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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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Dear Marlins

Marlins Nation! We need to talk! Because what just happened?

We just took it to the Atlanta Braves — the mighty Braves! — by sweeping a three-game series and outscoring Acuna and Strider and Co. by a cool 23 runs. There are less than two weeks to go in the season, and the playoffs are right there — it’s not like I need to remind you, but we started play Monday night tied for the National League’s third and final wild-card spot with the Cubs.

Tonight we got to play the Mets, and well, we all know it hasn’t been the best of seasons up in Flushing. Just like we know the Mets and their smug, know-it-all fans deserve it. They’re a gold-plated tire fire, the most expensive collection of baseball players ever assembled, except the big-ticket guys are now gone, sold off and replaced with rookies and Quad-A dudes who make you go, “Oh yeah, that guy,” only it’s entirely possible you’re confusing That Guy with Some Other Guy.

Honestly, couldn’t happen to a nicer team! Anyway, here come the Mets, with some kid named Jose Butto on the mound. This could be a good night — the Phillies are probably out of reach, but we could move a half-game up on the idle Cubs and Diamondbacks and either keep the too-close-for-comfort Reds at bay or push them back a little. All we have to do is beat the Mets, and that hasn’t exactly been a tall order in 2023.

Give this Butto kid credit: He pitches pretty well, showing no fear, and the bad guys take a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Mark Vientos knocks in Ronny Mauricio. Score one for the Baby Mets, but it’s only the halfway point of the game, and we’ve answered back against tougher teams than this one.

And indeed, what did I tell you? We get that run right back in the bottom of the fifth. And then, in the sixth, Butto allows a single to Luis Arraez and leaves a changeup middle-middle to Jorge Soler. That’s a bad idea, and Soler makes the kid pay, hammering a ball high over the left-field foul pole for a 3-1 Marlins lead.

Cue the jubilation — wait, what?

Those Mets are doing Metsy things, crabbing performatively about something or other, but the umpires seem to be listening. And now they’re getting together. No, it can’t be. Soler hit that ball halfway to Mars. Clearly a home run, right? Right?

Wrong. It’s foul. The ruling comes on the field. Skip Schumaker complains vociferously, as he damn well should, but the call for review goes nowhere. It’s foul. Longest damn foul ball in the history of baseball, but foul.

Ah well, no matter. The kid’s got to be rattled by seeing a foul ball that ought to have had a stewardess on it. Soler will straighten the next one out a little, and…

…and he strikes out. Arraez never makes it past first. The game stays tied, and then the bad vibes swim in, like vengeful ghost fish looking for the Red Grooms sculpture.

Phil Bickford — some other anonymous Met I’m not sure is an actual baseball player — can’t find the plate to start off the bottom of the eighth, except with the count 3-0 Jacob Stallings gets one of those dumb automatic strikes called against him. Bickford, given a reprieve, gets Stallings to foul out. He gets the side out in order, but at least the game’s in the hands of Tanner Scott, who’s been pretty much unhittable.

Scott’s third pitch to Jeff McNeil is a slider that McNeil hits over the right-field fence. Yes, McNeil! The one their own fans call a squirrel or something. The vaguely homeless-looking guy who’s always swearing and snarling because he thinks he should go 5-for-5 every game. And it’s pretty much the worst swing I’ve ever seen go for a homer — McNeil’s ass is basically in his own dugout when he connects. Look at the replay and you’ll see Scott can’t believe it, standing there with his mouth a shocked cartoon O as McNeil skips around the bases, probably cursing because he thought the luckest home run in history should have gone even farther.

I hate that guy! I hate all those guys! I hate that half our stadium is their fans when we play them, even in a season that’s seen their half-billion-dollar asses get spanked and end the year trying to stay ahead of the Nationals.

We still have a chance — Adam Ottavino‘s been so-so and my grandmother is about as effective holding guys on. Get a guy on and he’ll be on third for free, then bring him in to tie it up and wait for the Mets to do or not do the kind of things they’ve done or not done all year.

Except let’s not kid ourselves, we can all feel it’s not going to happen. Ottavino goes 1-2-3, ending the game by fanning Jake Burger on three freaking pitches. Oh, and the Reds won, so if the season ended tonight we’d go home.

All because of the Mets! The freaking Mets!

It makes me so mad I could knock down a big expensive sculpture.

* * *

Dear Marlins,

Well, that was heartfelt. I almost feel kind of bad for you. Now allow me a counterpoint:




Fuck you Wayne Huizenga, Jeff Loria, Bud Selig, Derek Jeter, Soilmaster Stadium, Luis Castillo and Miguel Cabrera and every single fucking Marlin who ever snuck a ball through an infield in the ninth inning of yet another horrible game played in front of bobbleheads and a big fucking Pachinko thing and fishtanks and a nightclub and all the other stupid shit I’ve forgotten. Fuck you teal and barfed-up neon lettering and calling your team after an entire state when you’re not the only team in that state, and fuck you for not wearing the Sugar Kings alts that are the only good thing about your franchise, and fuck you for being a horrific grift on taxpayers, and fuck you for your cynical, serial teardowns and for being the most benighted franchise in the modern game, the one that should be moved to Charlotte or Montreal or the Ross Ice Shelf or just contracted and never spoken of again except to scare children into better behavior, and fuck you for the fact that Mike Piazza‘s Hall of Fame plaque has to list your stupid misbegotten team, and fuck you for beating the Yankees that one time because I have to be kind of grateful about that, and fuck you for being the rotted-out, reeking black heart of baseball nihilism and an eternal blight on not only the game but also the very idea that anything in the cosmos could be worth preserving.

Oh, and fuck your wild-card hopes, too. At least for a night.


The freaking Mets

16 comments to Dear Marlins

  • K. Lastima

    WELL done, sir (damn autotype)

  • Curt Emanuel

    That was good. Instead of a Dear John letter give the Marlins a hearty Fuck You. Would love to see the Mets wake up and finish the season on a 14-game winning streak. Our season’s wrecked, why not share that experience? Who knew the key to the season would have been pitching Butto and Lucchesi instead of Verlander/Scherzer this year? Of course Joey was hurt but . . .

    At least they scheduled us in-division to end the season but I’d still prefer getting rid of inter-league games. Instead have us we play 24 times vs each East and 6 times vs all other NL teams during the year. Let leagues and divisions mean something again. Even with our year shot to crap I still am taking an interest.

  • mikeski


  • Left Coast Jerry

    Don’t hold back, Jason. Tell us how you really feel about the Marlins.

  • Seth

    Dear Marlins fans,

    There’s no such thing as Quad-A. There’s A, AA, and AAA, then the majors. If you’re not major-league ready, you’re AAA.


  • Will in Central NJ

    Perfect. Just perfect, Jason.

  • TJ

    Outstanding work, Jason. But I must quibble with one thing; calling the Marlins the “reeking black heart of baseball nihilism” is giving the Rays a pass which they do not deserve. Being cheap-ass in all the worst ways (both in terms of roster construction AND stadium graft) and getting rewarded for it in the standings puts them above the Marlins in my book…but just barely.

  • DAK442

    It’s nice that we have two weeks to root heartily against villains. Stupid Marlins.

  • ToBeDetermined

    Very nice job reflecting the ignorance of the typical Marlins fan. So many things they clearly don’t understand.

    For instance, they’re totally wrong about Jeff McNeil. It’s simply not true that he thinks he should go 5-for-5 every game – actually, he’d settle for 5-for-5 but really believes he should be going 6-for-5.

    As for the foul ball they claim was a home run, with all the money they’ve grifted (and aren’t spending on players), you’d think they would be able to afford to put TV cameras in place that could provide replays from every conceivable angle so the review crews could see it. Or perhaps they have the cameras, but won’t release the footage proving it was foul so they can continue to play the victim.

  • Eric

    Good news for the Phillies and Cubs: The Braves look like they’re coasting. The Braves were beat in their 1st playoff series last year like the Mets. Maybe they believe that chasing down the Mets exhausted them last year. But if they coast their way into the playoffs, they may not switch back on. Bad news for the Phillies and Marlins: The Mets are more apt to play spoiler right now than the Braves are.

    We used to take September results with a grain of salt. But less roster expansion plus the wildcard expansion means more MLB talent on the field and more teams in September competing for playoff berths, in contrast to just a few teams, if any, realistically contending for a division title by this time under the old format.

    Which is to say, September results can tell us more than they used to, and Butto’s last 2 starts against wildcard chasers Diamondbacks and Marlins are more intriguing than they might have been in the past.

    Butto has been given this chance because the Mets traded Verlander and Scherzer plus Carrasco’s injury. He’s starting to look like a viable 4 or 5, maybe 3 if he keeps it up. Scherzer and Verlander may not be more productive than Butto as soon as next season, factoring in injury risk with declining skills, barring them turning to a PED fountain of youth. Wainwright, who won his 200th career win yesterday, is a good example of how fast older players sans PEDs can drop from good as before, to some slippage but still pretty good, to nigh unplayable. Cuddyer comes to mind.

  • Bob

    A bit subtle–BUT I could not have said it any better-especially when you mentioned that worthless infielder-whose name I will not mention–yeah, that worthless piece of shit that dropped that pop up in Bronx.
    What goes around, comes around-and may I add my GO FUCK YOURSELF to the Fish-or whatever they call themselves.
    Have a nice day!

  • Seth

    I’m not sure why Castillo gets eternal flak for dropping one popup. It’s worth pointing out in that year (2009), Castillo played in 142 games for the Mets and hit .302 with 147 hits. But he’ll always be reviled because he dropped a friggin’ popup?

  • mikeL

    much channeled spoiling to return to the fish.
    jason, your profanity laced tirade provided a cathartic channelling of old, toxic resentments very nicely.

    all i can say is that after the mets veterans who were *not* traded recovered from the shock of the trade deadline – and all these unknowns got to fill out their unis with some history we could share (to say nothing of DJ Stewart who has made me think ‘starlin who?’ of the man who so effectively stirred the 2022 mets drink), and the arrival of mauricio – this team has played some crisp and inspired baseball, and i have for the first time chosen to watch most games only for the quality. i was done watching this team months ago.

    i’m stoked for 24, and love seeing this team compete admirably against a steady diet of contenders.

    except for the fucking bullpen that has me shouting at my TV nightly. the pen was an afterthought during the off-season and its dregs have single-handedly prevented a truly impressive little run of late. but sometimes they don’t ruin an otherwise nice game.

    more spoilt fish anyone?