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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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The Beatings Will Continue; Morale Will Not Improve

James McCann destroyed the team that sent him away, going 3 for 3 with 5 RBIs and even stealing a base.

That’s the headline, but the punchline comes courtesy of our Metsmerized buddy Mike Mayer: Only two catchers have ever had at least 3 hits, 5 RBIs, a walk and a steal in a game against the Mets. McCann is one; the other is …

(wait for it)

(waaaaait for it)

… Travis d’Arnaud.


McCann had help, not just from the young-gun Orioles in their mod black City Connect unis, but also from the Mets’ bullpen and defense, which fell apart in an ugly four-run bottom of the sixth that erased the Mets’ just-completed rally to tie things up. Starling Marte was the chief offender in the slapstick, though perhaps his defense was hampered by the giant fork sticking out of his back, the one that’s been visible all season and that we’ve shied away from talking about.

If you’d like to dwell on the faintest silver of linings, David Peterson looked OK and Josh Walker pitched well after a nightmarish week. And Camden Yards gave Buck Showalter a long, warm ovation, which was nice.

Take your silver linings where you find them for the rest of the year, and never mind how faint, as the Mets are bad and look shell-shocked on top of that. The shell shock will presumably pass; good luck with the whole not being bad thing. Instead, here’s to seeing what Francisco Alvarez can do to the rookie catcher record books, if Brett Baty can let his talent flow and push through a period in which he looks tired and dispirited, and if Mark Vientos actually gets to pay and does something with the opportunity.

Beyond that? Sure, it’d be nice to see some players who’ve had miserable seasons revert to their means, but those feel less like causes for celebration than bids for mollification.

My other suggestion is to watch good young teams with something to play for. Look no further than the Orioles, who’ve arrived quicker than they expected and are playing with verve, dash and the high step of guys who know they’re rolling with house money. We’ve been there and remember how much fun it can be; one day, believe it or not, we’ll be back there and delight in experiencing it again.

One day, but not for a while. There’s too much season left, all of it to be played under a white flag, and it’s going to be rough. Be kind to yourself and your fellow Mets fans, and we’ll find our way through to better days.

15 comments to The Beatings Will Continue; Morale Will Not Improve

  • eric1973

    Just because Uncle Stevie has all the money in the world, this does not make him baseball-smart. If he ran the teams in 1969 and 1973, he would have traded Seaver, Koosman, Gentry, and Matlack at the trading deadline and neither miracle would have transpired.

  • eric1973

    Come to think of it, maybe he is not so smart after all:
    “In 2013, the Cohen-founded S.A.C. Capital Advisors plead guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines in one of the biggest criminal cases against a hedge fund. Cohen was prohibited from managing outside money for two years as part of the settlement reached in the civil case over his accountability for the scandal. The hedge fund agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud and to close its doors to outside investors.”

  • mikeL

    i saw a comment in the post from a father asking cohen to explain to his 6 year old daughter why he tore down a team only 6games out of the wild card.

    yes we got an owner with deep, deep pockets.
    we appeared to be the evil empire for a short while, but it was *our* evil empire.

    nope it’s his evil empire.

    and yes the marte – whose absence last september exposed the mets’ shocking offensive incompetence – has not returned.

    SNY played the’15 yearbook after one of the losses in KC…and wow, how distant does *that* team feel now??

    just little further away than the massive distance to last year’s team before the collapse.

    it’s hard to imagine the mets hanging on to the non-baby homegrown core for too much longer. hard to imagine them wanting to stay. except for lindor, who’s contract is far too big to eat, even for big fish cohen.

    we’ll always have lindor :-/

    • mikeL

      actual comment

      1h ago
      Mr Cohen-Please explain to my 8 year old son why you quit on his team in late July, 6 games out of the wild card. He was an avid fan, and wants to know why his team was abruptly disbanded.”

      • Eric

        Cohen can’t throw his players under the bus like this, but I would ask that boy and his dad what they’ve seen out of this current core of players in 2020, 2021, 2022, and this season that indicates they have the character for a proud title run. I would ask that boy which of the “disbanded” players showed they were a difference-maker for a title run.

        Even now, the largely intact core could take the trade deadline sell-off as a wake-up call to show their fans they’re worth Cohen’s trust and investment. They haven’t. It’s not like they’ve lost games since the trade deadline despite yeoman efforts from the core players. Instead, the Mets have continued to lose games much like they did before the sell-off. And the rookies aside, it’s not like the core players are 22-24 year old in their 2nd season.

        Tell the boy that the current core has repeatedly shown over 3+ seasons that they’re not the ones who’ll compete for a championship for us. They’ll have one more shot, maybe two, to prove they have the necessary character to compete for real. If they fail again, the trades are designed to set up and speed up the transition to the next generation of Mets who hopefully will have the necessary character as well as the talent to win.

  • Seth

    Success may lie ahead. But being an astute and successful businessman doesn’t necessarily translate to being a successful sports team owner. See the sad and tragic case of Howard Schultz and the Seattle Sonics debacle.

    • Eric

      I’ll give Cohen a pass for the failure of the current core of players he largely inherited or overpaid for to augment the inherited core. Cohen’s test will be the performance of the team that’s built on his watch, particularly the production of the Mets farm system that he’s prioritized with this trade deadline.

      Cohen’s pivot may not lead to a championship in short order, but if the Mets can in short order look like the Dodgers or Braves in terms of year in, year out contention that’s powered by a consistent strong reliable farm system, that works for me.

  • Guy K

    I haven’t seen any mention of this anywhere else, and I’m sure my bringing it up here will elicit responses of, “Leave it alone, that’s just the way players are in 2023,” but I really don’t care.

    In the ninth inning last night, with the Mets trailing by 7 runs, Pete Alonso hit a bases-empty double and then happily, triumphantly gestured to the dugout.

    At the risk of offending the many Polar Bear apologists who turn a blind eye to such things, this was a disgrace on the same order as a defensive end doing a sack dance with his team down, 35-7.

    I seemed to be the only person offended by Alonso’s premeditated open-mic f-bomb earlier this season (with God knows how many 9-year-olds sitting in the stands with their families), and I guess it doesn’t bother anybody else that our first baseman — without a shred of self-awareness for how hideous the optics of such a self-congratulatory gesture in a seven-run game are — would celebrate his own miniscule accomplishment — a bases-empty double — when his team has just been thoroughly humiliated and outhustled for a fourth straight game.

    Perhaps something happened to a few of Pete’s brain cells when that foul ball hit him in the face in KC, but, sadly, this kind of thing has been par for the course with this guy for awhile now.

    • I noticed that. DJ Stewart did the same thing In the ninth inning in the last game in KC after singling with two out in the ninth of a game the Mets were trailing by nine. It’s a recurring shtick, signaling the dugout after a hit for some reason. When the team is doing well, it’s one of those little celebratory gestures a fan can get a kick out of. Maybe there’s a touch of “at least they haven’t given up” to their continuing the ritual, but in a week like this, I’d suggest saving it for another time.

    • Peter Scarnati

      Well Guy, I am saddened to say that all sports — save the NHL — have all been infected as the rest of society has.

    • Eric

      For that matter, now that the Mets are out of contention, I wouldn’t mind seeing a return of old-school baseball practices like kangaroo court, pitchers retaliating for hit batsmen, and on-field fights. That’s not something I normally care about. But there’s something wrong with the team culture, and they may as well shake things up by doing some things that the most competitive Mets team did. If Showalter doesn’t come back, maybe it’s Backman’s time.

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  • K Lastima

    You are not alone, Guy K.

  • Seth

    We all know Pete is a few cans short of a six-pack, yes.