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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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Glancing Blows

Thursday night found me at Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in Manhattan for my talk on Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star. It was a wonderful — or 31derful — time, and I thank proprietor and all-around ace human being Jay Goldberg for inviting and hosting me. I also appreciate all who showed up to listen in and add their two cents on the Mets of Mike and related topics. I hope some day or night soon finds you at Bergino, especially if you’ve never been. It’s as baseball a place as there is without an actual baseball game going on around you.

Actually, just before we got started on our program, there was a baseball game going on nearby, as Jay had the Mets on the Clubhouse TV just long enough for me to witness a few token pitches, thus allowing me to continue my nearly seven-year streak of witnessing at least a little of every game the Mets play. Then Jay clicked off the television and we traveled back to the Age of Piazza, with a detour to the Age of Seaver and some stops in between. Eventually, the TV came back on. I only glanced at the action while engrossed in a series of scintillating conversations and never really focused on any of it, but did manage to absorb a handful of images.

1) Robert Gsellman giving up runs. So he’s doing that again, huh?

2) Terry Collins and Ray Ramirez visiting Juan Lagares, and not at his beach house, but in center field, leading me to correctly assume the worst.

3) Gavin Cecchini striking out. Nice to have him back, I guess.

4) René Rivera homering. René has grabbed the bull by the horns when presented with playing time. Travis d’Arnaud is apparently allergic to bull’s horns.

When I left Bergino, we were losing, 8-2. On my way I home, I learned we lost, 8-3. Lagares, who’s been playing some of the best ball of his big league career, will be out a while with a thumb that deserves a figurative rather than literal break, but why should Juan be any different from Neil Walker, Matt Harvey, Josh Smoker…I was going to list all the Met disabled, but I don’t know if my computer can handle the stress.

Sandy Alderson issued an injury report pre-Lagares. Basically, everybody you figured was hurt is hurt; nobody is really getting any better; and quit asking about Amed Rosario, he’ll be brought up when he’s good and ready. Clarification: when Alderson is good and ready to bring him up. I’m mostly on the patience train where Rosario is concerned — it’s not like the organization’s plan is to have him top out at Vegas — but I’m beginning to believe we’re edging into “what’s the harm?” territory. Should Amed come up and bat under .200 and play less than airtight defense, then he’s already as good as the current shortstop. Highly touted rookies get chances. Sometimes they make the most of them. Sometimes they don’t immediately, they return to the minors for a spell, and they don’t necessarily suffer irreparable psychic damage. I’m willing to trust Alderson knows a little more about Rosario than I do, but my trust is growing fragile enough that it will have to sit out a few days and, if it doesn’t look any better by then, it’s gonna need an MRI.

The Mets missed an opportunity to pick up ground on the first-place club, which is too bad, since the first-place club was on the same field as them and it would be nice to keep them in the same universe. It might be an illusion to juxtapose these two entities as being in direct competition with one another for the same division title, but it’s the middle of June. Illusions should be allowed to bloom clear to July, if not longer.

You know about Piazza. You should know about Yells For Ourselves by Matthew Callan. It’s the 1999 and 2000 Mets framed in a unique style and context. Marvelously conceived, brilliantly executed, incredible fun. Get in on the ground floor of the Mets teams that circled the penthouse instead of the drain. Check out YFO here.

21 comments to Glancing Blows

  • UpstateNYMetfan

    I wake up this morning, my usual disgruntled self, re-remembering that the Mets lost the night before. But I’m gonna keep it positive; the Mets got some important, unavoidable things out of the way in a four game series against the Nats; Harper and a scorching line-drive homer, GiO GOnzalez having his usual Citi Field “go” at them , and Murph with his typical “wrath of former Met scorned” line of 3 hits and two RBIs. Now lets get down to business and win three for the “Gimpies!” Lets Go our ever-injured, much maligned, but never-say-die Mets!

  • Dave

    I just announced that my trust has been transferred to the 60-day DL. It will not be treated with a platelet-rich plasma injection, the doctor suggests rest and hopes that it will be ready to go later this season. I hope that yours looks good after the MRI, Greg.

  • LeClerc

    Despite the bad news reported in today’s post, there was an omission:

    Mr. Rafael Montero pitched three scoreless innings. Nine up, nine down.

    The prodigal son returns?

    • Eric

      Just when it looked like the pitching reinforcements had arrived, reinforcement is needed again. Montero’s needed to (finally) step up in either pitching capacity.

    • Pete In Iowa

      Note that it took him 47 pitches to record that 9 up – 9 down in a 6 run game. That must be some sort of record for number of pitches thrown for 3 one, two three innings. AND he lowered his ERA to 7.15!!
      Yep. He’s a keeper. Like Ramirez.

  • 9th string catcher

    I sure hope the 6 man rotation is on hold if one of those 6 is not already in the rotation. Our rotation is mostly made up of guys that have to throw 120 pitches to get through 6 innings and a middle relief corps that will never make it through the season. I am wary about 6 man anyway since none of the starters like it and other than occasional great performances by deGrom does nothing but tax the bullpen. Unless they’re going to pitch starters on their throw day or double up when necessary (Wheeler goes 4, Lugo goes 3, etc).

    I’m much more worried about that than Rosario. The offense is fine. Reyes is a good enough fielder at SS. Asdrubal is coming back theoretically. Rosario can help, and he should start getting MLB experience, and so what about his psyche if he lays an egg up here. It’s actually ideal because you can say it’s to cover an injured player, not to anoint him the next NYC legend. I would most certainly have him up here at least as a backup. But there’s no chance for this team if they can’t pitch.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Hope everyone noted key stat relayed by announcers during game: number of ground ball base hits getting past Mets’ infielders on season is THIRTY POINTS higher than any other team in the majors. Nobody gets to anything but at least most are hitting. No excuse for keeping Reyes at .182. Speaking of defense, good to see D’arnaud healthy again so Mets can fully judge that he should be an MLB backup going forward. Hitting .217 with the usual 20% caught stealing ratio.

  • Gil

    The Mets are more like an infantry division in a war than a baseball club in the Bigs. Every time they go out on patrol they come back with at least one less man. {exasperated sigh}

  • Matt in Richmond

    Actually, now that he’s healthy, Travis has been throwing seeds recently. Gunned down a couple in a row including last year’s SB champ Villar. Batting average isn’t a great way to judge a catcher’s productivity, particularly when they’ve missed a lot of time and bat eighth in the lineup (the hardest spot to hit in). Travis’ slugging percentage is quite high and his upside is miles beyond that of Rivera (a fine backup). I think a logical argument could be made that we haven’t seen the best of Travis yet….no such argument could be made for Rivera. But even if you don’t buy that, Travis has a career OPS over 100 points higher.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Certainly was not suggesting D’arnaud as career backup to Rivera …but to another catcher Mets acquire. D’arnaud now has .242 batting average over 5 years, and has thrown out more than 22% in season just once, so there seems to be rather clear pattern there, not to mention injury pattern.

    • Guy Kipp

      “Actually, now that he’s healthy, Travis has been throwing seeds recently. Gunned down a couple in a row including last year’s SB champ Villar.”

      He is still a terrible receiver and possessed with unusually poor instincts for a major league catcher. The fact that you have to reach back to a series 2 1/2 weeks ago to point out a couple of caught-stealings as a d’Arnaud highlight sort of reinforces how useless he has been. Other than running into a pitch and hitting it 400 feet every couple of weeks, he really does nothing well.

      • 9th string catcher

        Actually, they’re both pretty good. I actually think TDA calls a better game and frames the pitches very well – I think he steals more strikes than Rene. As for CS, Rene has caught exactly 3 more people than Travis has (6 vs 3). Neither have any errors and TDA has one PB to Rene’s 0.

    • Pete In Iowa

      Hmmm. Didn’t know D-Arnothing was batting eighth. Thought that was the exclusive territory reserved for pop fly Jose Reyes these past couple of weeks. But I could see him batting eighth with his .217 batting average. He’s actually hitting worse (.190 in the last seven days) since he was moved up to 7th.

  • eric1973

    Saddest, most frustrating injury is Legares, who maybe was finally proving he could play (for good), as it is so hard to be productive when you never really play.

    “There’s that Juan again” now takes on new meaning. BTW, in that 1973 highlight film, there are about 5 missed umpiring calls in favor of thr Mets. I kid you not.

    • Eric

      With Cespedes’s legs, Conforto’s back, Granderson’s age, and Bruce’s not-quickness, a ground-gobbling gold glove centerfielder is an extra-good thing to have. The Mets don’t have that anymore.

  • Lenny65

    “Should Amed come up and bat under .200 and play less than airtight defense, then he’s already as good as the current shortstop.”

    So much this. The continued employment of Jose Reyes is just baffling. I just read that as of right now Jose is on a pace to compile the worst offensive season by a Met since Doug Flynn’s 1981. When your offensive contributions are being compared to Doug Flynn’s it’s a sure sign that you stink. There’s absolutely nothing to lose by jettisoning Reyes and giving the gig to someone else and in the event that every single other option ends up on the DL or whatever it isn’t like they couldn’t call him back, as it seems pretty unlikely that he’ll be snapped up by anyone else.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Totally agree with your take Greg that Rivera is an infinitely better option than d’Arnothing to be the regular catcher. He’s hitting much better than d’Arnothing and when it comes to defense… well, it’s like comparing DaVinci to a 6 year old with crayons.
    BTW guys, did you see that nice DP Duda started on that grounder by Murphy with two on, one out and the score 2-1 in the fifth? Oh, never mind.
    Speaking of Murphy. 3 hits? The one hopper right at Reyes should have been an error and the above-referenced grounder should have been an inning-ending, rally killing DP. For God’s sake, on that one Gsellman made the best pitch he had all night and Duda DIDN’T EVEN GET A GLOVE ON IT!!!

  • Dave

    Texas just DFA’d Dillon Gee. No additional verbiage necessary.

  • eric1973

    Need back Gee, Colon, and Kelly Johnson!

    All better than what we got.

    • Jacobs27

      Gee sure struggled against the Mets in Texas, but if he’s available and willing, I think we could use him. Certainly better than Montero.