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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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Wet and Wild, Meek and Mild

Absent a perfect, um, storm of unfortunate factors, Wednesday’s matinee would never have been played.

It was a miserable day in New York, a gloomy, continuous soak. But the Mets and Blue Jays had only two scheduled meetings here, and while the Mets had an off-day Thursday, the Jays did not. That left both clubs out in the elements, with the umpires gloomily hunkered down in the rain, occasionally joined by doggedly laboring groundskeepers and managers and players checking in to wonder WTF and being told essentially, This TF.

You understood the why behind This TF, but it was a forest-for-the-trees why, an argument that began with demanding you accept an absurd premise. This game should have been moved to Toronto, or held in abeyance to see if its outcome mattered to either of the mediocre outfits involved. But absurdity was the order handed down from on high, and so the Mets and Blue Jays played in front of a few hundred fans who I can only assume were there because they were visiting from Toronto or had lost bets. I love baseball — I really really really love it — but I can’t imagine anything that would have convinced me to spend the afternoon sitting out at Citi Field watching that.

At least J.A. Happ had fun. The Jays pitcher was on base three times while allowing only two Met baserunners, which is quietly kind of amazing in an I-wish-it-hadn’t-happened way. The Mets might have made a better offensive showing of it if not for the presence of Kevin Pillar, who was out there in center doing Juan Lagares-like things. Lagares did a Kevin Pillar-like thing of his own in the ninth, running down a drive to center from Gio Urshela and banging his big toe into the fence. X-rays were negative but he may not play Friday. He’s day-to-day, which in these parts is known as foreshadowing with a side of foreboding. Cue the uneasy minor-key music, buckle up, and if you’re a believer, say a prayer for Lagares. (The Mets did at least finally come to their senses and put Yoenis Cespedes on the DL — how depressing is it that that can be considered progress?)

As for Zack Wheeler, he was good until he wasn’t, with the “wasn’t” following an 18-minute stoppage in the third inning during which an army of groundskeepers essentially blanketed the infield in Diamond Dry. Wheeler’s crumbling afterwards was blamed on the long spell of inactivity, but I can’t get too worked up about it. Wheeler losing it isn’t a new phenomenon, he was apparently offered the chance to throw more than the usual between-innings warm-up pitches but passed on it, and the absurdity was his being out there in the first place.

Anyway, he got pounded and so did the reliably hapless A.J. Ramos (there’s a joke in there somewhere about Happ, A.J. and J.A. but this stupid game doesn’t deserve the effort of landing it), and the only item of interest left as the Jays collected their first-ever win in Flushing was the arrival of Buddy Baumann, who escaped weirdo ghost status and spared me years of explanations and arguments by pitching the eighth. Baumann looked good in his first inning of work but terrible in his second, establishing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s suited to be a member of this ridiculous, ramshackle franchise.

9 comments to Wet and Wild, Meek and Mild

  • Pete In Iowa

    Looks like Baumann could be the second coming of Tommy Milone.
    He’d have been better off as a ghost…..

  • 9th string catcher

    Would it make sense to swap Wheeler with Lugo and Vargas with Gsellman? Not sure if those guys could replicate their bullpen success as starters, but I could see Wheeler more coming out for middle innings with his hard fastball and getting out before too much goes wrong, and have Vargas become a lefty specialist.

    Since there aren’t really any other starters in AAA that I can tell, this is the kind of move that might be worth a try.

  • JoeyC

    Can I do a little public math? Alderson has fielded two good teams in seven full seasons. I’m defining “good“ as .500 or better. That’s a .286 winning percentage, so to speak. We have spent five of the past seven Alderseasons rooting for, watching and paying for losing teams. Of course we are stuck with the Wilpons, but it’s time to call a dog a dog.

  • Daniel Hall

    Whenever you can say that beyond doubt the times in the ballgame where no ball was being played were the best times of the ballgame, it was a pretty miserable ballgame. This was one such ballgame.

    But credit where it’s due – Gary and Ron amused me greatly in the seventh and eighth going through the cards of players from the olden days… without as much as bothering about what miscast Met looked at an obvious strike three.

    And looking at the groundscrew’s general hustle and drive, maybe swap some of the dredge on the roster with those groundskeepers. Although then, though the Mets would play better, next time the sky comes down, everybody in attendance will drown.

    • The baseball card segment was awesome, though I was surprised Gary didn’t do more to reference Mac Scarce’s unfortunate 5-minute Met career.

  • sturock

    Agreed on the Alderson comment. Where is the player development?

    Plus that was a woeful lineup yesterday. Lobaton, Guillorme, Philip Evans…yikes!

  • open the gates

    Rainy, miserable day game after a night game – I don’t blame Mickey for running out the scrubs. I will say, when (if?) Plawecki gets back, I hope Lobaton gets traded to New Zealand.

    • Daniel Hall

      Even the Wellington Wombats got more pride than the Mets. ‘That chump? No thanks, we only sign real players!’

  • eric1973

    5 of our starting 8, plus the 2nd catcher and now backup Legares, are banged up or on the DL, so what can anyone really expect here?

    Looks like another injured season.

    Regarding Ces, the fear we had regarding his signing is indeed coming to fruition. But if Sandy did not sign him, he would have been run out of town even sooner. So he did the easy thing. Same thing with Bruce, an Adam Dunn just waiting to happen.

    Sandy said we were not going to rely on our pitching staff —- how right he was!

    Keeping the faith…