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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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A Not So Fine Mess

Jose Quintana reported for work without any of the essentials, got bombed, and the Mets fought back gallantly but it wasn’t enough, the end.

That would suffice for a bite-sized recap, I suppose — this felt like one of the 50 or 60 or however many it is games that you’re guaranteed to lose, with the only asterisk being that the Mets scored a bunch of runs.

The rest? I had trouble coming to any firm conclusions, not that any baseball fan with any sense should draw even mushy conclusions from a single game.

Quintana was bad; the last time we saw in him on a mound he was good as he’s ever been as a Met. So we’ll let that one slide as the kind of nightmare that afflicts every pitcher now and again. He’s no Adrian Houser, who at least for the moment has been demoted to member of the bullpen. Hopefully the Mets can get Houser straightened out to the point that we’re tempted to speak well of him; even as we’re praising Jose Butto and starry-eyed over Christian Scott despite his never having thrown a big-league pitch (or because of that fact), the Mets are going to need Houser to get anywhere this year. Just like they’ll need Tylor Megill, and David Peterson, and probably Joey Lucchesi and a bunch of others.

Brett Baty keeps growing. The prospect turned suspect turned something else hit a pair of home runs, the first of which vanished from view to land on a catwalk or vanish into a wormhole or who knows what, and made a couple of sparkling defensive plays, continuing to look sure-handed and aggressive in the field. Even if the Mets wind up without October plans, the Mets may look back on 2024 as a successful season if it’s a pivot point for Baty and his running buddy Francisco Alvarez, one that turns them into dependable big-league regulars. Which raises the question of why the Mets didn’t go for the trifecta and give Mark Vientos a full season to prove himself, but that’s an argument for another recap.

Starling Marte is such a curious player. The Mets’ mini-renaissance fizzled out when Marte broke his hand in late 2022, robbing them of not just a valuable bat but also a certain measure of intensity, and it’s been immensely reassuring to see him looking mostly like his old self again. That said, Marte is confounding in the moment. He can look so hopeless that you catch yourself wondering if he’s trying (he is, they all are, stop that), like he did in the final plate appearance against Tampa Bay, and then he’ll look locked in and deadly the next time up. Francisco Lindor is the same way, though even when slumping Lindor is clearly the captain of the infield and you can see his intensity in that regard, while Marte’s easy to miss out there in right field. It’s a curious case of perception, and baggage we bring with us, and I don’t have more to say about it at the moment except that I keep thinking about it.

The Rays’ City Connect uniforms have the same problem ours do — the designers appear not to have viewed them from a distance. The top of the ray on the hat is the Sunshine Skyway bridge, which I know very well as it was framed by my bedroom window when I was a teenager, yet that fun little detail is invisible unless the camera’s so zoomed in that all you’re looking at is the hat. The uniform has splashes of neon color, yet the numbers are dark voids. Seriously, why didn’t anyone stop the proceedings and say, “Hmm, maybe we should see how this design reads from the upper deck?”

There’s one difference, though: The Rays have won in their new alts, while the Mets have yet to. Grrr.

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