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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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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Soiled, Mastered

When the Marlins finally decamp for San Antonio or Las Vegas or Portland or Oz or whereever it is that they're going, I want a guarantee: No one will ever again play, practice, discuss, reference, allude to or think about baseball at Soilmaster Stadium ever again.

I could go over to Retrosheet and crunch some numbers, but it would be a futile and useless gesture, because those numbers lie. They're false memories and out-and-out fabrications, about as reliable as the moon landing, and I don't want to hear about them. In reality we're 0-97 here, or something similarly terrible, with every game reminding me of why I loathe this place more than any baseball stadium not infested with Yankees. Green cathedrals? Bah. Leave bread in some forgotten nook of the pantry too long in the summer and it'll turn green, but I'm not genuflecting.

This fricking place. The light's wrong. The dimensions are strange, not strange as in quirky but strange as in what moron thought this up. And terrible thing after terrible thing happens to us here. Aces get left on the table for the crime of giving up two lousy runs in seven innings. Reliable, begoggled relievers are left agog by line drives to the left and the right and line drives to the in between. Those line drives to the in between strike bases imitating pinball bumpers. Ironman third basemen get back spasms. Anonymous 15-year-old Marlins run through coaches' stop signs and incur no penalty. Lineups go cold. And you wonder how a team that a moment ago seemed primed for October suddenly looks like it was awoken in January and asked to take some swings.

I like the idea of the San Antonio Marlins, who'd quickly become the Missions or the Riverwalkers or the Surrounded or some such. We could swap them to the NL Central for the Pirates, who are like half-remembered strangers these days. The Spurned could maybe get a little rivalry going with the Astros or the Diamondbacks. Or maybe they couldn't; I've been to all 50 states but I must confess age is leaving my sense of geography a little frayed at the edges — these days I can tell you with great certainty that San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix and Manhattan are all west of Brooklyn, but ask me to get more specific and I'll distract you and run for the exit.

Which is what I wish we could do every time I see we're playing the Marlins and we're the visitors. If these particular young men went west, I could relax into the warm embrace of knowing I'd never, ever have to watch our team stumble through a listless Soilmaster evening again.

5 comments to Soiled, Mastered

  • Anonymous

    Pedro! Pedro! Burning bright
    On the diamonds in the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
    Beneath what distant (mango) trees or skies
    Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
    With aspiration's wings dare he serve?
    What the hand dare seize the curve?
    And what shoulder and what art,
    Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
    And when thy blood began to flow,
    What dread hand? And what dread toe?
    What the hammer? What the chain?
    In what furnace was thy brain?
    What the rubber? What dread grasp
    Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
    When the stars threw down their spears,
    And watered heaven with their tears,
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made V. Zam make thee?
    Pedro! Pedro! Burning bright
    On the diamonds in the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

  • Anonymous

    Nice one, Jacobs.
    Meanwhile, I'm sure that in a parallel dimension, the Marlins are brown and shit is teal.

  • Anonymous

    Since it opened, Joe Player Stadium has been home to more world champions than any National League ballpark. In fact, you have to reach back to 1975 to accumulate more National League world championships in one place.
    Since 1976:
    Joe Player Stadium: 2
    Riverfront Stadium: 2
    Dodger Stadium: 2
    Three Rivers Stadium: 1
    Veterans Stadium: 1
    Busch Stadium: 1
    Shea Stadium: 1
    Fulton County Stadium: 1
    Bank One Ballpark: 1
    Only Dodger Stadium, Shea Stadium, Bank One Ballpark (operating under incognito these days) and Your Name Here are still around. In fact, only Dodger Stadium, with four, can claim more National League world championships than JRS/PPP/PPS/DS/YNH.
    There is no disputing that is a historical landmark. The only thing you could use as evidence to the contrary is anecdotal and aesthetic.
    But yeah, screw 'em. No doubt.

  • Anonymous

    No matter where they are in the standings or how long it's been since their latest fire sale, the Marlins will always be #3 on the Teams I Hate list, behind only the two usual suspects. When I think of the Marlins, I go back to 1997, the year I really started getting into baseball, a year that the Mets looked like they could make the playoffs until those fucking fish grabbed the wild card and broke my 11-year-old heart. Not that I'm still bitter about that or anything…

  • Anonymous

    I think there's something inherently wrong with a place that can't draw any fans the year after they win the World Series. And that's really for football. Jason's right to hate this place…however, this has always been a place Pedro dominates, great atmosphere here, apparently, and he did again, so….ugh…
    I have to admit, I take some pleasure in how well Jacobs is playing against us (and I'm sure all twelve Marlins fans got a some satisfaction from Delgado striking out to end it)…but it really isn't worth wasting another brilliant start from Pedro and starting a losing streak….I have to take some responsibility though. I was at an event at the Venezuelan Consulate, and I excused myself for a moment with my portable radio to check on the game…well, the first (and last) pitch I heard at that juncture was popped over the wall by Miguel (who the Hell?) Olivo. Sorry, Pedro. My bad.