- Faith and Fear in Flushing - https://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3] 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 [4] 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 [5]. Let’s do it. New Soilmaster awaits. Catch the torpor.