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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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One Month Down, A Lifetime to Go

I like to give Hozzie The Cat a little chest/belly rub when he allows it, which is infrequently. Tonight he did. As I crouched down to find his purr zone, I serenaded him with a quick and unoriginal chorus of Ha-ZEE! Ha-zee Ha-zee Ha-ZEEE! I was a little more off-key than usual when it occurred to me that it must be more than a week since I’d caught myself wandering around the house singing the “Jose!” song. I’d been doing that a lot during the playoffs and afterwards. Same for “off to never never land!” I even entered November breaking into occasional chants of LET’S GO METS! with no Mets (or cats) in sight. So much of that stuff had built up on my brain since the first game of the postseason that there was no way it would evaporate with the last out of October 19.

It’s November 19 now. An entire month has passed since Carlos Beltran passed on a curveball. Somewhere along the way, the mourning period passed. Just like that, we’ve crept deep into the offseason.

The World Series came and went. Sports Illustrated‘s World Series issue came and went…into the trash. An MLB holiday gift catalog came today. The back page features all kinds of world championship merchandise, with the METS misspelled terribly and various shades of orange and blue registering as red. MLB should get itself some better copyeditors and a new printer.

It’s been a month and it still annoys. But it’s been a month. You think you’ll never get over these kinds of losses and…well, you don’t, but you do. You don’t in the sense that you’re always going to replay and regret in your mind what you can do no longer do anything about on the field. That’s baseball’s evil beauty. But you do get on with your life, limp as your life is without any new baseball to fill it.

A month is behind us. Nineteen weeks are ahead of us until Opening Night in St. Louis. ESPN has been thoughtful enough to make a rematch between us and the Cardinals their Sunday night lidlifter on April 1. The bad news is the last time we were assigned this particular slot and responsibility, we were postponed (it was April 2, 1995, “Mets” and “Marlins” in replacement baseball until a judge issued an injunction to stop the madness; actually, that wasn’t bad news at all). The good news is the Baseball Equinox has been moved up by ten hours from our previous estimate. On Tuesday, January 9, at 9:55 PM, we will be just about exactly between that final called strike in October and whatever 2007 brings us starting in April.

One month removed from 2006, we’re closer to next year than we’ve ever been before.

11 comments to One Month Down, A Lifetime to Go

  • Anonymous

    I love the concept of the Baseball Equinox. What's especially cool about it is that once we've made it that far, spring training is only a little more than a month away.
    BTW, there must be something about the 30-day mark. Just yesterday I was commenting to a friend about how much I miss baseball and how there is nothing to watch on television.

  • Anonymous

    Now if only “our” network could manage to tear itself away from poker, boating, beach volleyball, badminton, billiards and college football repeats and actually show some, uh, METS…
    I know. Silly, naive, illogical me.

  • Anonymous

    If they did that I'm sure you'd be complaining about the games selected to be shown, the number of commercials, etc.
    Buck up, Laurie.
    –switcing to Fran Healy mode–
    The Twins are comin to Shea June 18-20. Plenty of good seats are still available.
    Shea will be rockin'!

  • Anonymous

    SNY could definitely open up the vaults a little wider. Since the Mets are partners in this endeavor, one assumes there was a conscious, mutual decision to not overexpose the product. They're succeeding on this count. 'Twould be more defensible if they had something else worthwhile to put on. When Eric Mangini's press conferences are the heart of your offseason programming, you need to rethink your game plan.
    Sports Nite is a decent show but otherwise I think they believe their own hype about being a full-service channel for the New York fan, aka not Yeech. If that's what they are, where's the weekly half-hour shows (at least) on the Knick & Nets and the three hockey teams? They don't have the rights to those teams but they do cover them. If they're not going to expend some hours on winter sports (other than St. John's) and give anybody who isn't a Mets or Jets fan a reason to watch, then drop the pretense and starts Metsing it up. You're not serving the generic New York fan with the cheap, d-level filler you have on too much of the day and night.
    Once the 20th anniversary of 1986 has run its chronological course, it would be nice to see some other vintage broadcasts or even some of the 158 regular-season games from 2006 they haven't aired into the ground. We know that. It's a wonder they don't.

  • Anonymous

    I would love to see some of the really old games telecast. 1969. 1973. Tom Seaver as a rookie in 1967. That would be sweet!

  • Anonymous

    if you want to make yourself really miserable, go to YouTube, do a search for Mets Game 7, and conduct a viewing of all relevant that comes up…

  • Anonymous

    as it happens, i tore a couple ligaments in my left ankle the morning of oct. 18 and certainly did my ankle no favors by going to game 6 that night, though the rest of me enjoyed it immensely. i've been in one of those inflatable cast/boots since shortly after — expect to be for another month.
    the injury, and the boot, have come to represent a last link to the 2006 season for me, much as a vintage wine from a particularly enjoyable vacation can summon up another time and place. i'm not sentimental — i can't wait for the damn thing to heal — but i am reminded on a daily basis of the team's last couple of games.
    this has not helped speed the mourning after, as you might imagine, but i'm as okay with that as i'm ever going to be….
    by the way, anyone know a way to get endy's catch up as a screensaver?

  • Anonymous

    It seems longer than a month. Shows how interested I was in the World Series.
    When recalling the abrupt manner last season ended I feel less depression but more disbelief. Still cannot accept the notion our last happy memory originates from Los Angeles. What is upsetting is that this experience will deflate some of the enthusiasm anticipated for 2007 because we've learned the hard way that winning a division with by far the best record in the league counts for nothing more than pride once post-season begins.

  • Anonymous

    And you'd lose that bet, my friend. By a country mile.

  • Anonymous

    Ooh, I did that in March. Made matters worse by still going about my daily business no matter how much it hurt (Didn't have a choice… I lived in a fourth-floor walkup, so even answering the door required 6 flights of climbing) and had to pack the whole place by myself to move in May). By the time I went to bed at night it was swollen up like a balloon because I never rested it. It didn't heal until the summertime.
    If you figure out that screensaver, do tell!!!!

  • Anonymous

    ow, ow, OW. it hurts just reading what you had to do with a bum foot.
    yes, up until last week, my ankle would end the day looking like it had sprouted one of those batting donuts around it. i'm trying to be as high church about treatment as i can be — keep weight off it, leave ankle elevated as much as possible, take the seat for the disabled on the shuttle (what are you lookin' at?) — because i know that, at this stage, the warranty has run out on my body, and that even if it comes back 100 percent, it's not gonna be 100 percent. isn't that right, yogi?
    will keep you posted on the endy screen.