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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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News to Mets Fans: Drop Dead

Is the Daily News kidding?

Look, I understand its sports editors are addicted to the crack pipe of Yankee BS. I understand that every series with the Red Sox blots out the sun. I understand that there is a perception that the Yankees losing to Tampa Bay is novel. I understand that Phil Hughes being called up was a milestone. I understand that Phil Hughes nearly pitching a no-hitter was quite noteworthy. I even understand, in a twisted way, that George Steinbrenner not firing Joe Torre and Brian Cashman qualifies as a development.

But last night the Yankees didn’t play. They were rained out. The only thing that happened on their beat was the dismissal of someone on the training staff, the director of performance enhancement. That sounds kind of shady, like he was the in-house dispenser of pills to (allegedly) Jason Giambi. But he was just the guy in charge of stretching or pulling hamstrings or something. And because Hughes came up lame and because a bunch of his teammates recently did the same, the strength & conditioning dude was axed.

And that, not Oliver Perez’s 10 strikeouts versus the Marlins, is what covers the back page of today’s Daily News.

I give up. It’s a losing battle. The 2007 Mets are universally recognized as one of the best teams in baseball. The 2007 Yankees, who are likely to recover to some extent from their poor start, are still in last place. Yet in “New York’s hometown newspaper,” it’s 1961. It’s 1927. The Mets don’t exist, at least not in any manner comparable to that of the Yankees.

I thought it was an abomination last Sunday when my edition of the Times had nothing — nothing — on the Mets in its sports section. My edition wasn’t the earliest but it wasn’t the latest. It was the one distributed to most of Nassau County Sunday morning. Usually in those situations you can depend on reading one of those stories that was obviously written to fill the gap in between, why this player is doing so well or why that player is in a slump, something featureish. But there was nothing. Saturday had been a huge sports day and the Mets, whose heartstopping comeback versus the Nationals ended after deadline, got bumped. I didn’t like it, but I understood that choices needed to be made.

But this? The guy in charge of stretching is scapegoated? That’s what gets the majority of the back page? Not the Mets’ win over the Marlins, not the Devils’ playoff loss to the Senators, not something about something that actually happened yesterday? The dismissal of Marty Miller, whom nobody outside the Yankees’ clubhouse or the Miller household had ever heard of, is judged the biggest New York sports news of Wednesday?

Disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful.

Listen, I get it. I get that Cashman firing a strength coach symbolizes Steinbrenner throwing his weight around and that more heads could roll and shape up or ship out and…blah, blah, fricking blah. This is the same dull, pointless story we’ve been fed as “news” for years. Decades. An actual event would be “Yankees go about their business quietly.” Everything else is white noise.

What do the Mets have to do? Win a lot? Play exciting baseball night in, night out? Run nip and tuck with their archrivals for first place? Send compelling stars out on to the field every day? They do that. Hell, David Wright was accommodating enough to fall into a deep struggle at the plate, which was bad news, but news with a tinge of controversy nonetheless.

But no. The Daily News does not care to cover the defending division champion, contending Mets as if they’re a defending division championship or contending for another one. The editors of that newspaper’s sports section choose not to shine a light on the fine work their Mets reporter Adam Rubin does on a regular basis (Roger Rubin filled in yesterday) nor play up the interesting Met sidebars by Sean Brennan or the worthy columns written about this team by excellent writers like Lisa Olson. Most days of late, the Mets are reduced to a red snipe in the lower right-hand corner of the back page. Today they made it all the way above the name plate. PEREZ & METS SINK FISH AT SHEA is there in a little box. YOU’RE FIRED! With angry Boss’ blessing, Cashman pulls plug on strength coach accompanying a picture of a testy Steinbrenner takes up most of the available space. The ratio of pages devoted to the two teams inside the paper is similar to what we see on the back.

I’ve long enjoyed buying the Daily News and reading it from cover to cover, continuing to do so even in this Internet age of ours. Suddenly, however, I find a surfeit of quarters in my front pocket.

15 comments to News to Mets Fans: Drop Dead

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I can't get enough of the Yankees when they suck. Yankee pain is a very close second to Mets bliss. Very close.
    Not much compares to the now blessedly annual event of Yankee post season elimination and the post game show on the YES network that follows that final game.
    Michael Kay looks so much sadder in HD.
    Yanks in last? Fired the assistant-to-the-guy-who-washes-the-jockstraps in order to send a message?
    Ah, delicious schadenfreude.
    Shoulda been on the front page, too.

  • Anonymous

    They still make newspapers out of trees?
    Beloved blog brother, all that stuff is available online. You can just read the Mets stuff. The back page is just a silly little image somewhere — who gives a fuck what it shows?
    And you'll love these things called blogs. There's this one guy who writes about the Mets, and I hang on his every word. Even when his rituals seem to make him unhappy.
    (Submitted lovingly….)

  • Anonymous

    Old habits die hard. I think I just heard one falling in the forest.
    Worth noting that on one of my brief sojourns outside my lair a few minutes ago, I inspected the Times sports section's front page before purchasing the entire product since that, too, is something else I've long enjoyed reading. When I saw a large picture of Oliver Perez heading to second and a headline and story to complement it, I felt “there's a paper that knows what it's doing”. It wasn't until I bought it and read the front page of the MAIN section that I noticed above the fold this headline:
    Yankees, Losing and Hurting, See Culprit: The Fitness Coach
    What did I say before? Oh yeah…
    I give up.

  • Anonymous

    I've been silently suffering this second-class citizenship for long enough. This is ridiculous. Some flack wipes the drool of Steinbrenner's chin and tells him to say “You're fired” for a camera? Whoop de damn do. I wonder if Mets management takes note of this, and decides maybe to spread their advertising dollar in another direction. (I guess that'd be the Post, which won't help me because I like my morning read to be on at least a fifth-grade level.) Because I think that is what spurs at least some of the disparity in coverage – the evil empire spends a fortune in ads and co-branded promotions like pins and such.
    Some other blog some time ago had a thread with imaginary Daily News back pages, and they were really funny. Stuff like JETER BRAVES HANGNAIL IN YANK VICTORY and a corner tidbit of “Glavine thows perfect game, hits 4 HRs). Well, they were funnier than that, but you get the idea.

  • Anonymous

    In news we can all use, Chan Ho Park's been desi'd for assignment. Step up to the pen righty Lino Urdaneta, at least until another starter is needed this weekend.
    Should Urdaneta see action, Del Unser will have to move over an alphabetical scooch.

  • Anonymous

    Michael Kay looks so much sadder in HD.
    He certainly can't sound any better.

  • Anonymous

    The revolution will not be televised. Evidently it will not be printed in ink either. Especially not in four colors on newsprint.
    Almost all print publications are in serious, serious, sarcoma-serious financial trouble. Daily newspapers especially. In particular, the number of people under 30 subscribing to or purchasing printed newspapers is continuing to drop to levels so low you couldn't find them with a Geiger counter. And even us old(er) farts aren't buying physical newspapers as much; even I don't, and I used to be the two-newsrags-a-day type.
    The Yankees are old hat. The Mets are hip. Newspapers ain't in the business of hip. And they probably never will be ever again. Like I've said before, the only reason anyone reads their sports sections anymore is that they still have exclusive access to the clubhouse, and front office people are still more likely to take their calls. But for how much longer?
    N.B. on Lisa Olson: I like her, but evidently she doesn't know hotdogs are packaged fully cooked. (Maybe they aren't in her native Australia?)

  • Anonymous

    Well, at least we know for certain that Urdaneta's career ERA won't go up…

  • Anonymous

    I agree with a lot of what you're saying. And it certainly seems the biggest Yankee stories are non-baseball stories. Firings, A-Rod's feelings, etc..
    What is causing the problem is in the last 18 years or so the Mets have played roughly 8 games when the Yankees weren't playing, and that was last year. It's these bandwagon, root for any New York team fans that we need to acquire to take over headlines and most popular team in New York. The only real way to do that is to be the only baseball option. Half of our run last year beyond the Yankees elimination was understandably eliminated by A. Cory Lidle and B. the big layoff after winning the NLDS.
    What we need is to win the World Series, or at least push it deep, and not against the Yankees. While a lot of people last year were rooting for a Subway Series, I was rooting for the Yankees to be irrelevant and eliminated as soon as possible. The papers will come around in time.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the blog,it does piss me off at times how the News covers things,I have found that the coverage gets even worse when the yankees are on the road,then the likes of Filip Bondy and Jon Harper(picked the Mets for the WS) write about the Mets,or it seems to me are forced to write about them….and forget it when Bill Madden does a Mets feature…
    Vic Zeigel I like,I remember he did a wonderful bit on Esix Sneed when he was a Met,and he's done a few on Reyes
    Newsday has better baseball writers…….
    The News went with Torre fired on the front page today,that would be Joe's sister who got the shaft from her job as school principal….

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I dont know what Torre's sister has to do with anything, and why she is worthy of having the front page. I figure it was either that, or Tom Brady wearing a yankee cap. But as much as the media sucks, one guy who will always get a pass from me is Peter Gammons. On Mike & Mike this morning he said the Mets were the best team in baseball, and is consistently giving them props. The guy is a Queens kid in a New Englander's body.

  • Anonymous

    Daily (S)News, October 29, 2007:
    (Mets win World Series)

  • Anonymous

    the director of performance enhancement.
    The DoPE, you mean?

  • Anonymous

    Her last name is Torre. That's all they need.
    I'm about to give up on the Post as well. Same stuff. All Yankees all the time. I read somewhere that one of the Post editors didn't like how he was treated by the Mets, hence, no covers unless it is huge news or embaressing (read, PLD).
    Newsday, being a Long Island paper, tends to lean more towards the Mets (and my Islanders, which the other papers barely cover). Even being in Westchester, I still buy it Monday – Friday, and read it on-line on the weekends.

  • Anonymous

    I'm sorta with Albertsonmets on the idea that if the MFYs are suffering, the News can't be hysterical enough for me. I used to live for Mets segments on TWiB and appearanmces on the back pages but now I kind of care less. It's almost good that the Mets are going unnoticed.
    I recently started a buying a copy of the News everyday after overcoming a soduku addiction. I think the Rubin Brothers do a pretty good job of covering the team.