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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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We Live Here Now

Hope springs eternal if you’re a Mets fan, but even springs can lose their sproing. Come Tuesday evening, I have to admit I wasn’t particularly feeling it — if you’d shown me a flash card that said METS, I most likely would have responded by having a tantrum about Edwin Diaz and demanding to know why everything has to suck beyond endurance. But the games go on and so do I, so I sat down, albeit a bit grumpily, and watched Pete Alonso connect for a gigantic home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Once that would have been heartening. But after watching the Mets lose a lead 4.5 times that big, not so much. If I had a medical chart, it would have read LACK OF SPROING.

Sometime after Carlos Carrasco turned in his usual inept first inning, my phone rang. It was our handyman, without whom our apartment would collapse into a pile of drywall and regret. For the next half-hour or so he clucked sympathetically as I showed him damage from Ida and details that needed to put right after a window installation, and every so often I could hear Emily upstairs, making noises. They didn’t sound like crows of triumph; more like disgust mixed with disdain.

That was about what I’d expected, but eventually I couldn’t take it any more.

“What’s the score?” I asked between bouts of assessing broken stuff.


“4-2 good or 4-2 bad?”

“4-2 good.”

Emily told me that the Marlins’ pitcher had walked three guys in a row and then hit two guys in a row, which sounded so unlikely that my brain refused to process it and I needed it verified again later, to her consternation. It was that kind of game — six errors, too many other instances of dopey baseball to count or countenance, and a couple of thousand fans scattered around New Soilmaster Stadium who sounded unsure about whether being there meant they’d made good choices in life. (They hadn’t.)

Oh, and there was some doofus dressed as a fucking piece of toast or something. (Don’t tell me what it was in the comments, because I don’t care.) I hope that guy got paid. Actually, I hoped Jeff McNeil would find a reason to take offense at the thing’s presence (not impossible) and start pummeling it (less likely but also not impossible).

Honestly, isn’t this the way we should have known this deeply weird, deeply stupid Mets season would gutter into darkness? Our team’s fate was never to be on the last-weekend stage as gladiators bound for death or glory, much as we tried to wish that finale into being. It was to wind up in front of a tiny, bored crowd throwing haymakers at the Marlins and receiving the same, like a pair of blindfolded drunks.

It sounds tragic, but the 2021 Mets never flew high enough to deserve that word. “Farcical” doesn’t make sense either, because that implies some higher purpose squandered, and I don’t think that ever existed.

Honestly, the Mets and Marlins should play all 162 games against each other, every year. They’d make several errors a night; Pete Alonso would club 75 homers; some combination of Gary, Keith and Ron would sigh about the latest Marlins who don’t know how to pitch; McNeil would finally cold-cock that stupid piece of toast; and 54 different Marlin infielders with microscopic career OPSes would do Marlin things that left Edwin Diaz to glumly explain what he think went wrong this time. Some years the Mets would go 85-77 and some years they’d go 77-85 and none of it would matter much less than anything matters now.

Why not? We’d even win a few. Let’s do it. New Soilmaster awaits. Catch the torpor.

16 comments to We Live Here Now

  • Geoff Hayton

    I love “gutter” used as a verb.

  • Chris

    It was an item of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Anthromorphocized milk pitcher presumably elsewhere; perhaps not in budget.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Carrasco deserved…worse. At least for first time afterward he did not claim that, well, he’s still only in spring training shape…

    Note: Matz shut down Yanks last night and is now 11-7, has not missed a start, and with fine era in tough division (unlike NL East). Oh, we did get three pitcher for him: the immortal Sean Reid-Foley, Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Diaz.

    Before you say “he just needed a change in scene”–what is so off with the Mets’ “scene” that players who leave usually perform better and those who arrive usually do worse? And why do they keep trading for “relief prospects” when the last 15 have never worked out?

  • Harvey

    Hey Greg- Don’t forget Paul Sewald-9-3 8 saves 2.70 ERA with 84ks in 50 IP, and his Mariner teammate Chris Flexen who is 11-5 3.56 ERA. Those Mets giveaways are why Mariners are in the wildcard race. Of course, there’s also Zack Wheeler, 12-9 2.91 ERA, and leading the NL in IP and Ks.

    • mikeL

      travis-released-by-brodie-days-after-a-long-rehab isn’t doing
      so badly himself. won’t even mention rosario again…but damn, if these mets cast-offs don’t have the makings of a satisfying team-in-exile.

      hmm. maybe someday someone smart will trade away the pieces of the team-behind-the-scenes that lead so many talented young men to underperform and/or be underutilized

      what a game last night. we’ve already lost nimmo, i was thinking we’d lost villar…and then baez. after his boneheaded error in the first i was ultimately glad we had lindor. how’s THAT for believin’? if diaz gets demoted i’ll invest a little more in belief (i can dream).

      so…near-win streak to the finish. 3 up heading into final
      series in ATL (to keep it just a little interesting).

  • Seth

    It wasn’t a piece of toast, it was a racoon! Jeez, duh.

  • EdP

    The toast did evoke a spirited discussion of breakfast cereals by G, K & R, and a caviar drop.

    • Seth

      Dear Keith Hernandez,

      Cinnamon and caviar do not go together any more than ketchup goes on a hot dog.

      Lots of love,
      Your fan

  • Eric

    Within 3.5 games of the 2nd wildcard. I believe it’s the 1st time this season the Mets are closer to the WC than the division lead albeit with more teams in the way. The 2nd WC contenders are slogging, too.

  • Jon Wood

    Mets’ first movement in the standings in a while, they moved into a tie with the Cardinals in the wild card race.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I thought the toast WAS Jeff McNeil.

    • mikeL

      …the whole time i was wondering whether toast-man was blocking people’s views…and whether the blocked-views people even cared.

      place does provide a nice backdrop for majestic alonso homers though.

      thinking jeff would do better elsewhere and i’m ok with it. he’s gone from natural hitter to poster boy for deep frustration (his and ours)

    • Seth

      Not possible the toast was McNeil — it was calling balls and strikes. McNeil can’t tell the difference.

  • 9th string catcher

    Oh, let’s not get so philosophical about Flexin, Sewald and Matz. Those guys were HORRIBLE as Mets, and seem to be having a nice small sample size of success. Let’s see if they can sustain it once they’ve been around the league a second time. I shed no tears for them.

    As for Wheeler, yeah that one burns. And the T’dA move was ridiculous – we paid him 3M to win with the Braves. Although he’s only good for about 50 games a year, so not the end of the world.

  • Eric

    Good to see Hand coming through so far. Hembree, too.

    Maybe the bats are finally waking up. Maybe not. But we know the bullpen will be pitching 4 innings nearly every time out. Even in the rare instance a starter can go 7 , the score will probably be close enough to compel a pinch hitter before that.

    The Mets have done as well as they have thus far because the bullpen, especially the middle relievers, has held up despite individuals taking turns struggling.

  • mikeL

    please sandy, enough already!
    release diaz, fire rojas!
    only way forward if there is one.