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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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There's the Numbness I Hadn't Been Missing

Oh, so we’re back to this again.

On Tuesday night your bloggers were reunited at Citi Field and had a wonderful time, which we would have had anyway but was definitely enhanced by the Mets hitting homers by the bushel and David Peterson being unexpectedly competent. Speaking for myself, I left the park with a certain smallish but real spring in my step and a willingness to entertain the probably ridiculous but still pleasant notion that the glass was better described as 1/20th full.

Wednesday night took care of that rather thoroughly.

Actually we should have seen it coming Wednesday afternoon, when Steve Cohen held a press conference that left you trying to hold two not entirely complementary ideas in your head at once:

  1. It’s good that Cohen isn’t going red wedding on his employees just because he’s mad — that would have been cathartic for a couple of hours and then revealed as corrosive and counterproductive.
  2. Was it really necessary to hold a 23-minute press conference to articulate that you’re frustrated but hey, sometimes life is frustrating?

It was a little off-kilter, which set up the night’s game rather well. There was Kodai Senga pulling a Verlander, which is to say that the bottom-line results were not bad but the execution was annoyingly inefficient and nothing you saw was even remotely inspiring. There were Mets not named Tommy Pham not disturbing baseballs while holding apparently ornamental bats in their hands. There was a rally of sorts that tied the game but still managed to be disheartening, as the Mets converted a pair of bases loaded/nobody out situations into a single run that scored via a base on balls.

And there was the thoroughly emblematic top of the eighth, the frame in which the Mets lost the game. Adam Ottavino entered the game with no one on and one out, secured the second out without undue fuss, but then gave up a double and a walk and hit Joey Wiemer in the hand with a pitch. Lost in the moment was the fact that Wiemer clearly swung and should have been called out by multiple umpires whose entire reason for being present is to ensure things aren’t lost in the moment. Rather than being down 0-2 against Ottavino, Wiemer went to first; three pitches later Christian Yelich slapped a ball slightly wide of second, not the kind of play you expect to be automatically made but one you can reasonably hope will be made. Jeff McNeil didn’t make it, the Brewers led by three, Ottavino let his disgust be apparent, Buck Showalter was ejected, and the only silver lining left was that T.J. McFarland made his Mets debut, which actually doesn’t matter at all except Greg and I had tried to will it into being Tuesday night and so still got a mild kick out of it a night later when nothing else good was happening.

I mean, seriously, look at that top of the eighth and tell me it isn’t this star-crossed season in miniature: a couple of guys who were really good last year continuing to not be good this year, some horseshit umpiring (seriously, Carlos Torres is terrible at his job), a sprinkle of bad luck, and another day ripped off the calendar, balled up and hurled in the direction of the trash.

Crap, missed the can. Guess I better go pick that up. It’s been that kind of year, hasn’t it?

10 comments to There’s the Numbness I Hadn’t Been Missing

  • Dave

    Yes, pick up the trash and put it in the proper receptacle. Note that it does NOT belong in the recycling bin. This damn well better be non-recyclable.

  • Joey G

    Main points to come out of the Cohen press conference:

    1) I am not George Steinbrenner, and I don’t play him on TV.
    2) In terms of probability Billy Eppler can understand, there is greater than a 50% likelihood that he will be reporting to a new baseball overseer at 41 Seaver Way come this off-season.
    3) Winning in MLB is hard (the other guys are trying too).
    4) I am losing gobs of money and have committed vast sums behind to scenes to build the “infrastructure” to lead to “sustainable success” down the road so I won’t have to be in on every shiny new toy free agent.
    5) These things take more time than I originally anticipated (see my initial Press Conference as owner), and there is no Stalin-like 5 year plan.

  • LeClerc

    2022 pitching staff members now elsewhere:

    Chris Bassett
    Taijuan Walker
    Trevor Williams
    Seth Lugo
    Trevor May
    Joelly Rodriguez
    Nate Fischer (remember Nate?)
    Oh…, Edwin Diaz lost for the season
    Verlander on the IL for weeks
    Scherzer IL + suspension
    Quintana on IL for 1/2 season plus
    Peterson/Megill follies
    Senga’s adventures with “regular rest”

    Somebody else can recap the vicissitudes of the position players.

    • Seth

      You can also go back a few years and add Zack Wheeler, who was begat from Carlos Beltran and should still be a Met. That was the Wilpons’ parting gift to the Mets and their fans.

  • Joe D

    At this juncture in this shit-show season, maybe Cohen should now say to Eppler:

    “Hey Billy, go sit in the corner and color quietly until Mr. Stearns shows up.”

  • Cobra Joe

    Yeah, about the only interesting thing to follow now with the Mets (aside from how many home runs will Pete Alonso hit this year) is who gets shipped out of town by the trade deadline.

    Let’s hope that Billy Eppler can get more in trades than former Mets team president Sandy “Mr. Pomposity” Alderson did, when Alderson cornered the market on all of those mediocre minor league relief pitchers he obtained in a number of mezza-mezza trades.

  • mikeL

    i think it’ll be also be interesting to see a $355M team lose 100 games
    they’re well on their way.
    mcneil and marte provide negative impact.
    i dreaded having marte up 2 out in the 9th with the game on the line.
    never imagined feeling like *that* last year.
    sell baby sell. it’s over.

    • Guy K

      Starling Marte does not play hard. It’s not even subtle. He’s stopped hustling and has checked out. Maybe some other players on the team are “pressing,” but in order for Marte to be pressing, he’d need to give a damn, and he doesn’t look at all like he does.

      • Greg Mitchell

        Watching Marte you really have to ask yourself: Why do pitchers EVER bother to throw him a strike? He will swing at everything, especially a first pitch 6 inches outside or maybe in the dirt. He is comical. He’s more like a power hitter who will run into a ball 40 times and you accept the laughable misses.

        Last night another loss partly caused by a SP who can’t go more than 6 (or 5) innings, leaving the mainly AAA bullpen to get 9 outs. Again, Eppler should be canned if just for one glaring reason: constructing a starting staff with two geriatrics and a pitcher from Japan where you already know he can’t pitch in regular rotation or will give you 4 or 5 or maybe 6 innings when he does. That’s fine if you ALSO secure a very deep and very talented pen. Instead he does not do that, then Diaz gets hurt and ….he still didn’t.