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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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More Like This

Don’t look now, but your woebegone New York Mets are winners of three of four. They’re hot!

My recent advice stands: Find something else to do with your summer, with the possible exception of every fifth day, and let the Christmas carolers be a reminder to check on the team’s financial condition. That, more than anything else, will determine whether you should pay attention in 2014 or wait for new ownership.

But the fact that you’re reading this suggests you aren’t any better at taking advice than I am at practicing what I preach, so there we were at 2:20 p.m., a time that will always suggest “Wrigley Field matinee.” Which is a thing to be appreciated even in the worst of seasons.

The Mets fell behind early, thanks to Dillon Gee surrendering a titanic shot to opposing pitcher Travis Wood, which seems more pathetic than it was — I’m not familiar with Wood but he looks doggone Hamptonesque up there. They fell behind, but they kept the snowball from turning into an avalanche leaving behind nothing but scattered orange and blue gear and pissy calls to the FAN. David Wright got them within one on a little bloop, they fell back again when Ryan Sweeney homered and thus avoided being called out at third while actually being safe, but in the seventh Juan Lagares got a 2-2 curveball that hung right over the middle of the plate. Wood gazed at the unrecallable pitch in horror for a split-second before Lagares mashed it into the back of the left-field bleachers for his first big-league home run. (Lagares would get the ball back when a bleacher inhabitant heaved it back onto the field, a tradition that’s fine at Wrigley and annoying everywhere else.)

An inning later Daniel Murphy — who’d hallooed the Cubs batboy into handing over his teammate’s dinger — golfed a Kyuji Fujikawa fastball to the back of the right-field bleachers for an honest-to-goodness Mets lead, leaving Bobby Parnell to record a spotless ninth and sending the Mets home with a 3-and-4 road trip when 0-and-7 would have surprised none of us.

A win in the daytime at Wrigley is always a satisfying thing, but the reason for this post’s title is that the clout that mattered came from Lagares. He’s 24, one of those maybe-prospects whose weaknesses get discussed as much as his strengths. Lagares, it’s generally agreed, shouldn’t be in the big leagues yet — he’s been rushed. Yet when the Mets acquired Rick Ankiel, they compounded the weirdness of that acquisition by keeping Lagares around as half of a platoon instead of sending him back and taking a peek at the barely glimpsed Andrew Brown.

Ankiel’s story is one to admire, yes, but all of that was long ago, and what you get now is a soon-to-be 34-year-old outfielder who struck out 35 times in 62 at-bats with the Astros, who decided even they could do better than that. Lagares is raw, but even as he’s struggled you’ve been able to see that sweet swing and the power potential. This is a platoon between “Maybe” and “Why?” — Lagares has a slim to moderate chance to be something, where Ankiel has an excellent chance at making us think more fondly of Jeff Francoeur.

Given that the Mets aren’t going anywhere near the playoffs this year, I’d sure rather watch “Maybe” than “Why?” All of our hopes for this club are bets on some future that isn’t slated to arrive until 2014 or 2015 … if it arrives at all. The uncertainty is corrosive and infuriating, but we’re stuck with it. Since we are, it would be a small mercy to see the Mets win or lose with guys who might be a part of that future, instead of worn-out vets whose role in the present is baffling enough.

5 comments to More Like This

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    Yeah, you can take the Mets away from the fans but you can’t take the fan away from the Mets – though it was unthinkable a while back that we would even consider a long, extended vacation from them.

    The future is bleak as well due to the financial picture for we have no resources to re-invest further than our minor league system and second rate players. It is highly doubtful they will have more resources beginning next season because they are already operating on a shoestring budget even though many cite the Mets might actually break even in 2013 due to that shoestring budget and thus in 2014 they will have more money due to the new TV deal and profits from SNY and the $25 million savings from Johann’s contract. But what that does not account for is where else the money might be needed:

    1) Having to begin paying those re-financed loans
    2) Having to begin paying off the $131 million civil suit
    3) Having to begin paying the 3% dividends to the non-SNY and Wilpon people who actually invested $20 million each to become minority owners
    4) If any of those minority owners want out, they get their $20 million back

    Also, hasn’t the team revised it’s figures from not breaking even but simply reducing their financial losses?

    Agree, the minor league system on it’s own looks promising but what of it? For now that means the majority won’t even be major league ready for at least another two seasons and will then need one or two seasons to “develop” to their possible potential. So they won’t begin impacting until at least 2016 or 2017.

    The only way we can look forward to being able to get back into a shot at post-season is because a team playing a few games above .500 has a shot with that second wild card. Boy, the breaks that Bud Selig has given his friends, the Wilpons.

  • Hookalakah Meshobbab

    I, too, would rather see “Maybe” than “Why.” But until something drastic happens, we’re stuck with “Not Really,” at first base; at shortstop we feature “Uh-Oh;” and the rest of the outfield is composed of “Who” and “Geez.”

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