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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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It's Green, It's Old, We Get It

That does it. I officially hate Fenway Park. Throw it on the trash heap, right on top of the charms of Wrigley Field, the geniuses Cox & Schuerholz, the admirable Dodger tradition, those rabidly loyal Cardinal rooters and every goddamn thing about the New York Fucking Yankees.

You want lyric, little bandbox crap? Go somewhere else. Sharon Chapman is right. The place is a dump. Blow it up. Build 'em a Riverfront Stadium clone; cut those cookies. Keep the trough if you like, but I don't want to hear about how fucking great fucking Fenway Park is ever again.

Unless we win there Thursday night. Then it can stand another 95 seasons.

I won't say I don't mind losing two in a row. I do. I mind that and I mind how we've been losing, which to say in embarrassing fucking fashion. Thank goodness we play in the sorriest division this side of the other two in our league and actually picked up a half-mile on the tied-for-second Phillies. But another pathetic pasting is not what has me in froth mode.

This first trip to Fenway in six years, since 2000…THAT'S IT! WE'VE BEEN BACK TO FENWAY SINCE 1986! TWICE!! The Mets played an Interleague series there in 1998 (took two out of three) and 2000 (lost two out of three). Did they never happen? Have we been just wandering Lansdowne Street for two full decades awaiting the privilege to play in a non-regulation facility one more time?

And is this really the first time any of us have ever seen Fenway Park on television? Haven't the Red Sox been a post-season fixture for three Octobers? Isn't every trip the other New York team makes there covered like a SALT II summit was in an earlier generation? Doesn't HBO show Fever Pitch three times a day?

On a given American League evening, Fenway's a lovely thing to stare at, no doubt. But for the past two nights, I've had the enemy ballpark shoved down my throat. Yes, the Red Sox are the enemy. Friday they go back to being the enemy of our enemy and I wish them nothing but all the success they need to quell that enemy (and we'll certainly do our part for them). But watching the Mets' telecast Tuesday and Wednesday has been like watching a Red Sox Nation recruiting video. Fine if it was coming via NESN, but it's not.

Don't we own Snigh, or at least a third of it? Aren't our announcers three authentic orange-and-bluebloods? Isn't the director of our telecasts a veteran of Mets baseball? If all of this is true — and it is — then can they drop the breathtaken descriptions of Fenway Park as if we've never been exposed to the place?

I don't need Jerry Remy visiting the Mets' booth.

I don't need Wally the Green Monster visiting the Mets' booth.

I don't need Chris Cotter explaining the wonders of the manual scoreboard and that there's no place to pee inside it, save for a cup.

I don't need a recitation of Red Sox retired numbers (especially one that skips over Ted Williams).

I don’t need to hear what Ron Darling ate in the bleachers as a kid or be reminded for the umpteen-thousandth time that he's from Massachusetts.

And I really never need to hear again that Pedro Martinez was once a Red Sock and that the fans still love him. If I were a Red Sox fan, I'd love him even more after his first start as a Fenway visitor. Three innings, eight runs…come back and pitch against us again real soon.

I thought Pedro handled the hubbub over his return magnificently. His press conference Tuesday was one of the best performances I've ever seen an athlete in that kind of spotlight give. And I thought Pedro handled the pitching assignment Wednesday horribly. It was one of the worst performances I've ever seen an athlete in that kind of spotlight give. He said he felt good but just didn't have it going on. I guess we're living through that maddening zen thing he had going in Boston when he was assigning opposing batters paternity and so forth. If Pedro's not hurting, and he said he wasn't, then it was just the lousiest outing of his Mets career. It doesn't erase all the good he did and will do, it's just a fact.

But I'm done with it. I can't stand when the Mets get caught in somebody else's storyline. This Pedro-goes-home-again thing wasn't our business. It was theirs. We were just held hostage to its whims and its venue. So, apparently were our hitters and certain rookie leftfielders who did not appear to be liking it too much. Awful, awful, fucking awful.

It was Just One Game after another Just One Game (Just Two Games) and it did us no statistical harm. Whether it somehow haunts us three-and-a-half months down the line is unknowable. But we need more first-place baseball and less dumbstruck sightseeing, plus Glavine to be Glavinean as he can be later tonight, because I can't bear another night of “Chris Cotter is in right field and has found one seat painted a different color from all the rest.”

I've always appreciated Mets broadcasts' tendency to give a full 360-degree picture of a baseball game, the them as well as the us. That appreciation has only grown since I've been able to watch so many out-of-town games on digital cable. Those announcers can barely contain themselves in the priming of their employers' pump. And YEECH, of course, is one gigantic house organ for Skankee baseball. For example, Mariano Rivera can't enter a game without Michael Kay reminding his viewers, and Jim Kaat confirming it, that Mariano Rivera is the greatest reliever in the history of Western civilization. If that's such a dead, solid fact, why do they repeat it every time he shows his face? Are they that fucking insecure?

Anyway, Metscasts aren't like that. Even with Fran Healy they weren't. They're certainly not that way with Gary Cohen directing traffic (which is what he's forced to do too often, but that's another story) and SNY transmitting the pictures. What annoys me is that they do almost the opposite. When we played the Dodgers a few weeks ago, it was three nights of “isn't Dodger Stadium wonderful, aren't the Dodgers wonderful?” The Cardinals get the same royal treatment. The Braves certainly did for far too long. The Cubs are treated like some special species because their walls are ivy-covered. And the Red Sox, thanks to the 2006 schedule, are now in the elite club of we're-not-worthy opponents.

Godmotherfuckingdamnit, it's the other teams that have to measure up to us. That's my view anyway. That should be the view that is presented to us. Pander to us for crissake. Don't lie to us, but skew away in our favor. For two nights it's been the Fenway fucking travelogue. If I want that, I'll check Netflix. I know it's a unique place. I know we don't play them that often, but it's not a once-every-twenty-years phenomenon. Interleague has taken care of that. You can't pretend it hasn't. And, again, it's not like we haven't seen loads of Fenway on our televisions in the very recent past. 'Cause we have.

After this nightmare of an unnecessary fucking series is over, we visit that horrid municipal parking garage of an abomination somewhere over the Triborough, and we're going to be told about Monument Park like we've never heard of it and the façade like we've never heard of it and Bob Sheppard like we've never heard of him (heard of him). And somehow we will be left with the impression that we are supposed to feel inadequate because we do not have a long and storied history.

Fuck that, fuck that, fuck that 26 fucking times over. Fuck Fenway Park. Fuck Wrigley Field. Fuck the Dodgers and the Cardinals and the Braves and, for good measure, fuck the Yankees 26 more times.

Let's Go Mets.

17 comments to It's Green, It's Old, We Get It

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Greg, that F-bomb count nearly topped the one belonging to the guy behind me in Section 41 (bleachers) tonight.
    Yeah, I was there. Just One Game is Just Damned Annoying when it was 120 dollars (times 2) and 4 hours (times 2) for a massive stinkbomb.
    From a 'fan in the stands' perspective, it really was interesting. Say what you want about SNY's coverage (scratch that, you already have), but it was pretty exciting to visit that place for the first time. Good thing I took it all in during BP (terrific Mets' fans presence and performance behind the dugout, for the record), because by the time I had “taken it all in” during game time, it was 4-0.
    Boston fans are good, yes, but one thing didn't sit well with me. Pedro takes the mound – huge ovation: good. Pedro starts pitching, gets chanted at: fine. Pedro loses all command, fans turn to Met fans to rub it in that he's on our side now: you kidding me? I thought these people had baseball smarts. Do they not own TV's or read newspapers? Have they not seen any clips of what this man has done in the season in a half in orange and blue? Such stupidity. It would be like if Tampa Bay came to town and Sc– never mind, I'd rather not go there.
    Such a shame to be out of this one so early. This is the third time this season that I've followed Commandment XVII, but with the first two in nearby Shea South (Philly), this was the one that I wanted to be special.
    It was. Like you said, for them.

  • Anonymous

    On Monday when there was no meaningful baseball, Jason and I turned to the Yankee-Braves game on YES. The repulsive announcers on there were spewing endlessly about how special it must be for the Braves rookies to come to Yankee Stadium and see the players they've seen in October. I was screaming at the television before turning it off in disgust. But it's even more disgusting to have your own announcers saying the same stupid thing.

  • Anonymous

    You are so right about Mets announcers. Sometimes I wish they schmoozed (about the Mets) like the other announcers do about their teams. I live in Virginia and had to put up with the Red Sox announcers and I'm glad I did. They sure wern't going on and on about Fenway. Before the game, they held a reunion for the 86 Sox, which I thought was crazy since they were playing the Mets – the 86 world series winners. But as the game progressed, it made more sense, unfortunately.

  • Anonymous

    Grag, Amen brother. The only reason I ever “rooted” for the Sox is our mutual hatred of the Skanks. As soon as they won it all, I had enough of them. Enough of that curse, ballpark, whatever. Enough of all this romantic bullshit. I'd love to see the Blue Jays sneak in but after seeing them and the Sox, I doubt that.. Let kick ass tonight take care of the Skanks and get back to worrying about the back end of our rotation.

  • Anonymous

    Boston fans are good? Boston fans are probably the second most overrated baseball fans on the planet. First of all, it's not a baseball town…it's a hockey town. Don't let anyone anywhere, including Gary Cohen, fool you. It's a HOCKEY town. You just don't know it because the team sucks. But it is. I swear to you, and I wouldn't say that lightly.
    Second of all, they're, almost to a man, slobbering morons. I'm not at all surprised about the reaction you got from them after he got shelled. I hate Boston fans…they are shitheads, and are hiding it a little better these days because the team's been successful. They know less about other teams than just about any other type of fan I speak to. Stop it with the “Boston fans are good” stuff. It's all hype.

  • Anonymous

    i took asher, my 9-yr-old son, up with me to tuesday night's game at fenway. we sat in the right-field bleachers 15 rows above the mets bullpen. the weather was terrific; bright sun and crisp blue skies giving way to a perfect low-seventies evening. fenway was looking as good as it ever could.
    and with all that, and the decent folks we were fortunate to be seated among (and lucky for us, i suppose, that the sox had the game well in hand for most of the evening), the boston faithful included enough thuggish mentals that a steady stream of folks were escorted out of the stands all night, and the park was filled with anti-new york sentiment, as if it's too tough a distinction to make between the forces of Good and those of Evil.
    i have told asher for years that we don't go to a subway series game in the bronx because it's a viper's nest wedged in a sewer. best line at tuesday night's game, asher turns to me and grins: “And you say yankee stadium is bad?”

  • Anonymous

    I agree about the Red Sox fans being over rated. Being up here for only a few years it made me sick to see eveyone come out of hiding and jump on the bandwagon for the “idiots”. People who have no clue about baseball are gloating, smiling, and rubbing it in about the last 2 nights . God i hate them all.

  • Anonymous

    All this may be true. But if it is, the 7 trillion (or whatever) consecutive sell-outs would seem a little puzzling to me. Sure it's small. Sure there can be a lot of asshole bandwagon jumpers, but not that many. At least they had the decency to applaud Pedro to begin with. Somehow I worry about that decent, intelligent Shea crowd when our lost legend comes to town…

  • Anonymous

    Boston fans think they cornered the market on long-suffering and devotion. What an utter crock. They made semi-regular postseason appearances throughout their championship drought. And Fenway wasn't exactly packed until fairly recently.
    As for their demeanor… I seem to recall a playoff game about 4 or 5 years ago almost being forfeited when the Fenway “faithful” were throwing garbage at Chokee players following a disputed call. Probably the same classy folks who threatened Jason Kidd's wife and bulbous-headed son.
    I'll still root for them for the other 159 games this season, but really, let's can the romanticism.

  • Anonymous

    Censorship is cool. But badmouthing Boston after an expletive laden post is apparently not cool.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry about that man. Deleted comments but then couldn't post a comment myself on my PC to offer an explanation, which was obviously needed.
    Let's just keep the hate on simmer, rather than full boil — branding entire cities subhuman is a little too full-boil for me. (Though there certainly is a distance between Boston's idealized self-image and its reality.)
    Generalizing about the inhabitants of Yankee Stadium, OTOH, is definitely full-boil territory. By all means, bring it! Thanks, Jason — yr friendly-neighborhood occasional censor.

  • Anonymous

    First time caller. Mannnnnnnnn. The Mets are like the girlfriend that lures you in and then spits you out. She's not that hot but she was our first girlfriend and we'll always love her. We love her when she's stupid, when she's cheap, when she's bad, and when she's good. She's killing me.
    All of a sudden, it's NL suxs, AL rules like its not a debate anymore. And Pedro, I loved you a lot more last week. WTF is wrong with you with this Boston lovefest. It's degrading to Met fans. Bring on Pittsburgh….at least I can feel good until the WS.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm. . . as a Red Sox fan, I seem to remember an awful lot of self-congratulation around the fans of the '86 Mets. To hear some Mets fans of that era talk, Straw, Doc, Carter, Mex, Mookie and Nails were mythic figures, not mere men. And there sure were a lot more fans at Shea in the years 1986-88 than in, say, 2002-2004.
    Bandwagonism and self-satisfaction are diseases of the fanbase of every team that enjoys some success (and they usually live in the same hosts).
    And I wish I had a nickel for every fight in the stands I've seen at Shea.
    Greg's rant is well taken, but let's not hold all Red Sox fans responsible for the sins of the drunken, jonny-come-lately misinformed few. Fans 2,500,001 through 3,000,000 through the Mets turnstiles this season with their brand new Delgado jerseys will be of similar ilk. Where were they three years ago?

  • Anonymous

    Been battling through tech problems (apologies to all affected). Just to clarify, my gripe last night was more with the Mets being awestruck at Fenway, Pedro forgetting, for a moment perhaps, for whom he pitches, and SNY lavishing its attention on this week's momentary habitat, not the overall state of our team, our time.
    All groups have their goods and their bads, Red Sox Nation no exception. Hope your experience with RSN, those of you who've had less than stellar interaction, improves. Penultimately, we all want the same thing. Tonight and maybe in late October, different things. That's what makes it a season (and, hopefully, a postseason).
    Appreciate your support and indulgence of my effing diatribe. It really is the 21st century equivalent of throwing a shoe at the wall. I felt much better afterwards.

  • Anonymous

    best.
    post.
    EVER.
    especially: “can't bear another night of “Chris Cotter is in right field and has found one seat painted a different color from all the rest.”
    It's great because it's real, it's refreshing, and it's untempered. There are a million places you can go and read stats or commentary or links to the story of the day – and by all means offer that – but the personal is what differentiates.

  • Anonymous

    Arrghh! Chris Cotter just explained the painted seat!
    Shoot me now.

  • Anonymous

    I love Boston, and I'm pretty fond of the Red Sox (partially because I saw a great deal of Trot Nixon when he with Pawtucket way back when, and they were kind enough to give us Pedro) and I'm going to college there next year, but I think I speak for all of us when I say: It's a town full of losers; we're pulling outta here to wiiiiin!