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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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Edible Garbage

Ah, Garbage Time. Been a while.

(Theatrical sigh.)

Garbage Time is weird. Losing generally produces a dull ache instead of the sharp pain felt while you still dream of the postseason, but winning, weirdly, can be more fun. And I know why: When your team’s aiming at first place, or the wild card, or even just has a chance to pass the third-place team and then we’ll see, the joy of winning is followed all too swiftly by fretting about losing. What if we don’t win tomorrow? If only we’d won that game two days/a week/two months ago, we’d be a game closer! It’s great we’re in first, but it’s only 2.5 games — that could be gone in three lousy days!

A Garbage Time win means a lot less, but it comes with no such baggage. Your team won. You’re happy. The end.

Of course this game was weird anyway. I’ve fallen into the bizarre sleep habits that are a peril of being a freelance writer — on Tuesday night, for instance, I slept from about 10:30 at night until 2:30 in the morning, happily missing most of a horrid Mets game, worked through the dawn, collapsed around mid-morning and woke up groggily around noon. So a 6:35 p.m. start for a West Coast game was like being subjected to a dizzy-bat race, temporally speaking, even beyond Greg’s admonition that it’s always 3 a.m. in southern California. Wait, is it 10 at night again? Dinner time? 4 in the afternoon? What the hell time is it, and why is someone doing this to us?

That looked like what Dillon Gee was thinking after he was cuffed around in the first inning and stared in at Josh Thole with runners on second and third and one out. But Gee gathered himself and struck out Jesus Guzman, who plays against us like he’s the son of some baseball god, at least, and then got Orlando Hudson (who may be the friendliest man in baseball, judging from his greetings to any opponent in proximity and constant smiles) to ground out to escape dispiriting early harm. After that Gee was terrific, and lucky to boot — witness his third-inning behind-the-back grab of a hard grounder struck by Jason Bartlett. Ball in hand, Gee whirled and fired to second, and I had nightmare visions of Angel Pagan corralling the ball (or forgetting to do so), followed a few hours later by Terry Collins sounding exasperated as he said philosophical things. But no, Gee’s timing was perfect: Ruben Tejada arrived just as Gee’s throw did, for a very nice double play that made you think this just might be our day after all.

And why not? After all, David Wright had somehow pounded a three-run homer despite having to stare out at a pretty fair pitcher in Mat Latos while being mired in Mordorian shadows. (Lucas Duda would later try the same thing, only to be denied by the enormous, often awkward-looking Kyle Blanks. Essentially, Duda flied out to himself.) And then, the capper in the fourth: Wright speared Logan Forsythe’s apparent double, sprawling across the foul line, faked the throw to first and then darted to third, where he tagged out a disbelieving and one presumes deeply chagrined Cameron Maybin. (As Gary and Ron noted on the replay, Wright faked out San Diego third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, too.) Wright trotted off the field looking quietly pleased with himself, in possession of not only the third out but also Maybin’s lunch money, light-up yo-yo and the four-leaf clover he’d found in recess and pressed in a dictionary.

After that, there was the welcome, somewhat surprising sight of Manny Acosta preventing disaster in the seventh and the unwelcome, not particularly surprising sight of Ryota Igarashi doing his best to screw up the ninth. Fortunately, by then the Mets’ margin for error was unscrewupable — which was exactly the kind of game they and we could have used right about now, whatever the heck time that was.

7 comments to Edible Garbage

  • 5w30

    Garbage Time. You have to say it in a 1990’s Marv Albert voice “Extreme gar-barge time”! Another team that wears blue, orange, and yes, black.

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    I hate when this time of the year comes around and the Mets are far out of it!

    IMO if management decided that we were out of it in July by trading K-Rod and Carlos, then by all means lets bring up the kids and let them play.

    Izzy,Harris,Polino and those guys are not the future!

    Lets start Spring Training 2012 NOW and lets see what we have!

  • Dak442

    Gee’s and Wright’s plays are why we still watch the games despite the playoffs being an impossibility.

    • dmg

      exactly. wright seems able to come up with magic against the pods. remember the bare-handed over-the-shoulder catch in 2007?
      this one was, in its way, better than that, because it took a degree of foresight. (i can hear him telling himself, runner on second, two out. if it’s hit to me, maybe get him after he passes third….) that was a play i have never seen before, though the david may make it more popular.

  • Tom

    Question – as a Met fan, who is it appropriate to root for in the post-season?

    I feel like the Phillies are no way, second only obviously to the Yankees. The Pirates are down and all but out. The American League (with the exception of Texas, or the Indians) is pretty much out of question.

    In any case, I hate to say it, but I might be going for the Braves. Possibly the Brewers (underdogs). But am curious. Anyone?

    • Let’s hold off on this gruesome topic until the final out of the 162nd game if we can. While there is still Mets baseball, root for the Mets. There’ll (sadly) be plenty of time for extracurricular rooting concerns when there isn’t any more Mets baseball in 2011.

  • 9th string catcher

    There’s baseball in October? Never heard of it.