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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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The Ship Be Syncing

Let us celebrate our team’s most recent spate of accomplishments! On Thursday afternoon, the Mets gave up six runs instead of ten. They scored four runs instead of none. They grounded into five double plays rather than nine. They avoided hitting into triple plays altogether. They generally if not consistently returned balls from the outfield to the infield in diligent fashion. Nobody, as far as we know, sustained a debilitating injury climbing aboard the bus to the airport.

Not much cause for celebration, you say? I’m sorry, I forgot to mention this was a perspective party, hosted by Mickey Callaway, who can always be counted on fill the glasses all the way to the half. The fine print on the invitation he issued after Thursday’s game was explicit:

“You don’t worry about the record. You just worry about how you do your thing every day and how you are playing the game and we’ll start syncing everything up.”

To paraphrase former New York Knick point guard and sharp-eyed observer Micheal Ray Richardson, the ship be syncing, all right.

I must admit I am not immune to the Callaway way of semi-positive thinking. As the Mets and Rockies locked into a 5-2 score during the matinee that wound down the Mets’ latest furlough from Citi Field — with Colorado’s lead remaining unchanged for several innings despite Steven Matz’s early troubles and Coors Field’s incubative instincts — I heard myself think, “This could be a lot worse.” Then I heard myself counter, “Define ‘a lot’.” Losing by three, I realized as I slipped myself out of Mickey mode, is still losing, and the Mets were losing by enough and not doing anything substantive to reduce the margin. True, Matz and his relief helpers kept the Swingin’ Arenados from increasing their advantage in the bottoms of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but their colleagues in the batting order demonstrated uncommon courtesy toward Rockie pitchers, generating no Met tallies in the top portions of the fourth through seventh.

Rarely has Denver witnessed such a surfeit of civility, decorum and goose eggs. Eventually, the Mets added two runs, the Rockies one and the game ended with a gentlemanly final of 6-4 in the home team’s favor, a score that could have been posted anywhere on the North American continent, proving a mile-high ballpark occasionally plays like a standard major league entity, even if the Mets don’t.

But let’s get back to the perspective party, where you do your thing every day and not all of it looks like it was done by the seventh-worst team in baseball. For example, the Mets outhit the Rockies, 11-9. What a shame that isn’t the object of the game. Five of the Mets’ twenty-seven outs became ten via ground ball double plays, which seemed antithetical to the prevailing regional tendencies. Launch the ball up into that legendary thin mountain air and it has a chance to go far. Put the ball on the ground and there is a chance to turn two — or in the Rockies’ case, turn ten.

Ah, but perspective! Keeping the score stable for a while was better than allowing the game to get away. Not letting Coors’s tendencies overflow could be construed as a small victory for aesthetics. Compiling more hits than the opposition would earn you a check mark if Jimmy the Greek was breaking down the action for Brent Musberger. Fans of efficiency surely had to applaud the method by which the Mets enabled the Rockies to repeatedly shorten their defensive frames. And cruise director Callaway remains Rocky Mountain high on the concept of process taking precedence over record…as, it is natural to suspect, would anybody whose record resembles his to date.

Things are going so great by so many largely irrelevant measures that one is tempted to ignore all the killjoy indicators that illustrate the Mets just endured a brutal series (1-3) and terrible road trip (3-7) amid a season in which whatever thing the team is doing every day doesn’t seem to be leading to success as measured by the traditional metrics that still define whether you’re much good.

Which, at the risk of being a perspective party pooper, the 31-41 Mets aren’t.

Projected to be more fun than a barrel of Mickey postgame pressers: OFF NIGHT FOR METS FANS: READIN’, WRITIN’ & RUSTY, coming to Two Boots Midtown East, 337 Lexington Ave., between 39th and 40th Streets, Thursday, June 28, 7:00 PM. Join a trio of Mets fan authors, grab a slice of Two Boots pizza and have a fine baseball time designed to improve all our perspectives. The details are here. Hope to see you there.

7 comments to The Ship Be Syncing

  • Rudin

    During the 11-1 start, we were Carrie at the prom before the buckets came down on her. We are now drowning in pig’s blood.

  • Bob

    “You don’t worry about the record. You just worry about how you do your thing every day and how you are playing the game and we’ll start syncing everything up.”

    UH–So the Mets go into Denver for 4 games with a team with a worse pitching staff ERA then the Mets: we score 32 runs in 4 days and manage to LOSE 3 of 4!

    Yep- we are “syncing everything up.”–or STINKING everything up!
    Let’s Go Mets—-

  • mikeL

    mickey is a little league coach for the majors.

    yes, up to our necks in pig’s blood, but the exits haven’t been blocked yet and the gym is not yet on fire.

    it will get worse ;0[

    i skipped the SNY encore last night, reconnected with friends by telephone, got a jump on the weekend’s gardening and didn’t fall asleep on the couch.
    why watch *another* loss in CO…

  • Seth

    Didn’t you mean “the ship be stinking”?

  • packard

    The Swingin’ Medallions had a hit with “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love”.
    The Swingin’ Arenados did them one better with “Double Shot that Hit No One’s Glove”.

  • mikeL

    well hansel’s been DFA’ed…so many months too late

  • K. Lastima

    Mickey E. Neuman: What, me worry?