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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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Get Outta Town

Go Mets. Better yet, go away Mets. And stay away.

For about a week. Then come back.

Clear your heads. Fill your bats. Get hits. Several per inning. Find your inner line drive in Philadelphia. Keep your ropes frozen in St. Louis.

Anybody who boos you at your next two stops means it. Anybody who booed you at Citi Field as you dropped your second consecutive pulseless offensive outing to Boston, this one by an arid score of 1-0, was just clearing throats, hearts, minds and maybe the rust off a year-plus away from the ballpark.

How do you greet the team you’ve been away from for more than a year? With unconditional love? With caveats that affection must be earned again and again? By brooking no nonsense whatsoever? It’s an individual’s call under any circumstance. I’d lean to vocal encouragement for my players to do well and soto voce grumbling when they don’t.

Wednesday night, they didn’t do well. Most of the Mets, that is. Jacob deGrom did superbly, albeit not quite up to last Friday’s incomparable snuff, but superb should get it done most nights — with the support of most professional lineups. The Mets have a professional lineup. Well, they’re paid to line up, so I guess it’s professional. Jake (6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 SO) gave up a run in the second and it killed all chances of winning. Bad, Jake! Very bad, Jake!

No, obviously. Jake was very good, as were the similarly uniformed fellows who followed him to the mound. They were certainly a match for Nick Pivetta and his Beantown bullpen pals. Maybe everybody in sight, home and away, chose Wednesday night to be simultaneously deGrominant. It’s hard to tell who’s excelling and who’s far from it when Met hitters fail to generate as much as a whisper of a genuine threat.

I can’t fathom the professionals at Metropolitan Baseball Club of New York being hopelessly rattled by the toughlove practitioners among the intimate gatherings assembled to witness their wan attempts at run production. Citi Field sounded very fond of the Mets last Friday and Sunday. Twice over the weekend, the Mets gave the facility’s socially distanced denizens reason to express affection rather than animus. Tuesday and Wednesday, not so much. I don’t boo when I’m in attendance, but I understand it’s difficult to sit by and imply tacit approval for what your favorite batters do in the bottom of every gosh darn inning when they don’t do a blessed thing.

Except make outs. That the Mets (with their two singles) showed themselves expert at.

Did we mention Jake pitched? Is it necessary to stress those instances don’t come along more frequently than once every five days? And that if Jake is going to go the trouble of essentially never giving up more than one earned run in any game, you ought to make the most of the opportunity he is providing you? Instead, though I imagine it wasn’t your intention, you saddled Jake with a loss. You couldn’t even no-decision him while facilitating a relatively cheap W for Loup, May or Diaz. Unconditional love is difficult for your paying patrons to tender when you refuse to, shall we say, play ball.

So play ball somewhere else for a week. Hit the road. Hit pitchers wearing red caps. Make distance make our hearts grow fonder. Make us realize how much we don’t want to grumble at you at any volume. Make this spate of clearly audible booing a vague April memory.

Go Mets. But leave the non-scoring nonsense behind.

15 comments to Get Outta Town

  • Daniel Hall

    The Mets lineup radiates so little energy, it sapped all the juice out of me, too. All I can do the rest of the day is lie in the corner, face down, and wait for the ants to carry me away.

    You know, like the Mets lineup…

    Unrelated, and the thought ran away from me yesterday… I really hoped for Jerry Blevins to make the team, although from his pitching in spring training it was evident that he likely wouldn’t. The bite was missing. Sad to see the guy retired.

  • open the gates

    Here’s an idea – every Met who gets an ofer when Jake pitches has to pay him $1000. It might not help him win more games, but at least he’ll make a nice bonus for having to put up with his teammates sleeping through his starts. (I just said it was an idea, not a good idea.)

  • Rudin

    It’s getting old. Also getting old (plus stale and infuriating)—GKR. Is anyone as sick as I am of the incessant old man sounds emanating from the booth? Does every freakin’ pitch have to be punctuated with an UMMMMM, MMMMM or HMMMMMM?? I liken it to a co-worker who’s been there a long time and knows he won’t be fired for his quirky habits (even though he’s spent the last several years mailing it in). They’ve come to believe they’re in a bubble and don’t need to be concerned about others in their presence.

    • Seth

      Keith makes funny Keith-sounds. He sighs a lot. That’s how it is when you get older. We’re lucky no one passes wind. Check out a Marlins or Nationals broadcast — you’ll be running back to GKR faster than Usain Bolt.

    • Daniel Hall

      Seems like a slight case of lèse-majesté to me.

      Otherwise, what Seth said. Some years back you could only get the home team’s broadcast on, and I am still so scarred from the experience that to this day I want to punch the wholly disagreeable F.P. Santangelo through the eye of a needle.

  • Paul

    With all this talk about Mets batting instructor Chili Davis’ supposed ineffectiveness and the team’s recent collective “anxiety,” WFAN’s Sal Licatta quipped, “that instead of Chili Davis, maybe the Mets should consult with Dr. Jennifer Melfi?”

    Come to think of it, frequent NY Mets WFAN caller “Joe from Clark,” might want to make an appointment with the estimable Dr. Melfi in nearby Caldwell, NJ himself. I don’t want to say that Joe repeatedly complains about the Mets with so much angst and agita, but the late, great “Doris from Rego Park” and “John from Sandy Hook” would probably tell Joe to chill-out and have a Rheingold Beer or two to calm down.

  • Iowa Pete

    Largely ignored when it happened, and totally ignored in all the reports I read today, is Dominic Smith’s complete butchering of a very catchable ball, resulting in a double which became the only run scored. In a nutshell — let alone the slumbering bats — it was THE REASON we lost last night.
    Question to all my Met fan brethren out there: Can we truly expect to be a good ballclub — perhaps a club which can win it all (gasp!!) — with a first baseman playing left field most of the time? Or, if that isn’t problematic enough, how about the personification of a DH playing third base?
    Speaking of Smith, that sliding, sort of backhand, sidehand catch he made later in the game was perhaps the shakiest catch of a soft hit liner to left I have probably ever seen!!

    • Seth

      Yeah, I caught that (no pun intended). I am not a baseball player, but that looked like a ball that a pro outfielder should have handled.

  • Eric

    The Mets right now remind me of the pre-Cespedes, Johnson, and Uribe trades, Conforto call-up, Wright comeback 2015 Mets: solid pitching, anemic hitting. Except the hitting is worse this time. This season so far, most every opposing starter has been Kershaw and most every Mets batter has been Mayberry batting clean-up.

    It’s not just 19 games of futility. It’s 19 + the 60 games of the same futility last season with mostly the same players. That’s a decent-sized sample.

    As for chronically wasting precious Cy-Grom starts with extraordinary displays of futility, that has a big sample size of 3+ seasons. It deserves the ire of Mets fans and the mockery of the baseball world.

  • Eric

    I wonder if Smith, as an elite first baseman, would be better off in right field as far as reading and reacting to balls off the bat. McNeil has talked about being relatively comfortable in RF for that reason as a second baseman. Smith doesn’t have the arm for RF (or LF for that matter), so the Mets would need to compensate for that, but catching the ball is the priority.

  • Seth

    Is “non-scoring nonsense” a double negative? :-)

  • open the gates

    I like Dom and JD, but they need to be traded to teams who can make better use of their talents, for players who fit our needs more closely. That’s how most teams make deals, and how the Mets (until recently) mostly haven’t.

  • The King

    Suggestion: hire a hitting coach who will teach them not to swing at low, outside sliders.

  • open the gates

    As one who remembers Keith Hernandez from his playing days, he can make Keith-sounds til the cows come home, for all I care. We owe him.

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