radio and zipping two rooms over to the TV when something good happened. (Which, happily, meant a lot of zipping around.) But afterwards, the giddiness ebbed and I found myself poor-mouthing my team.

Maine was still really inefficient, and his fastball was stuck in the high 80s. How of much of that was Maine, and how much was a whipping wind and general Dodger suckiness?

Opposing hitters’ BABIP against Pelfrey is .249, which is a textbook example of the concept of unsustainability. Ollie’s still a textbook example of the concept of Ollie. Niese is still a rookie.

We all love Ike Davis — I’m amazed at how he consistently reaches across the plate, catches balls on the end of the bat and proves strong enough to serve them to the outfield — but he’s not a .355 hitter. (Over on Amazin’ Avenue, someone noted that Davis has more hits than Mark Teixeira.) And let’s recall that we all once loved Daniel Murphy with similar fervor.

But then I stopped myself. What was all this? Forget Pelfrey and his BABIP — why was I behaving like a textbook example of a pathologically unhappy Mets fan?

Once in a while, your baseball team gets on a roll and starts leading a charmed life. The Mets right now could drop the toast every morning and have it land not only butter-side up, but neat as a pin on a clean plate the opposing team unaccountably left in the middle of the living-room carpet. Most of the time this lasts for a week or a week and a half — two if you’re really lucky. But while it does, there’s really no point in trying to take its measure through statistics or psychology. It simply is, and the wisest thing to do as a fan is to soak up every single blissful second of it. Don’t poke and prod it, don’t try to outguess it, don’t duck it, don’t poor-mouth it, don’t apologize for it. Just let it be. And until it comes to an end — as it surely will — let yourself strut and dream and say foolish things. Yeah, the baseball gods know hubris, but they also know false modesty. You’re not going to fool them by refusing to gambol in the sunshine because your own forecast called for rain.

Mets/Phillies on Friday. Friday? That’s entirely too far away. I say the Mets bring the bus to Citizens Bank Park first thing in the morning and demand the Phillies play on the off-day. You were flying back from the Coast and you’re tired? Pffft, crybabies. For a bunch of guys wearing maroon, you sure are yellow.

First place is on the line. Bring it!

14 comments to Let’s All Scream and Say Foolish Things

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Jason Fry. Jason Fry said: Let's all scream and say foolish things. Faith and Fear in Flushing. #Mets […]

  • Loved it. You’re right. If you’re going to follow a game with this much randomness, it would be awfully silly not to enjoy it when it comes up all cherries.

  • BlackCountryMet

    WOW!! What a streak, what a homestand! Yeah, some of the opposing play has been downright shoddy, and for sure some of our pitching is still dubious. But hey, i’ve had enough depressing times over the last few seasons to enjoy this for every moment it lasts ;-) Although I’ve still got little confidence in OP, I do feel that Maine and particularly the Pelf(Meister) can be effective in the rotation. If we can up our offense then we can be decent. NOW, let’s go get them Phils

  • Andee

    Opposing hitters’ BABIP against Pelfrey is .249, which is a textbook example of the concept of unsustainability.

    Of course it is. So’s a 0.69 ERA. He’s going to get pasted sometime, they all do. It just hasn’t happened to him yet. It’s a question of how many times he’s going to get pasted (not necessarily how badly; giving up 20 runs and losing counts the same as giving up 2 runs and losing).

    But what I’m seeing about Pelfrey that’s different is that he doesn’t get rattled anymore when he’s in a jam. Three-Balk Mike seems to be a thing of the past. That’s not to say he couldn’t resurface, but it does seem increasingly less likely.

    And of course they’re not going to sustain a .900 clip as a team, either. That’s never happened and it probably never will. And obviously, they’ve lucked into facing a few teams that were having their own iss-yews. But here’s the important thing: They’re not beating themselves with screwup upon screwup. Even that one Pony League error the other day when Pagan didn’t call off Bay and didn’t make what should have been an easy catch, didn’t throw them. It was a mistake, all teams make them, move on. It’s a pleasure to watch.

  • Having not been among the living for the 1969 homestand, and having attended a fair share of the 1988 one (one of two seasons I had the good fortune of a sibling buying season tickets) I have to take great glee in something which appears to happen like the Mets version of Haley’s comet, roughly once every 20 years. Give or take.

  • NostraDennis

    Jason – I was thinking the same thing – there’s now a HUGE gap between Wednesday afternoon and Friday night. After three nice wins in the span of 27 hours, a day off is definitely NOT welcome.

    Also, why am I not a major league baseball coach? Because I was screaming at my computer yesterday, begging Jerry Manuel to take Maine out after the wheels nearly came off his choo-choo in the fifth inning. So what does Maine do in the sixth? Strikes out the side on ten pitches. Oh, me of little faith.

    BTW, Jason, you had an absolutely a classic post the other day. If anyone hasn’t read it yet, scroll back to “What He Left Behind”. But read it when you have the time and ability to choke back a manly sniffle or two.

  • Chris

    Definitely agree with the spirit of this post, but I’ve got a couple thoughts on the stats.

    I know the concept of BABIP, although I may not be an expert, and I can’t help but think that although there’s a small range of BABIP that most pitchers and hitters generally gravitate towards, isn’t it entirely possible that the way any given pitcher or hitter plays could land him on either the low or high end of that spectrum?

    And the last thing I want to do is be Debbie Downer the day after these wonderful ten games, but I am not sold on Maine. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t know if that high 80s “heater” will hold up. So I agree with you there.

  • Marc R

    Another cause for optimism is that only Pelfrey and Davis have actually played better than they’re capable of and most of the squad has played worse.

    And, oh yes. Someday maybe Beltran will return.

    So, enjoy.

  • CharlieH

    If we’re going all SABR on ourselves, let’s also note that the Mets are underperforming their Pythag. by a game — so when things do “even out,” they’ll even out in the “upward” direction…

  • Matt from Sunnyside

    Man, I can’t remember the last time I was this psyched about a weekend series. I seriously can’t remember! It’s been at least a year.

  • My call down to Earth was last night when I noticed the Phillies had stunned the Giants. I thought, “great, now we have to win two games to stay on top,” which was quickly followed by another thought, “WAYYYYYY to early to be worried about this stuff, idiot. You got another 48 hours in first place, enjoy it!”

    So that’s what I’m doing.

  • Mike Francesca was saying pretty much the same thing on WFAN yesterday: Enjoy it, because it’s fun, but don’t get carried away.

    Until they show they can sustain it, well, in the words of Jim Mora Sr., “Playoffs? Playoffs? Don’t talk to me about Playoffs!”

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    Sure, this is only 22 games into the season but can’t help feeling like we’re in Heaven, especially since it felt like hell on April 13th.

    The Mets are playing smart and intelligent baseball with proper execution – something they couldn’t do last season and something they decided often not to do the two seasons before that. And it’s great seeing Jose being Jose again. After our fall from grace, I don’t think the league will mistake enthusiasm for swagger anymore.

  • MetsMom

    What a joy to watch the Mets play good, exciting baseball. It’s been way, way too long.