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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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For God's Sake, Shaun, Sit Down

May my blood stop running orange and blue if I can’t deliver unto you an assessment of Shaun Marcum’s pitching, so here goes, albeit borrowed from John Adams as he critiqued a portrait intended to preserve Benjamin Franklin for posterity in 1776:

“It stinks.”

As ever, the soul of tact.

This blogger may be no Botticelli, but the subject of this blog is no Venus. I didn’t see every pitch Marcum threw Saturday night, but I got the gist early and often as he remained tethered to the Miller Park mound clear into the sixth despite his surrendering runs in most every inning possible. When the production he headlined was over and its predictable conclusion reached, it was revealed the righthander is prone to “numbness, tingling and coldness” in his right hand, sensations that grow worse the more he uses it to pitch. The decent human being in me thinks that’s probably a sign he shouldn’t be pitching. The Mets fan in me thinks 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA makes that case quite nicely, too. I’m not sure who would take his place at this point, but if you can’t dig up someone to replicate those numbers for a couple of turns in the rotation, you might want to reconsider your membership in Major League Baseball.

The Brewers cracked the shell of the egg that Marcum laid and I watched as little of it as bloggerly possible. The Mets, you see, had gotten in the way of the Princes’ proper Fourth of July observance, and we couldn’t wait any longer to get in our own makeup game.

Not actually Shaun Marcum's ERA.

Not actually Shaun Marcum’s ERA.

Every Independence Day, Stephanie and I devote a chunk of our holiday to an annual viewing of 1776, the story of how America decided to become America, set as all grand historical sagas should be: to song. I first saw 1776 upon its theatrical release in 1972, reveled in a junior high assembly showing of it prior to the Bicentennial and dropped whatever I was doing whenever it appeared on television thereafter. I introduced my then-fiancée to its considerable charms on July 4, 1991 (a double feature, actually; An Amazin’ Era opened our VHS twinbill). The Mets had a night game in another country, so our afternoon was devoted to the Continental Congress imploring John Adams to sit down and shut up…which of course John Adams was never going to do. From there, as measured by the director’s cut DVD released in 2002, it takes a hardy band of patriots not more than 2:46 and 13 musical numbers — one for every colony, come to think of it — to form a new nation.

A tradition was born. Once in a while on the Third, occasionally on the Fifth, but usually on the Fourth, it was William Daniels as Adams batting leadoff, Howard Da Silva as Franklin moving him along and Ken Howard as Jefferson driving them and the concept that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights home. Through the commands of Generals B. Harrelson, J. Torborg, D. Green, B. Valentine, A. Howe, W. Randolph, J. Manuel and T. Collins, our viewing was inviolate. We would work around Mets game as needed/desired, but 1776 always got its due.

Then along came the Mets of 2013, who piddled, twiddled and resolved for five hours, forty-six minutes and fifteen innings this July 4. Their marathon loss to the Diamondbacks ran so long that it bumped 1776 from its projected late-afternoon/early-evening time slot. We just couldn’t get to it on Thursday. Then we couldn’t get to it on Friday. The Third, Fourth and Fifth of July had passed without confirming, per a proposal set forth by Virginia’s Richard Henry Lee, that these united colonies are (and of a right ought to be) free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is (and ought to be) totally dissolved.

Hence, our tradition got pushed back to the Sixth of July, which is to say the Princes chose freely to immerse themselves in the spirit of 1776 Saturday night and otherwise kept no more than light tabs on the spirit of 7 to 6 emanating from Milwaukee. I observed a little on Fox (what a great network for baseball!), mostly followed the bouncing diagrams on ESPN Gamecast and supplemented where necessary via Twitter. I’ve now seen 1776 23 summers in a row and paid mostly uninterrupted attention to the Mets for 45 consecutive seasons. I generally know how both are going to come out in the end. Our patriots round up enough votes for victory. Our ballplayers come up a run shy in defeat.

I could tell you all you want to know about the movie. As for further details on the game, Faith and Fear in Flushing abstains. Courteously.

18 comments to For God’s Sake, Shaun, Sit Down

  • Ray

    North New York yields to South New York.

  • Steve D

    I played Caesar Rodney in the PS 216 production.

  • Ljcmets

    “What goes ON in New York? Have you ever seen a meeting of the New York legislature?” (Never fails to get a laugh if you are from Albany, trust me).
    “Have you ever seen a Mets game?”
    I think the Legislature and the Mets are about equally efficient….and unfortunately, about equally successful in their endeavors.

    • Huge laugh in the Lido Theater in 1972 as well. Don’t want to give them any ideas, but how can Citizens Bank Park not play “Why doesn’t New York just stay in New York?” when the Mets are in town?

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Some games annoy me more than others. This one annoyed me more than most, not the least because I had to watch it on Baseball Night In (Mid) America.

    By the 8th inning I decided to listen on FAN while watching with the sound off. Bad idea, Fox had that plan covered with what must be a Major League Record Twelve Second Delay. So back to TV sound, listening to a lengthy description of the virtues of K-Rod (not a word of course about smacking his girlfriend around or his various Met Meltdowns). K-Rod then closed it out against the “Hot for 1 and 1/15 games in a row and now we’re stuck with him for at least another month” Nieuwenwuss.

  • Chip

    Once again, a player is dictating whether or not he is healthy enough to play. (He is not).

    Players will always play. It is management’s job (That would be Sandy and Terry) to say no, you are not playing until we figure out what the issue is.

    This has been going on for 10 years now, and it is another new Mets tradition.

  • I keep waiting for the chirp, chirp, chirp of a lineup starting to produce consistently, rather than the scratch, scratch, scratch offense we’re getting right now. On this humid Sunday afternoon in this Tri-State incubator…

  • ToBeDetermined

    Not saying anything about Marcum as a person, but his pitching is certainly obnoxious and disliked.

    Add to that the on and off combustibility* of the bullpen, and it’s no wonder he’s 1-10, even though that record doesn’t have the right ring to it. (Even he won’t get to 76 losses, but 17?)

    * “bustibility… bustibility…”

  • Jesse Sands

    Howie Rose reporting in the first inning that Marcum had asked to have Recker replaced by Buck because “they were working really well together” was the cherry on the Marcum sundae.

  • Joe D.

    Read where there are 78 starters in the National League with lower ERA’s than Marcum. And since he was one of the last (or maybe even the last) free agent starter to be signed, it shows other teams weren’t interested in him probably due to his known health issues.

    One thing about Sandy – he is always there to give a job to those who are injured and can’t find work anywhere else.

  • Here a Gee, there a Gee …

  • Jacons27

    That was the most revolting display I ever witnessed.

    Well, not really.