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.

Baby Gift

On June 18, 2015, an ex-Met pitching for the Blue Jays beat the Mets — not just any ex-Met, but beloved former Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, taking his first turn against his old club since scaling the heights of fame in Flushing. It also wasn’t just any start. Dickey’s dad Harry had died two days earlier. R.A. was headed to the bereavement list, but he had a stop to make: the mound at Rogers Centre, where he was about to go seven-and-a-third innings and give up only one run, one walk and three hits while striking out seven in beating the Mets, 7-1. The singularly articulate pitcher didn’t talk about his father’s passing after the game, leaving it to Jays manager John Gibbons to explain to reporters, “He told me he felt it was important he go out there, honor his dad.”

On June 2, 2023, an ex-Met pitching for the Blue Jays beat the Mets — not just any ex-Met, but Chris Bassitt, the last starter who took the ball in the postseason for the Mets. It also wasn’t just any start. Bassitt’s wife Jessica was in Toronto, going into labor, while the Jays were in New York, going to work. Bassitt signed a big contract in the offseason to pitch for Toronto. Toronto entered the season with big expectations. It was his turn to pitch. The logistics of a bringing a life into a world and the logistics of a major league rotation don’t always mesh. Word was Chris would make his way to a private jet as soon as he was done pitching against his old club, an assignment pushed back by another branch of Mother Nature, in the form of a 91-minute rain delay.

Bassitt versus the Mets for the Blue Jays was more effective than Bassitt versus the Padres for the Mets eight months earlier (though his four-inning stint in the Wild Card Series decider was definitely more airport departure-friendly). The Mets of 2023 dealt with their former teammate about as well as the Mets of 2015 dealt with theirs. Chris’s line was seven-and-two-thirds innings, no walks, three hits, no runs and eight strikeouts. Justin Verlander’s outing for the Mets came up a shade shy of Bassitt’s. He gave up a home run to George Springer to start the game once the game got started at 8:41 PM. That’s all it took for the Mets to be behind all night. Verlander gave up nothing else across a six-inning start that required 117 pitches, but the zeroes kept stringing along on the bottom half of the line score. On Friday night, not even a three-time Cy Young Award winner could match Bassitt.

“He wanted to pitch,” Jays manager John Schneider explained to reporters. “I’m sure there’s a million things that are going through his mind. The mental focus — which he does all the time, he’s very even-keeled — to keep everything in check was really impressive.”

As if forces were collaborating or perhaps conspiring to present a baby gift to the Bassitts, the line of zeroes remained uninterrupted, even after Schneider ended Bassitt’s evening with two outs and nobody on in the eighth. Emblematic of where the Mets weren’t going, Brandon Nimmo was called struck out by home plate ump Nic Lentz on a pitch clock violation, specifically judged two seconds too late in turning to face lefty reliever Tim Mayza amid a two-two count. In the home clubhouse afterward when he was asked about the ruling that truncated his plate appearance, Nimmo used the word “sucks” for public consumption more in one scrum than I can recall him using it across eight seasons as a Met.

That kind of night for the Mets continued in the ninth when Jeff Brigham failed to complement the fine relief work of Dominic Leone and Drew Smith. Leone threw a scoreless seventh. Smith threw a scoreless eighth. Brigham gave up a one-out single to Whit Merrifield and a two-run homer to Daulton Varsho — who lost his mother-in-law Kim to ALS, which didn’t escape his notice as MLB was commemorating Lou Gehrig Day on Friday. “It’s pretty nice to be able to have a special homer knowing that Kim’s probably watching over me and hoping everything’s the best for me,” Varsho said. A warm note for the opposition, no doubt, but from a Met perspective, Citi Field on June 2, 2023, resembled in sagged spirits Citi Field from October 9, 2022, the night Bassitt and the Mets couldn’t keep up with Joe Musgrove and the Padres…except this time, on Fireworks Night, there was a sellout crowd.

There was also a tomorrow, which is now today. The 2023 Mets will play on after losing, 3-0. Chris Bassitt won’t be in the visitors’ dugout to urge the Jays forward in their quest to make it two in a row over the Mets, however. That plane has already flown. Some teammates take precedent over other teammates. Chris wasn’t around to talk to the press after his win. Jessica and the baby-to-be’s outing was already underway; a nearby jet was idling as it awaited its Toronto-bound passenger. Schneider, following “one of the best performances we’ve seen out of anyone, given everything that he had going on” told his starter, simply, “Go be a dad.

Last year, Chris Bassitt represented the Mets’ last, ultimately shattered defense against playoff elimination. This year, he was their daddy. Some nights you just have to accept are other people’s nights.

8 comments to Baby Gift

  • Seth

    I’m having trouble making a connection between Chris’s quest for a family and Mets’ quest for a title, but OK and congrats to him. Again, why didn’t we re-sign him?

    Not Nimmo’s finest night, to be sure.

  • Joe D

    It sucks for the Mets, and sucks for Nimmo for sure, but hip-hip-hooray for the pitch clock! Fans in attendance shelling out fat stacks were treated to a thrilling conclusion to bottom 8th in a one-run ballgame! Who really needs to see a competitive resolution to an important AB anyway? You end up getting out to your car much faster with the artificial ghost strike 3!

    Yes, the game is now faster, but is it better? And just wait until this type of thing happens bases loaded bottom 9 to end a tight game (and it will!). What a great memory to share with your kids!

    Damnit, this is the freaking Major Leagues, not experimental low-level A-ball!

  • Curt Emanuel

    Bassitt is the guy I most regret us not signing. Just gobbled innings for us last year. Was fine seeing Walker leave and OK with deGrom given what he was asking.

    At least Verlander and Scherzer seem to have things worked out. If that keeps up we’ll be OK. So long as the NL keeps losing loads of AL games where hovering around .500 gets you a WC spot.

  • eric1973

    If Hernandez and Darling were not hanging around as broadcasters the past 20 years, the 80s Mets would have just been considered an underachieving footnote in team history. By the year 2000, they were largely ignored and forgotten.

    These guys drill their ACCOMPLISHMENT (singular) into our heads every single day, hypnotizing (most of) us into thinking these guys really did something.

    Hojo in the Mets Hall of Fame? The most dangerous place in Shea Stadium was sitting behind 1B when he was playing 3B.

    • mikeski

      I kind of see what you’re saying, but come on, man.

      The team won 108 games, then there was Mike Scott and Game 6 against Houston, then losing the first 2 at home in the WS before coming back to win in 7 in a series that included Game 6 against the Sox.

      The 1986 team would have been remembered even if Keith and Ron had retired after that year, and the notion that that team was, at any point, “largely ignored and forgotten” seems….misplaced, at least.

      And a “singular” accomplishment beats *no* accomplishments; know any Cleveland fans?

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Did I hear the number correctly that the Mets donated all of Ten Thousand Dollars to ALS research? How about next time, give Verlander and his 117 pitches to get thru 6 innings only 41 million, and split the extra 2 million between ALS research and topping the Jays offer to Bassitt. Or maybe not give Verlander anything, they shoulda re-signed Bassitt.

  • […] Choose your abstract: amazin street, MLBAnd NewsdayAnd Faith and fear in cleaning […]

  • Erez Schatz

    Once upon a time, there was an article in Mad Magazine (when I was reading them), that satirized sports announcers. One of the cartoons showed 2 or three (it’s been a while) people sobbing heavily into soggy handkerchiefs dripping with water, with one of them playing a violin. The caption on it was something to the likes of asking announcers to stop making every time a player plays while his aunt died into a heroic melodrama. I don’t recall if a reason was given (I believe it was), but it was obvious. Those people make a lot of money and they don’t have the luxury of taking a day off. Think about a footballer taking a week off, that’s almost 10% of the season right there. To put it into perspective, Bassitt makes about 21 million dollars a season, for 30 starts it means he is making 700,000$ a start. Find anyone on the street with his wife in labour and ask them if they are willing to miss the birth of their child for 700,000$. So yea, he took the mound. Even worse, he could’ve not taken the mound and would still be paid the 21 millions. I wish my work compensation was that generous and I don’t make 700,000$ in a decade. So it’s very sweet of them and all. But if he really cared, they would’ve planned the conception better (Which is also what people who don’t make 3/4 of a million dollars a week do, btw.) I’m not saying Dickey should’ve not played, but again, he was paid more than 200 times the average American yearly salary for a season at the time.