The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

The Sound of a Window Shutting

Perhaps I should put a SPOILER WARNING on this one, but I received a special media preview of the Mets’ 2020 highlights video, and it’s 23 minutes of Jeff McNeil screaming “FUCK!” after making an out and five minutes of Andres Gimenez smoothly fielding hard grounders.

And you know what? I’m strangely OK with it.

The Mets lost Tuesday night, 2-1, with Max Scherzer outdueling Rick Porcello. The Mets turned in some nifty defensive plays, with Gimenez and possible Wednesday starter Luis Guillorme front and center in the infield, but (shockingly) couldn’t find the big hit in the clutch they desperately needed, and so it goes.

Maybe this is just me bargaining, but I’m in a better place than I would have guessed.

Part of that is having baseball back at all, something I figured wouldn’t happen, and that you could argue shouldn’t happen given the current problems with the Cardinals, not to mention the Marlins having to essentially come up with an entire B-team to keep going. The Mets have been hale if not hearty so far, and even though the results haven’t been there, their presence has made summer feel a bit more normal.

Tonight we sat in a backyard and drank with old friends (socially distanced of course), during which the Nats jumped out to a 1-0 lead and a 2-0 lead. We returned to our rented beach house and saw the Mets draw within 2-1, then turned up the TV so the Mets could be our company during dinner on the deck. Everything was pleasant except the score — this was one of those games that didn’t feel anywhere near as close as it was  — and I was happier to have the Mets present but on the short side of the outcome than I would have been to have a night with no baseball at all.

There’s Gimenez, of course, whose fluid fielding and superlative baseball instincts are a reminder of baseball’s balletic perfection. There’s the steady parade of new Mets — the Mets were pummeled mercilessly Monday night, but I still smiled to see Ali Sanchez escape becoming the 10th Mets ghost. Sanchez had the greatest night of his baseball career despite seeing one pitch which became a double play, which makes sense when you consider the alternative. Similarly, it was fun watching Guillorme retire three straight Nats with 63 MPH non-gas, going so far as to ask for the ball from the first batter retired.

Even Marcus Stroman is a part of my unexpected equanimity, somehow. I don’t blame Stroman for opting out — I don’t presume to know anything about what’s going on in someone’s family — any more than I blame him for possibly manipulating his way to free agency through service time, given how routinely baseball teams manipulate service time for their own advantage.

When Stroman arrived last summer, I was happy to see him while dreading what his arrival might mean — I assumed the Mets had imported him as precursor for trading Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler. They kept both Syndergaard and Wheeler for the season, but then let Wheeler become a free agent in the offseason, with nary a hint of interest or a peep of protest, making my prediction ultimately accurate if not timely.

In late July of 2019 the Mets’ rotation was Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Steven Matz and Stroman. A little over a year later, it’s been reduced to deGrom and Matz, and the latter has been giving up home runs with frightening frequency. When Stroman opted out, I could all but hear the Mets’ playoff window slamming shut — yes, they have a corps of young and effective hitters, but if Matz has lost his way, where do the arms come from? But rather than blame Stroman for a decision I couldn’t be privy to, I blamed the Mets for letting a potentially great rotation become hollowed out and vulnerable to injury and mischance.

It doesn’t make me happy to contemplate such things. But the ebb and flow of team fortunes are nothing new. And in this weirdo improv season, I’d rather obsess about that ebb and flow than stare at a year of nothing.

Once again, is that bargaining? Maybe it is. But we’re all bargaining this year, constantly reassessing what scares us and how much and what plans we should and shouldn’t make. Baseball has been my faithful companion in years both fruitful and barren; I’m glad to have it again for a year where uncertainty colors each and every day.

5 comments to The Sound of a Window Shutting

  • greensleeves

    Mr. Fry,
    It’s sweet to know this pandemic has not diminished your eloquent Metsian introspection. Thank you.

  • Daniel Hall

    There’s no shame in losing 2-1 to Scherzer. There is shame in leaving a guy per inning on base in just about every single game you play, though.

    Or in getting no-hit by Charlton Heston, or whatever that no-name Giants kid’s actual name was…

    There is hope that the lineup as-is can be a contender. But they have to get rid of that entire barf corps of pitchers, the Wachas and Porcellos and Sewalds and Familias. Unfortunately that will cost money, and money must not be spent. Outside of the eye-watering amount Brodie Dynamite was willing to shove down Old Man Cano’s throat.

    • Seth

      They had a decent rotation. But Syndergaard got hurt and the Mets decided that keeping a good rotation wasn’t worth Wheeler’s price. Observe the results of that experiment…

  • 9th string catcher

    I guess the Wheeler thing was always going to be hard to deal with. We lived through his injuries, ineffectiveness and insane pitch counts for an eternity, just for him to finally live up to his potential, only to see him leave. What would have happened if we signed him (or Murph for that matter)? Turn into an injured and expensive pumpkin? Become a true #2 or even #3 pitcher?

    So far the deGrom signing has been amazing, but it’s one of the very few long term signings that (so far) has panned out.

    If signing Wheeler long term was never part of the plan, why get rid of all the high level pitching prospects? Why invest in barely proven relievers? In other words, what is the fucking plan here?

    Oh, right, it’s the Wilpons. There is no plan. Please sell the team already.

  • eric1973

    BVW has made some good moves, though.