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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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Blue Tops Forever

The Mets took the field Monday night having lost five in a row, three to the lowly Miami Marlins, and the portents were not good. Brodie Van Wagenen gave one of those sound-and-fury “full support for the manager” press conferences that make you even more convinced someone’s going to get fired; revealed the surprising, confounding yet also oh-so-Mets news that Yoenis Cespedes suffered multiple ankle fractures in an accident on his ranch; and then the Mets took the field wearing the now rarely seen but always thoroughly hideous combination of blue spring-training tops and pinstriped bottoms.

(All right, I’ll grant you the third item is less pressing than the other two, but oh man is this not a good look. I think it’s the cap’s white outlining around the NY that makes it truly awful, in a We Needed Another Cap to Sell way. At least bring back the plain white pants if you’re going to wear that top.)

Oh but wait — we’ve barely gotten started and I’ve forgotten something bad. Having been given a glib and hollow endorsement, Mickey Callaway immediately demonstrated that he’s gotten no better at the “public face” aspect of being manager. He revealed that Robinson Cano wasn’t playing because a) the Mets were facing a tough lefty; b) Cano was due a day off anyway; and c) a message needed to be sent about hustle.


So Callaway gave two workaday reasons Cano would be sitting, then tacked on a meaningless third, punitive one? If you can find a message in that confusion, it’s that the manager lacks the courage of his convictions. I’ve known dads who communicate like Callaway, and they’re the ones whose kids would barely look up from doing feral shit because the threatened punishments were all over the map and would prove meaningless in the unlikely event they weren’t forgotten.

Oh, and then Cano said Callaway … hadn’t mentioned that third reason?

But here’s one of the many great things about baseball: After another The Sky Is Falling afternoon, the Mets went out and played a crisp, clean baseball game in which none of the trouble was visible. (Well, except the horrible blue tops-pinstriped bottoms part. Those were all too visible.)

The Nats’ Patrick Corbin wasn’t as good as when they saw him at the beginning of the losing streak: Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso homered in the first and two innings later the Mets plated two more on a pair of walks, a Todd Frazier single and a double from Carlos Gomez. Later, Dom Smith delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to give the Mets some much-needed breathing room, as the Nats kept creeping back into it behind The Inevitable Anthony Rendon.

Edwin Diaz would need that breathing room, putting the first two Nats on in the ninth but escaping unscathed. (One of the tactical knocks against Callaway is his rigid rules for Diaz have left him idle and less than sharp when needed.) Escaping more or less unscathed was a theme for the evening: Wilmer Font was serviceable in going four innings, Drew Gagnon was terrific for two more (and deserves higher-profile work), and Jeurys Familia looked at least like something approximating his old self. Daniel Zamora wasn’t effective and Robert Gsellman was more lucky than good, but perfection is a rarely obtained goal. The Mets were good enough to win, and that’s what matters.

The Mets won, and for a night you could ignore all the dumb shit they’d done in the afternoon. Blue tops forever, I suppose.

8 comments to Blue Tops Forever

  • Gil

    Agree on those blue tops and the white outline caps. I was watching about 45 minutes behind on DVR and might have missed it fast forwarding to the action but there appeared to be a little scuffle between Frazier and Eaton between innings. Enough that Eaton made mention of it post game and mentioned there was history there.

    I’m no fan of violence or fighting, but if there was ever a good time for the Mets to clear the benches and the bullpens, it’s tonight. Let’s galvanize, boys!

    BTW, who is this Cespedes guy people are talking about?

  • Daniel Hall

    I like the blue tops! The pants… could do without the stripes. But those caps are woof. They should lose those as fast as they lost to the Fish on Sunday.

    I really don’t want to get into the abyss of Metsdom right now. Why can’t our franchise be like any other? Most of the time attempting to do the right thing, sometimes unlucky, but at least not outright incompetent and stupendously dumb?

  • Dave

    If they win, they can dress up like the losing design from a Project Runway drag queen challenge for all I care. Although I didn’t get the camo hats in the previous series, maybe they got mixed up as to when Memorial Day weekend is?

    Given the can-you-top-this drama that unfolded over the 24 hours prior to the game, it was good to see them come out swinging, whoever the f*** Wilmer Font is pitching well enough to keep them in the game, and then holding on and actually winning. I started a pool on Twitter for the next injury. I picked McNeil being eaten alive by a swarm of locusts, while another suggestion was a piano falling on Nimmo. He’d always be identifiable from dental records I figure. But what I really want to know is what the non-horse that Cespedes fell from was. Investigative reporters, do your damn jobs.

  • mikeL

    I never imagined cespedes actually making it back to the line-up. now we know…
    such is the state of the ballclub that the ces story is what passes for comic relief for those of us who like their humor dark.
    and is there really any other kind for the long-suffering mets fan??

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Let me see if I understand this. Did Cespedes fall off the south end of a northbound horse or is he the south end of a northbound horse?

  • Ken K. in NJ

    ….Wilmer Font was serviceable in going four innings

    I have a new baseball stat. Although the last thing baseball needs is another stat, this one applies to the Mets only. The Sixth Starter Quality Start (SSQS). The bar is lowered to 2 runs or less in at least 4 innings. Judging from the in-game reaction of Gary Cohen and the post-game reaction of Mickey Calloway, they both seemed more than pleased with Font’s effort. Of course, after, what, 117 consecutive non SSQS’s from Flexen, Milone, Wilk, etc etc, I can see their point, thus the new stat.

  • mikeL

    yup. after all these years with our ‘staff of aces, blah blah blah’ the mets brain trust has failed to do anything about starters 6-9. except maybe in ’16 with the emergence of lugo and gsellman. the new scrubs are as awful as the old scrubs (the redhead dude who’s name i can’t bother to remember comes to mind first)…as though no one could see injuries to starting pitchers (a new stat/metric anyone? ITSP) being an issue.

    brodie: had you grabbed a few decent veterans the way you grabbed for aging infielders we’d all be your best friend now…for now.