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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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Little Miracles

Some random observations from the Mets’ cudgeling of Patrick Corbin and the Nationals:

I’m going to get the complaining out of the way first: Dear God, what did they do to the black uniforms? Eliminating the white drop shadow was a dreadful idea; without it, the tops look murky and muddy, with the orange and blue muted and lost. I’m only mildly annoyed by this, as I think the black unis are best left on the shelf save for an occasional nostalgia night, but every time I see them I’m taken aback all over again.

On the other hand, how is it that the Mets have never screwed up their original uniform, given everything else they’ve shown they can’t be trusted with over the years? Sure, they stuck racing stripes on it for a while and there was the year with the tail and the dopey off-white seasons, but they’ve never veered too far from the fundamentals. The pinstripes are simple and solid and iconic, and it’s amazing that they’ve escaped a thorough overhaul. May it always be so.

It’s appropriate that Jose Iglesias‘s “OMG” has become the song of the ’24 Mets, because Iglesias has been such a critical part of their renaissance. When they recalled him from Syracuse on May 31 they were 24-33; since then they’re 22-12. Iglesias was front and center once again Wednesday night: His two-run single in the sixth gave the Mets the lead, one of three hits he collected on the night. He’s been deadly in the clutch, reliable in the field and brought a certain intensity to the proceedings that looks like it’s rubbed off on the rest of the lineup.

It made me smile every time Gary Cohen reported on what the Padres and Cardinals were up to, with an eye on the Mets moving on up in the wild-card standings. (For the record, they’re now half a game back of the third wild card.) It’s only July, and there’s a lot that can and will happen given the scrum of so-so teams fighting for the MLB-mandated extra playoff spots. But however overengineered some of us traditionalists think the wild card is, baseball is more fun when you have a reason to scoreboard-watch. And Gary’s excitement was contagious; fundamentally, he’s one of us.

Next time Francisco Lindor‘s walk-up music ends, keep listening to the crowd. They reliably finish the verse of “My Girl” on their own, a cappella, and it’s adorable.

We didn’t see new addition Phil Maton, who’ll become the first Met player to wear 88, but we did see Jose Butto finish the game, relieving Danny Young, who’d followed an actually effective Jake Diekman. Maybe Butto can be the next piece of spaghetti to stick to the wall; I worry about interrupting his development as a starter but the team is desperate and he sure looks like a solid option. On the other hand, Reed Garrett has a date with an MRI machine to peer into his inflamed elbow. I’d assumed Garrett had been stuck on the IL with some vague malady so he could recover from being cruelly overused, but there seems to be genuine concern here.

Still, let’s not gather little black clouds just because we’re Mets fans. They won, and they won with Grimaces dotting the stands next to OMG signs, two phenomena that would have had us shaking our heads in disbelief if you’d told us about them back in May when everything was so endlessly dreary. A McDonald’s character threw out a first pitch and now we’ve all adopted him as a good luck charm? We’re in love with a backup infielder who spent all of 2023 in the minors? There’s a hit song? There was a postgame concert after a win? Wait, I’m confused: Who sings this hit song, Grimace or Iglesias? 

Sounds thoroughly unlikely, but it’s all true. The summer’s been fun, after I’d given up thinking this incarnation of the Mets was capable of delivering anything but misery. To be proved wrong feels like a little miracle, and despite our reputation for gloom and heartbreak, we’re not unacquainted with those.

8 comments to Little Miracles

  • Eric

    My rule of thumb since the days that only division leaders went to the play-offs is I scoreboard watch when the Mets are .500 or better, not when they’re under .500. Sounds like Cohen has a similar SOP.

    Iglesias is giving us a package of Guillorme’s glove and McNeil’s bat right now. Not as good as the best of either, but close enough. His performance isn’t coming out of nowhere. Iglesias has had a solid career and he’s been this hot before, not that long ago. When Iglesias’s hitting cools off, I don’t expect it to drop off too much.

    Butto’s needed more in the bullpen right now, and he’s done the job in a small sample size. The starting rotation looks set with Severino, Quintana, Manaea, Peterson, Scott, and a reserved spot for Senga. But if and when the Mets need to plug in another starter, Butto should get the call over Megill because, if for no other reason, Lugo, even more than Wheeler, should be starting for the Mets right now. Megill should be transitioned to the bullpen sooner rather than later anyway.

    My goal for this homestand was to go into the all-star break above .500 or 4-2. They just need to go 2-2 now. That’s reasonable.

  • Seth

    Yeah, the My Girl thing was cute for a week or so, but like anything repeated ad nauseum, it’s becoming somewhat annoying. Maybe I’m just old and grumpy…

    • open the gates

      I hear ya. It’s kind of like that weird “WIIIIL-SOHHHN” chant they did for Wilson Ramos.

  • eric1973

    What I do in this wildcard mishmash is root for the teams I like, even if they are close to the Mets in the WC standings. I like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, for example. I root for SD, as I would love them to overtake LA. I cannot control the results, is the main reason I can do this, and would indeed root against these teams later in the season if need be.

  • Flynn23

    Look Who’s No. 6!

  • Ben Z

    And look who finally managed to get a shutout!

  • open the gates

    Maybe I’m old school, but back in the day, players were just trying to get to the majors any way they could. If they couldn’t make it as a starter, do it as a reliever. Maybe the bullpen is Butto’s ticket to staying in the bigs. And maybe he eventually takes over the eighth inning, or maybe even beyond. I’m old enough to remember the Yankees touting a young Mariano Rivera as a future rotation ace. Then he took over the eighth inning, then the ninth, and the rest is history. I’m not saying that Butto is likely to be a future closer, let alone another Mariano. But stranger things have happened.

  • eric1973

    “Old enough” to remember when Mariano Rivera came up?

    I’ll be right back after I take my Geritol.