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.

Mets Having Fun

Like other varieties of stopped clocks, every so often the Mets are just right.

On Tuesday night they hit a barrage of homers, with Ronny Mauricio’s inaugural blast the most impressive; they got good starting pitching; and they survived the inevitable bad bullpenning to take a game away from the Diamondbacks.

Jose Butto provided the good starting pitching, quietly picking up his first big-league win — I say quietly because Butto’s run of competence has kind of snuck up on us while we’ve been busy bemoaning the Family Circus “progression” of David Peterson and Tylor Megill and looking over to see how Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are doing with their new employers. (Last night the answer was “not good,” as Scherzer left with a triceps injury and Verlander got beat by the A’s.)

Butto fell behind 1-0, but the Mets got even on a bad-hop triple from Brandon Nimmo and the first of Francisco Lindor‘s two RBIs. An inning later, Mauricio untied things with a prodigious blast to the very back of Sodaland, startling some of the numerous hounds in attendance — at least those whose doggy gaze hadn’t already been diverted by Mauricio’s impressive bat flip. After that it was on, with the Mets adding homers from Pete Alonso and Francisco Alvarez. That last homer was particularly welcome, coming after Grant Hartwig and Sam Coonrod sandwiched a competent inning from Phil Bickford by doing what the bullpen does seemingly every night these days. Hartwig and Coonrod were nice stories for about five seconds earlier this season; now when you see either of those young men you consider hiding behind the couch before remembering that a) what the hell, the season’s already lost; and b) at least they’re not Trevor Gott or Drew Smith.

Coonrod’s disastrous eighth let the Diamondbacks draw within two with the tying run lurking on second, but the Mets were playing this night’s game of bullpen roulette with only five bullets chambered: Adam Ottavino coaxed a ground ball from Corbin Carroll that was hit just hard enough and right at someone to become a very welcome inning-ending double play.

The rest of the evening? A couple of quick observations should suffice:

  • By the late innings the SNY broadcast had become the baseball equivalent of wackadoodle free jazz, with Gary Cohen goading Keith Hernandez to turn the dials of Keithness way past even 11 and putting Steve Gelbs on the couch about the misery of giving one’s heart to the Jets. And you know what? That’s exactly what SNY broadcasts should be these days. Wackadoodle free jazz all the way to Oct. 1 and start again next year!
  • It was nice to see Ron Hodges in the park and on the broadcast. Hodges is a deep cut for Mets fans, a journeyman noted for his longevity and for spanning two very different eras of team history, and it’s been wonderful seeing the Mets reconnect with that history by giving less-celebrated players from their past well-deserved moments in the spotlight. And it was fun hearing Hodges talk about catching Tom Seaver, for all the obvious reasons. But it got less fun when Hodges was asked about the modern game and started yelling at clouds. It’s never a good idea to ask men in their autumn years if the world were made of purer and better stuff in their youthful springs and summers, and the folks who call the shots at SNY ought to know that by now.
  • The Mets hired David Stearns! This is great, and I can’t wait for … you know what? Nah. I am pleased, and I do have hopes that this will let blueprints be drawn up in relatively short order for the next great era of Mets baseball. But I’m also tired of winning offseasons. If there were flags for that, Citi Field would be so festooned with flapping banners that the stadium would be in danger of taking flight in a high wind. I’d prefer some real ones, the kind given out for in-season accomplishments.

6 comments to Mets Having Fun

  • Joey G

    Ron (the other Hodges) was vital down the stretch in ’73, and was a human embodiment of the aphorism that “90% of life is just showing up.” His ticket to a 10 year major league career was the then relative novelty of a bat left, throw right catcher. The highlight of last night for me was when the ball exploded off of Mauricio’s bat into the nether regions of the Pepsi Porch/Coca-Cola Corner/RC Cola Rafters (whatever). From my perch behind home plate, the sound of it was somewhat startling, and the sight of it (if you squinted hard enough) was shades of a young, lanky Darryl Stawberry unleashing a bomb. The kid also has a remarkably calm demeanor and acts like he has been there before, which is a good sign.

  • eric1973

    To me, “Young Ron Hodges” gets a lifetime pass from me. He was the catcher who tagged out Zisk on the “Ball on the Wall” play in 1973, one of the most exciting Met pkays ever.

    And at age 34 in 1983, he caught in over 100 games and hit .260, while our current catchers are barely over the Mendoza line.

  • Seth

    Not a fan of the huge flippy bat flip. It’s bad optics, showing up the opposing pitcher.

    Interesting that you describe Hartwig and Coonrod as “young men,” because they’re aging me fast.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Yes, let’s hear it for Coonrad and Hartwig. It’s staggering the failures of Met scouting/GMs/coaching on “pen” man ship–as I’d guess at least 20 relief “prospects” or more obtained in trades, waivers, rule 5s, etc. have all stunk, going back to Sandy and Brody and now Eppler, plus vets like Gott, damn it. Some were obtained for decent players in trades. Gott caused a fortune in dough. One…after…another. I could name them but it’s too painful. And ongoing. And, of course, some we shipped out met success elsewhere.

  • Guy K

    I’m frankly a little weary of the notion that anybody who isn’t all in on every new-age theory of progressive thought must be characterized as an “old man yelling at clouds.”

    Then consider me as that old man, because I was delighted with the Ron Hodges interview. In 12 years as a Met, I don’t remember him even once being a guest on Kiner’s Korner, but I thought his comments were spot-on and, almost as if to prove his point, just a little while later, Jose Butto came out of the game after 5 innings of 2-hit shutout ball.