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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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Staring Into The Ravine

What's larger than a gully, smaller than a canyon and feels like an abyss?

A ravine.

• Like Chavez Ravine, where Dodger Stadium was built five years after Walter O'Malley bolted Brooklyn for Los Angeles.

• Like the Chavez ravine that opened up in the middle of our lineup last night when a slap-hitter named Endy stepped into a hole created when a slugger named Cliff stepped into a hole in Chavez Ravine, swallowing whole our slugging out of the six-hole and slapping our chances somewhere over a cliff.

• Like the seemingly bottomless ravine that a West Coast night game creates all day and well into the evening back east.

Games like Tuesday night's, battered as they are with bumps, bruises and BS, are horrible at any longitude. But yes Mr. Petty, the waaaaaaiting is the hardest part. I can't believe how wide the chasm is between 7:10 PM EDT and 7:10 PM PDT. This is about as much fun as being told the doctor's running a little behind, it'll be just a few more minutes…three nights in a row. Bring a good book.

There may be entertaining things to watch and productive things to do in the interregnum, but I swear the world slows to a crawl when you're counting down to a California start. The struggle to make it to the first pitch may be more tormenting than the battle to remain awake for the last out.

Right now, it's late afternoon in New York. And there are still more than five hours to go. No game 'til 10. No Floyd 'til further notice. No certainty about Reyes. Just one long noooooo stubbornly ensconced in our collective gut from last night's nocturnal debacle. And miles to go before we sleep.

I hate Walter O'Malley.

17 comments to Staring Into The Ravine

  • Anonymous

    Don't they have any respect on the West Coast? Start the game at a reasonable hour EST! (Like, say, 4 pm PST) I betcha there are a lot more Mets fans listening than Dodgers fans…

  • Anonymous

    O'Malley and Stoneham should have had to have agreed to a clause in 1958 stating that should the National League return a team to New York City that each of that team's trips to California be modified to make it as convenient for the fans back in New York. In perpetuity.
    I hate the Dodgers. Furcal…Lofton…Drew…they should each wear 6.

  • Anonymous

    And then when you wait up for 7:10 PDT to arrive and things immediately go badly wrong, it's like the clock jumped ahead four hours, and it's the middle of the night and all of life is hopeless.
    I hate West Coast trips. Thank Christ this is the last one. Come Sunday, trio of 9:05s at the end of August is the worst thing awaiting us.

  • Anonymous

    Timewise, I mean. NO JINX! NO JINX! Get away from me, vengeful baseball gods!

  • Anonymous

    And don't ever underestimate the remaining 8:05 start in Houston. In fact, Central Time (Chicago, too) is a pitfall unto its own self.
    There will be a temptation in the coming weeks to moan that, oh man, the Mets have to play in Toronto and Boston (not to mention Crapville uptown) while whoever only has to play the Devil Rays or the Royals. DON'T SUCCUMB TO IT. Not that road games against the Blue Jays and Red Sox and Skanks aren't chores, but consider the alternative: Another trip into the unknown a la that disaster tour to Oakland and Seattle in 2005.
    Stick close to home and take your chances.

  • Anonymous

    Last night's game was awful. But I, for one, love west coast trips. You get to have a nice, normal night, get things done, maybe see your friends who always miss you during the baseball season… then while the real world goes to sleep you settle in for a long journey through the night, just you and the boys fending off the mysterious denizens of the N.L. West, whose players you barely recognize (don't you wish the Dodgers would put them on the jerseys?). There is something prayerful about late night baseball. I remember one September in the early 90's, sitting close to a crackling radio not long before dawn, listening to a 15 inning game against the Padres. We were nine billion games out of first place, but Murph and Gary Cohen called it like it mattered. Around the 13th inning, at 3 a.m, I wondered how many other people were still listening to the game. And I thought, “It's just you and me, fellas. I'll never abandon you.”
    Then they lost. As usual. But isn't that nice anyway?

  • Anonymous

    In honor of the “great” city of Los Angeles, I'll be spending the 3 hours or so until game time watching as much as I can of the Entourage season 2 DVDs, particularly the scene where the boys discuss why the food in LA sucks compared to New York.

  • Anonymous

    Who are the three most hated men of the 20th century? Gee, everyone knows that: it's Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley.

  • Anonymous

    I remember that from back then. Also a game with a fog delay that didn't end until around 3:30. Similar experience with the radio.

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Joshua. I feel the same way. I settle in, just me and my cats and stick with the game no matter how ugly it might get or how long it might last.

  • Anonymous

    The question is if Vince, E, Johnny and Turtle are from Queens, why are they fucking Yankee fans? OK, Turtle, no kidding, THAT'S a Yankee fan. But E? E should have been a Mets fan. He's too nice not to be. Kevin Connolly in real life, unfortunately, is one of Them, but still.
    I can't imagine Vince cares that much but he did invoke A-Rod last season (and not in a Sucks way). Johnny's mostly a fan of himself.
    Great cover story on the show in the current Entertainment Weekly.

  • Anonymous

    You make an eloquent and powerful case for those late starts. As a night owl by nature, I'm not immune to their upside. But they kill the Mets more than me, so while I appreciate the emotion, I can't heartily second it. Except for the part about Murph and Cohen. Any time of night or day, their world became my world…and welcome to it.

  • Anonymous

    E should have been a Mets fan. He's too nice not to be. Kevin Connolly in real life, unfortunately, is one of Them, but still.
    Absolutely. E is the regular guy of the group, the realist surrounded by guys with their heads in the clouds, the sensitive worrywart trying to keep those around him somewhat grounded. Textbook Met fan of the pessimist variety, if you ask me. Maybe he's just pretending otherwise to keep the peace with Turtle? :-P
    I see Vince as the prototypical bandwagon fan, probably breaking in a new Tigers hat right about now. Johnny Drama? Well, he must have been an extra on a baseball-themed movie at some point.

  • Anonymous

    Johnny Drama played fourth fan from left in Major League III: Back to the Minors.
    I'm just guessing.

  • Anonymous

    as noted elsewhere, i'm with the “late night west coast games r fun” crowd.
    not only is there a feeling of intimacy when it's just you and the lads playing the last game of the day on the north american continent, while the dark fields of the republic roll on under the night, it's also a chance to tap into your youth, when you would fall asleep listening to a play by play on the radio…
    get a little romance, guys.

  • Anonymous

    oh, but i hate walter o'malley too.

  • Anonymous

    If O'Malley never moved the Dodgers the Mets are never born so I have no issue with him.
    And neither Hitler nor Stalin, bastards though they were, never, to my knowledge at least, traded away Tom Seaver or beaned Mike Piazza.