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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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Miles From Home

Well, the Mets’ renaissance lasted for a grand total of one game.

The team had been weirdly aggressive on the bases for a couple of days, with formerly timid runners lighting out for the next base and even a double steal secured. But the good times screeched to a halt in the sixth inning Wednesday night. The game was tied 2-2, with one out and two on: Todd Frazier on first, J. D. Davis on second and Wilson Ramos at the plate. Ramos slapped a single to the right side that seemed destined to load the bases for Amed Rosario, who’d doubled in the tying run in the fourth but short-circuited further possible scoring by getting thrown out a third.

(In storytelling, this is called foreshadowing.)

Anyway, Davis hit third and Gary DiSarcina sent him home. Anticipating the play at the plate, SNY switched to the overhead, behind-home-plate view. There was Tyler Flowers, sprawled with the ball. But Davis was so far up the line that he wasn’t even visible in the shot.

One of my favorite bitterly funny memories of the horrid Mets clubs of the early 1990s is how Dallas Green would react when the Mets did something even more inept than usual. The cameras would catch Green staring at the field with his mouth hanging open in a cartoon O. You could tell he was furious, but that emotion was stuck in a mental queue behind shocked amazement. In a moment there’d be yelling, or at least a despairing look heavenward, but until Dallas got his brain’s switchboard rearranged he wasn’t capable of doing anything except looking dumbstruck.

I was alone in my living room, but I’m pretty sure the look I directed at my TV was the Full Dallas Green.

Davis eventually trundled into view and tried to jump over Flowers. Incredibly, this didn’t work. Mickey Callaway then challenged the call for some unfathomable Mickey Callaway reason. (The Braves were being mean?) Shockingly, this didn’t work either.

Rosario struck out, in the bottom of the inning Steven Matz imploded under a fusillade of long hits and oversized reactions, and the Mets were beaten. If you want to find the faintest glimmer of a silver lining, Chris Flexen was solid in relief and Stephen Nogosek made his big-league debut and didn’t die, though he also learned not to trust his bullpen colleagues, which seems less good.

Elsewhere, the Nationals swept a doubleheader from the Phils, which means they are now ahead of the Mets in the standings despite being written off as a dumpster fire not so long ago. I see no particular reason to disagree with that assessment, or with what that suggests about the Mets.

Anyway, our lovable fourth-place team has begun the brutal proving-ground part of their season by dropping two of three. And that is the point at which this recapper must take his leave — I’m headed overseas for two and a half weeks, and will freely accept your mutterings about rats and sinking ships as I depart.

Be kind to Greg, as I suspect the run-up to the All-Star Game will test even his love of baseball.

20 comments to Miles From Home

  • mikeL

    after hearing spots for so many ill-timed promototions – bobble-heads, tees for players stuck on the IL or the I-nterstate – how about the promo folks come up with an honest one for a change.


    • Lenny65

      Instead of Keith and Gary throwing old baseball cards into the crowd below, might I suggest throwing the actual players? The current ones, I mean. Sure, there might be liability issues but (guffaw) the Wilpons have the money (chortle).

  • LeClerc

    Leapin’ Lizards!

  • JonL

    The first 3 words “Well, the Mets” supplied all the foreshadowing necessary.

  • K. Lastima

    And it’s only going to get worse . . . honestly, the best way forward is a complete tear down, purge the good with the bad and stockpile prospects and draft picks . . . but this ownership and the stooges they hire will mess that up too.

  • Orange and blue through and through

    Come home safe Jason. Heaven knows there’s plenty of baseball left to be ridiculed.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Could Cano and especially Hechevarria have looked any more disinterested with those ninth inning at bats?
    And a big welcome and how do you for Nogosek to the Mets bullpen. You know, a place where one guy just can’t get ONE OUT to save your ERA from being 27.00 when it could be 0.00.

  • mikeL

    …ps have a nice trip jason. i missed the going overseas part -bleary-eyed after succumbing to sleep mid-game. savor the mets still being better than the marlins while you can.

    and yea k.last. i remember the astros teardown and the ugly numbers that followed…but their front office clearly had a plan and the smarts to execute. the mets woukd have to tear down the very front office and ownership to pull off anything remotely successful.

  • ToBeDetermined

    The only unexpected or unusual thing about that Davis play was that it wasn’t immediately followed by an obviously blown call against the Mets on which they could’ve used their challenge had Mickey not just wasted it.

    Can it be a coincidence that, over the course of the season, Keith has repeatedly mentioned that Bobby Valentine and Bud Harrelson were great third base coaches? Or could there be some reason it keeps springing to mind?

  • Greg Mitchell

    If you want to feel any worse about the Diaz and Cano deal– Another swell start by Justin Dunne in AA, and Kelenic, who tore up lower A, promoted to high A and hitting .375 in 26 ABs–with 2 HRs already. OPS almost .990 for year. Remember the only fear with him was lack of power. And he’s only 19. Good thing Mets don’t need an OF.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Mets fire Eiland and Bully coach Hernandez. Terrific. What a pathetic move.

  • mikeL

    ^^ lame move, yes, but maybe it was for some fresh blood, someone a little younger…pedro maybe? or jon matlack? bobby ojeda?

    what, 82 year old phil reagan??
    did jeff wilpon lose a bet with his braves counterpart?

    and ricky bones?
    who the mets dumped a couple of years back?

    LET. GO. METS. (sic)

  • ToBeDetermined

    One coach makes a bonehead move that people are talking about, so… time to fire two other coaches. Makes perfect sense, using a very Mets definition of the word “sense”.

    Unless they’re responsible (or are being blamed) for the Famous deGrom Warmup Time Calamity…

  • Lenny65

    No worries, fellow Mets fans, they fired the pitching coach thus everything’s gonna be OK from here on out. I mean that’s what really jumps out at you while watching them…”boy, those pitchers sure do seem poorly coached”.

  • K. Lastima

    I remember Phil “the Vulture” Regan being an old veteran relief pitcher with the Cubs in the 70’s after his glory days with the Dodgers in the 60’s . . . can’t believe he’s still actively involved in coaching all there years later. Supposedly Koufax nicknamed him the Vulture for the frequency of Regan getting late inning wins in tied games that were denied to the starting pitcher. Of course, vultures are also well-known for appearing on the scene when a sick or wounded animal is near death, so I guess it’s a fitting hire for this Mets team

  • Left Coast Jerry

    If I remember correctly, Regan was the vulture because he’d give up the lead, denying the win to the starter, and then earning the win when the Dodgers recaptured the lead. I wish someone would explain to Jeffy that just because Regan was a teammate of Koufax, he’s not going to turn Matz or Vargas into Koufax.

  • Orange and blue through and through

    Mets fans, we have met the enemy, and they (ownership) are us.

  • K. Lastima

    So The Vulture makes a mound visit to the kid Lockett . . . if I’m not mistaken, the next 3 Cub batters went single, double, triple . . . that must have been some sage counsel, almost went for the cycle and a natural one at that . . . of course, the next time a Met goes for the cycle, it will undoubtedly be via the pitching route . . . I was half hoping they’d leave the kid in to see if he could pull it off.

  • Daniel Hall

    HOWEVER – not all is lost! Yeah, right, for the Mets it is. But on the other hand, this column and the comments below made me laugh from top to bottom. Okay, a few tears rolled, too. With the Mets, they always do. But we still do have another, I guess?

    But if they’re not going to cull the real culprit soon, not only Jakey’s gonna rebel …