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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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4 Days Without a Workplace Injury

The Mets made it out of San Diego in one piece and first place. The 26 Mets who began the series with two aggravating losses were the 26 Mets who ended it with two energizing wins. Could these be the Mets we come to know and love for more than just a four-day Southern California getaway?

On days that copacetic is the rule rather than the goal, I grow attached to whoever’s filling those Met uniforms (a $50.00 fine to anybody who invokes Jerry Seinfeld and rooting for the laundry as if we all haven’t said it or heard it a thousand times). When Brandon Drury turns a nifty 5-5-3 double play after diving, stopping a grounder, tagging third base with his glove and then throwing across the diamond, Brandon Drury is my third baseman. When Billy McKinney distributes his base hits as if from a variety pack — at least one among doubles, triples and homers before bothering with singles — Billy McKinney is my right fielder. Jose Peraza, who gave Jacob deGrom all the offense Jake needed to notch a win on Saturday night, has been entrenched as my second baseman since he was passed the torch by I wanna say Doug Flynn. In the relative scheme of temp Mets, Jose Peraza is a veritable permanent fixture.

The bounty of emergency Mets you’d barely contemplated are making impressions and the handful of healthy Mets you counted on remembering are coming through, too. On Sunday, as the Mets completed their split with the Padres, Dom Smith homered. That you expected before April. James McCann homered, too. Not a shocking development from the vantage point of winter. You began to wonder during the arid weeks of a wet spring when the likes of Smith and McCann would get hot or even warm, but here they are. It’s an endorsement for patience. It’s also a caution against the impulse a person feels to call WFAN and suggest maybe Conforto shouldn’t get his job back if the Mets keep going good with McKinney in there or similar personnel strategy.

Let us enjoy who’s getting the job done for us while they’re getting the job done for us. Let us enjoy Marcus Stroman on sunny Sundays when Marcus is frustrating the San Diego nine as he’s done to other outfits across the circuit thus far this season. A little trouble here, a little trouble there, adequate extrication from trouble, maybe one fielding play that could have made smoother (not too many tappers back to the mound wind up de facto infield triples), definitely one pitcher’s batting play that couldn’t have been more exciting at Petco Park unless Bartolo Colon was involved (Marcus with an RBI two-bagger like he’s Billy McKinney all of a sudden).

Why not be into these particular Mets? Gleaned from peeks into the dugout and postgame remarks, they’re sure into being these particular Mets, no matter the stresses and indignities and outside forces attempt to inflict upon their vibe. Stroman receives a verbal elbow to the ribs from another team’s retrograde announcer because Stro needs to keep his hair in place under his cap? We won’t stand for it! And Stroman just keeps pitching. Kevin Pillar is subject to nonsense from fans of another team because Pill has to wear a protective shield over his surgically repaired face? We won’t stand for it! And Pillar just keeps hitting. We can’t help ourselves from making smart remarks every time another Travis Blankenhorn is added to our roster? We’ll try to control ourselves. And Blank is one of 26 we lend our support without necessarily asking for it back when he’s done with it. The accessories are just details. The unfamiliarity melts away. We inevitably rally behind Our Guys, especially when Our Guys top those Tough Tatises with 6-2 ease.

Winning makes everybody lovable, but our Mets seem pretty likable even outside the box score. They don’t just play well in those uniforms. They feel right in them for now.

13 comments to 4 Days Without a Workplace Injury

  • chuck

    Tony Clark should see the clip of Stroman gleefully celebrating his RBI double. Designated hitter my ass.

  • Daniel Hall

    Maybe rotten luck moved on to other teams? I watched Gnats-Phillies yesterday (assuming somehow the Mets game would be on later than it was, which it wasn’t), which among other things included Austin Voth fouling a baseball of his face on a bunt attempt (there was blood), and the protective netting behind home plate deciding to go home and collapsing into itself in the eighth inning. 20 minutes into the makeshift repairs, color guy John Kruk wondered out loud whether they’re still on the air.

    Other teams have trouble too. (Yes, I was 100% convinced the Mets would go 0-7 against SD after but one lousy loss)

    Meanwhile, we have Travis Blankenhorn, who was definitely classmates with Brooks Pounders at the Academy of Awesome Names but Marginal Talent.

    I assume “fans” making fun of our second-dearest Kevin (after Burkhardt, *sigh*) trained for their act by bullying the kid in the wheelchair in school? Charming. Society is falling to pieces.

  • Seth

    I’m not sure what the fans could have been saying to Pillar, or why? He was injured, this wasn’t a fashion choice.

  • greensleeves

    And let us enjoy you, Sir; for your context, patience, and Most Valuable Prose.

  • Eric

    Stroman made a bad throw on the Tatis little-league triple, but it wasn’t so poor a throw that Alonso shouldn’t have caught it, or at least blocked the ball.

    The team’s strength has been pitching, and the subs have complemented it with a refreshing, classic formula of solid defense, baserunning, and timely hitting.

  • open the gates

    So Kevin Pillar takes a fastball in the face, breaking his nose in more places than a nose should have. Two weeks later, he’s back in the batter’s box as if nothing happened. And the droobs in the stands, whose greatest act of bravery that day was probably stepping on the bathroom scale, mock him for wearing a facemask??? I’m with Daniel. The world, hell, handbasket, you get the picture.

    • Seth

      I think he needed stiches too, which required some protection. Pillar is awesome — we need more like him. Speaking of which, is Nimmo’s pinky feeling better yet? Sigh…

  • Fred

    I said it back when the team was getting hurt seemingly hourly: The replacements could be the makings of a much better, bigger story, and here we are. I’ll be glad when the big boys are back on the field, but part of me hopes that the guys who’ve been carrying water since early May will still be seeing playing time.

  • eric1973

    There’s going to be a lot of Broken Hearts on Broadway, (and everyplace from Flushing to Brooklyn, etc., for that matter), when our lovable underachievers come back from the IL, Alternate Site, or in Noah’s case, the place where UFO’s hang out.

    Call me Crazy
    Call me Nutsy
    But the way Lindor has so much fun on the field, his smile, and his shortness of stature, he reminds me a bit of Lenny Randle, one of my All-Time favorites.

    Granted, it will take Lindor a bit to achieve THAT sort of status in my eyes, but it’s a start.

  • mikeL

    +1 with daniel and open the gates.
    in a healthier human environment pillar would be celebrated as america’s ball player.