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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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Can't Clinch Every Night

I now understand there are two kinds of nights at Shea Stadium. There are nights when the Mets clinch their first National League Eastern Division championship in 18 years and there are all other nights.

Surprisingly, Wednesday was the latter. I was surprised because since shortly after 9:30 Monday night I’ve been riding and writing on a cloud. The Mets clinched and stayed clinched. That’s the way I’ve always heard it should be. That’s the way, I assumed, it will always be.

But once every 18 years is once every 18 years. After staving off fallibility despite a most fallible lineup Tuesday, they actually went out and lost a baseball game Wednesday. Kind of annoying, but on the other hand, I checked to see if we’re still clinched. And we are. We’re even officially home-field advantageous, with St. Louis losing and us having beaten them the season series.

Thus, losing is now completely albeit temporarily statistically harmless. Live long enough and you’ll see everything.

Noteworthy from tonight’s 19th 2006 appearance by yours truly:

• There was no sign anybody snuck champagne (or Champagne) in. Luckily, it proved unnecessary.

• Paid attendance was 37,911. The third of that figure of somebody’s imagination that didn’t show should be ineligible to attend any postseason games in 2006. Their credentials as fans are to be reviewed as well. I’ll take the first 4,213.

• This was my first game since October 2, 1988 that featured the Mets as active N.L. East champs and my first loss ever under those circumstances. Such a thrill I wasn’t seeking.

• Slipped back under .500 to 9-10 on the year. But really, the clinching counts as like a thousand wins, so I’ll shut up about my record for a bit.

• Matchup of the night from the out-of-town scoreboard:

ATL

WAS

Why, yes. ATL WAS. They ain’t no more.

• Our sixth starter, Oliver Perez, looked pretty good. We have six starters.

• Dontrelle Willis is an SOB: Stunning Offensive Batter. Most of his batting average and practically all his RBI are against us. As my companion noted, he deserves a trip to the dirt.

• And speaking of my companion, Wednesday night marked the rain-delayed debut of Mike of Mike’s Mets and me of Faith and Fear as seatmates. Two bloggers from two different blogs out in public at once? What are the odds? I felt bad that the Mets lost but, you know, not that bad. We are champions, I saw it with my own eyes. But Mike…geez, the guy makes his one dry trip to Shea Stadium from Up There, Conn. and the Mets pick that as the night to give the Marlins something to feel good about. Given those odds, I’d want to knock the D-Train off his tracks as well. The bottom of the ninth looked promising for a minute and I hoped like heck (saving hell-hope for the playoffs) they could give Mike a 1-0, me a 10-9 and themselves a 93-58, but no. With all due respect to a fine Met blogger, a great Met fan and, based on two meetings’ experience, a swell guy, oh well. My can’t-hit-lefties, can’t-get-out-pitchers, can’t-avoid-bad-signs antenna is still on holiday.

All that matters in the interregnum is Go Pedro.

In news so lesser as to be inconsequential, we’re no longer the only champion in baseball. Congratulations to the New York Yankees who lowered themselves to celebrate a silly divisional title — backed into yet! — even in the face of A-Rod and the Giambino starring in a remake of Heathers as scripted by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Paul O’Neill, despite being technically alive, must be rolling over in his grave.

How very.

36 comments to Can't Clinch Every Night

  • Anonymous

    Silly me – I'm jumping forward to the off-season already…just wondering what all your thoughts might be to help solve the Mets' nagging “can't hit lefties” woes.
    Trot Nixon? Just throwing it out there.

  • Anonymous

    Don't forget the hostile atmosphere, because the CRAPPY, PATHETIC METS WHO WE HATE SO MUCH THAT WE'RE BOOING AND CURSING AT THEM dared to LOSE a game!!!! Sent me packing in the 8th, even though I'd scored a last-minute free field level seat right behind first base.
    Someone needs to remind these disloyal morons that a win does not automatically come with the price of their ticket, and they are not free to abuse the team for (gasp!) not winning. If only “fans” were actually held to the pregame Ground Rules so beautifully read by the Mets on DiamondVision (and printed on the backs of the tickets), Shea would be a much nicer place.

  • Anonymous

    To me it's not really baseball season until Laurie calls out the Shea faithful a few times for their rude and inappropriate behavior. It took some time (as Danny Graves was no longer on the roster) but the tongue lashing (ooh gah) has been in full effect the last couple of weeks.
    Not that she's wrong, of course; for all altruistic We Love Our Mets Thru Thick and Thin pats on the back we give ourselves the fact is that once the bandwagon jumpers arrive (that would be extra 1.8 million through the turnstiles for those counting at home) the polite clapping for effort gives way to the expectation of winning and instant, constant success. Which, of course, is impossible. Hence the booing by said DISLOYAL MORONS.
    The question is: Is There A Cure? The answer is yes; either suck again so only the 1.2 million real fans show up every year or move the team to St. Louis or Chicago where they're content to simply love their teams regardless of success or failure. Since it's unlikely either of those two scenarios are going to occur, we'll have to be happy with Laurie letting those short-sighted, history deprived unwashed masses know when their being big dumb stupid-heads. And I'm comfortable with that.

  • Anonymous

    I really do try to hold my tongue, Joel, but seriously. The way these people were treating the Mets last night (and the night before) was the way they'd treat the Yankees!!
    And, to quote Chris Rock, “that ain't right.”

  • Anonymous

    I know you don't get upset over the normal stuff, I just enjoy hearing your voice.
    It's my belief that in all things too many people believe there must be a sound for each and every action or emotion. You watch a baseball broadcast or, even worse, a football game and there's no “air” there anymore. The so-called color analyst must justify his existence by adding “insight” to every pitch, every tackle, every sack and every missed catch. You watch a news broadcast and, in addition to what the commentator is saying there's a zipper on the bottom of the screen with even more news, a teaser on the top of the screen letting you know what's coming up and a pop-up with “This Just In” over the anchors shoulder. Watch a TV show, especially the cable channels, and there's a moving image about an upcoming show complete with sound effects running over the show you're watching.
    And go to the ballgame or hockey game (especially hockey) and there's loud music or announcements/ADs not just between innings but between pitches. At hockey games there's 150 decibel AC/DC music at EVERY stop in the action. And I think this filters down to the fans, especially the fans who are there for the event and not for the love of the team or game. He says “I paid my $75 to get in and $7.50 for a beer (or twelve) so I expect the guy making $15.2million to get a hit”. What he really is saying “I can't yell at my boss or wife or get drunk every night anymore so I'll just act like a dick here at the stadium where no one knows me”. Does this adult ADD make life worse for those of us who wish to watch the game or, God forbid bring our kids to the game? Yup. Is there anyhting that can be done? Nope. Does all this mean anything? Just that I'm verbose and no one listens to my rants here so I post them where my friend Greg won't remove them 'cause he's nice.
    So in closing, Laurie Good, Booing Mets Fans Bad…

  • Anonymous

    Rhino skin, baby. Players develop it. Fans can too.
    BTW, partner, I stole your Heathers comparison for today's Daily Fix. I know where to send the check….

  • Anonymous

    Players say in public that it doesn't get to them. They have to say that. But it ain't necessarily so. ;-)
    BUT I WILL SAY IN PUBLIC THAT IT GETS TO ME!!! I don't enjoy a hostile atmosphere, unless of course I'm at Yankee Stadium and the Mets are being abused by people who are SUPPOSED TO hate them. Then it's perfectly understandable and acceptable. And kind of fun.
    I often wonder how these people treat their kids. “It's abcdefG!!!” G!!!! You little idiot!! YOU SUCK!! BOOOOOOOO!!!”
    PS: I love you, Joel! Jace, it's always a pleasure.

  • Anonymous

    “The Giambino.” Oh, how that still makes me want to vomit up everything I've ever eaten.
    Yankees suck.

  • Anonymous

    I prefer “The Giambalco”
    but I'm petty.

  • Anonymous

    Trot's a great player, but I'm pretty sure he can't hit lefties, so I'm a little confused. Are you naming other players who struggle as the Mets do?

  • Anonymous

    Not that I particularly need more reasons to love Pedro, it was the first I had heard of his shrewd scoutings skills last night.
    Gary informed us, during Jacobs' absurdly long AB (Heath Bell trying to maximize the number of pitches he gets to throw in the Big Leagues, I suppose), that it was due to Pedro's intervention that Jakey was allowed to stay with the team, mash 11 home runs in heartbeat or two, and ultimately serve as the key bargaining chip for Carlos D.
    Well done, Pedro. You are perpetually the man.

  • Anonymous

    Pedro has many, many karma points in his account with me. He is the natural successor to Mike as The Man.
    “The Giambalco.” Wow, that is cold.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Anonymous

    jacobs,
    You're right. Upon further review, a lefty who hits a shade above .200 against lefties wouldn't be worth what we'd have to pay him.
    That's why I love this blog. I learn something new every day. Today, I learned that I've got a lot to learn. Okay, back to the drawing board. December will be here before we know it…

  • Anonymous

    Here's what I think about the booing. I think it starts with a dumb, yet vocal minority of Mets fans, and the moment they are heard, all the Yankee fans and other assorted rogues join in to make it louder. That's what I think.

  • Anonymous

    I'd personally like to see their “fan credentials” taken away, as Greg suggested above. I'd also like to see alcohol banned entirely. Nothing good (besides profit) ever comes of it at a ballgame. If you can't go three hours without beer, you have a real problem. If you can do it at work all day, or at a movie theatre, or at your kid's school play, you can do it at a baseball game. It's not hard. I've been doing it for 20 years.
    Love,
    Pollyanna McPartyPooper
    Captain of the Behavior Police
    PS: Yankees suck.

  • Anonymous

    I will ALWAYS love Trot Nixon.
    This summer I made my first trip to Fenway, and sat in the bleachers behind the Sox bullpen.
    In the 1st innning Trot hit a 3 run HR into the bullpen, which some reliever then flipped up into the stands, giving me my first-ever actual major league ball, foul or otherwise.
    While not technically “catching a home run ball” it was still about the coolest thing that's ever happened to me at a game.
    It didn't hurt my rep that I was wearing my Mets hat at the time – lots of kindred spirits in Yankee hating there.

  • Anonymous

    I'd rather see ushers actually do something for their paycheck. (Ush?) I mean, besides wipe your dirty seat with a dirtier rag for a dollar, or prevent a couple of teenagers from moving into empty field box seats in the 8th inning of a blowout. Like, say, ejecting unruly cursing fans, and idiots throwing stuff. Heck, I don't expect them to do the actual ejecting, but identify them to Security and/or NYPD.
    Banning beer, on the other hand, is nanny-state collective punishment of the worst kind. Punish the wrong-doers, don't pre-emptively ruin everyone's good time.
    I can go the whole day a work without drinking, I just choose not to at times. It's awful fun having a couple of pops at lunch on a slow Friday in the summer. And while I haven't in a while, it's swell sneaking a six-pack into the movies, especially if you're making it a double feature as I usually do. As for kid's plays, surely I am not alone in ever having wished for a flask during one of these dreadful marathons (10 minutes of eyebrimming wonder at your budding genius, 2-1/2 hours of suffering other people's talentless hack kids).

  • Anonymous

    I'm not surprised “Home Run Trot” holds a special place in your heart.
    My personal brush with official game ball greatness was Esteban Yan, who signed a foul ball for my nephew after a D-Rays game a few years back.
    Yes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, isn't he?
    So who do you root for in the NL wild card? They're ALL enemies…

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, KingmanFan.
    If boozing were a sport, I wouldn't be able to hit the fastball anymore, but you'd at least be arguing about whether or not my number should be on the wall. I generally don't drink at Shea because it's expensive and I hate missing things while taking a leak, but I rarely miss a first-inning, work's-over pop, and occasionally I'll get (non-obnoxiously) loaded over the course of a game.
    So needless to say I'm not for prohibition.
    But I'm all for enforcement: Make a ruckus, you get moved or told to cool it. Make more than a ruckus, you get thrown out. If you can't handle your liquor, you pay the price — and other people shouldn't have to foot the bill.
    I know it's not the rule at Shea (or anywhere else), but it should be.

  • Anonymous

    P.S. Yankees suck. :-)

  • Anonymous

    All those who wish to join me at the intervention for KingmanFan please email me at your earliest convenience.
    Sneakin' a six-pack into the movies? KingmanFan, Buddy, let's try to talk this through. If I didn't drink through the 20+ Little League games I managed, dozen I umpired and the various practices and meetings I attended from March thru June then you don't get to drink sitting in the IRS office or pruning the hedges.
    Don't get me wrong, I agree that outlawing beer during a ballgame would mean that the Terrorists have Won (thanks W) and, sure, I have in my life imbided an adult beverage or two during what may be perceived as “inappropriate” times (funerals, pre-cana meetings, meetings w/loan officers, conference w/parole officer, etc. etc.) but…what was my point…Oh…yeah…KingmanFan drinks too much…
    Would be nice if the ushers did actually do something beside trying to help those for whom the joining of Gates with Levels with Sections with Rows with Seat Numbers is cause for shaking and mumbling.

  • Anonymous

    If people could do it without acting like morons, sure. But they recognized in England that alcohol was the root of most of the bad behavior at soccer games, and stopped selling it altogether. Sometimes that's what it takes when people prove that they can't control themselves. Even the bleachers at Yankee Stadium are now alcohol-free. At some point you have to step in and be the adult when so-called adults cannot and will not behave as such. Kind of like when casual Fridays become too casual, some companies eventually stop allowing them. Nanny-state collective punishment? Unfortunately, that's what happens when people habitually go too far when given an inch.
    But yeah, those ushers really are pointless. It always ticks me off when people hand them money for… what you said. The “security” people are even worse. Some “security,” when you somehow can't smell cigarette smoke, or notice the non-alcohol section is full of people holding bright red/blue beer bottles, or that a number of the drunken people shouting/chanting obscenities are under 21. I mean, what do the security people DO?!
    I also think Yankee fans in Yankee garb should be turned away at the gate unless the Yankees are actually playing at Shea that day. Dragged off in chains would be good. They are just trying to start trouble. Don't try to tell me they didn't specifically choose those particular garments just to piss off Met fans. Then they act all shocked and put-upon when people give them a hard time. Just go away. Go home and watch your own team. I wouldn't be caught dead at some random game at Yankee Stadium while the Mets were playing.
    (How does not drinking beer automatically “ruin everyone's good time”? I don't drink beer at all, and somehow manage lotsa good times! I think I'm part of “everyone…” No beer wouldn't ruin MY good time. It would ENHANCE it!)
    And what movie theatres show double features anymore? I didn't know they still had those! Great idea for those 100-degree days/nights when you have no AC!

  • Anonymous

    By the way, there'll be a no-host bar at the intervention and fruit drinks for Laurie.
    Yankees Do Indeed Suck!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Whoo-hoo!!! And veggie burgers! And tofu dogs! And I get to spank anyone who's naughty !
    (Yankees had to back in. BWAAAAHAAAAAHAAAA!!!!)

  • Anonymous

    But I would like to apologize for being a little Miss Crankypants today. Just that last night could have been so awesome (loss aside). I was rescued from the upperest reaches of the Upper Deck and handed a nice seat on the field. My seatmates (6 guys) were an absolute scream… totally fun. A foul ball landed right behind me (probably landing me on TV and my immediate seatmate in trouble with his wife). And Ricky Ledee was nowhere in sight. Perfect!
    I was having so much fun that it was such a letdown to deal with the profanity and hostility directed at my 2006 NL East Champion Mets. So much so that for a minute I almost decided not to take part when my sister informed me this morning that we'd been picked in the postseason lottery.
    But only a minute. I'm not entirely stupid.

  • Anonymous

    In advertising, there are plenty of times where it's quite appropriate to knock a couple back. It's practically unsociable not to!
    Admittedly, I haven't done the movie thing in a loooong time. Same as Jason, I'm not breaking 90 on the ol' radar gun anymore. But if there were a goofball Hall of Fame, I'd have been voted in.
    Oh yeah… Yankees suck!

  • Anonymous

    OK, no beer would ruin lots of people's good time. Agreed, it would enhance almost as many.
    All of the multiplexes on Staten Island have double, even triple features. When you're done with your first movie, you go hang out in the bathroom for a couple of minutes, then walk out and purposefully stride into the room showing whatever you want to see next. They even helpfully stagger start times and show the same film on several screens, so there's almost always something worth seeing. The doleful minimum wage earning teen employees don't seem to care.

  • Anonymous

    Are there any rules that KingmanFan won't break?? I guess that goes with being the Sky King's lone benefactor. Although I did spend a few months in the '70's doing my best Kong impression (no, not by pissing on reporters or having my dog pop in the clubhouse) on the ballfield. Swinging big, missing a lot and butchering any and all balls hit in my direction be they grounders or flies. Ah, sweet youth.

  • Anonymous

    No beer and no law breaking make KingmanFan something something…???

  • Anonymous

    pop should be poop. Must had one too many

  • Anonymous

    A dull boy?

  • Anonymous

    Are there any rules that KingmanFan won't break??

    Don't tell anyone, but I also sneak in outside food and drink. If I'm springing for $31.50 for the three of us to see a movie, I'm damn sure not buying a $5 box of Raisinets when I can get a pound of 'em for $1.99 in CVS.
    Johnny Rebel, that's me.

  • Anonymous

    Trot Nixon = All Done (against righties and lefties)
    -sjg

  • Anonymous

    Nice Simpson's reference.

  • Anonymous

    Why not just go back to what the old concessionaire, Harry M. Stevens, did for years: water the beer. But don't publicize it, of course, so the suds-lovers can enjoy their quaff at the game and not catch on until too late that hey, they're still sober.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Look what I started.