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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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If Your Train's On Time, Then You Prob'ly Lost By Nine

Couldn't leave well enough alone, could I? Couldn't sit back and enjoy Monday night's walkoff walk, watch Tuesday's date dissolve to debacle on TV and test out our new remote control by finding something else to stare at after Scott Schoeneweis did his level worst. No, I had to take my buddy Jim up on his last-minute invitation to another Mets-Cubs game.

First I didn't want to go because I was tired. Then I remembered I like to go to Mets games, especially with Jim. Then I decided my initial hesitation was a good thing because so often in my life it's the games I trudge to reluctantly that turn into all-time revelations. Then I decided I was blowing the possibility of that occurring by remembering that it could. Then I decided that since I was conscious that I may have jinxed myself that maybe I had made peace with the jinx and everything would work out for the best.

Then John Maine didn't have a thing (he's entitled) and his offense, save for Shawn Green (whose GREEN 20 I was unironically representing in the right field mezz), had even less and it was Cubs 10 Mets 1, the score no indication of how close this game wasn't.

And to think contests co-starring Floyd and Zambrano used to be good news at Shea Stadium.

Get a blowout, especially the wrong kind of blowout, and your consolation prize is tens of thousands clearing out and providing you an unobstructed path to Woodside. Monday night I barely reached the 10:43. Tuesday night brought me, by a hair, to the 10:18. I'd rather have the hasslesome commute and long schlep necessitated by a win than the relative glide home a loss facilitates, but when the Mets don't cooperate with the big picture, you take what you can get.

The hardy souls who remained with us to the humid conclusion (felt 30 degrees warmer 24 hours later) were in dire need of distraction. I suppose the Cubs fans were satisfied to monitor the tack-on runs that followed Aramis Ramirez's death blow, but this time I barely noticed them. Jim and I were spectators to a Section 25 contretemps among dozens of Mets fans and a small clutch of…yeech, Yankees fans.

Except for the company and the opponent, this was an exact replay of a scenario from pre-Subway Series week nine years ago, the Yankee fan dopes pointing at their caps and shirts, Mets fans reminding them, correctly, how much they Suck, Yankees fans using different fingers, somebody flinging popcorn or something harmless, one reluctant security guard sort of, kind of asking what's going on and lots more PG-13 chanting.

It was more annoying than entertaining. It would have been entertaining if we weren't losing a National League game by a significant margin and dipping back into second place. It's semi-understandable, this desire to repeatedly remind the pointing morons where they can stick their digits given who will be polluting our park this weekend, but better to let the bats downstairs do the talking starting Friday, y'know?

One other y'know on the topic: Y'know, my blood pressure rises more points than are in Carlos Delgado's batting average when I see a Yankees cap at Shea Stadium, but I've worn my Mets cap to ballparks elsewhere on this continent, even if the Mets aren't playing there, so all right. It's obnoxious when it's a Yankees cap at Shea, but it resides on the outer edges of acceptable fan behavior. But what's with the wearing of a Yankee jersey to a Mets-Cubs game at Shea?

Maybe it's my own code of ethics or my finely honed personal fashion sense at work, but I believe uniform tops should be saved for when your team is playing. During the current series, Mets uniform tops are appropriate. Cubs uniform tops, as unappealing as they are in context, are permissible. But WTF's with Yankee uniform tops at a non-Yankees game? That's just asking to be told how much you and your team Suck. That and the pointing and the fact that your team is in Chicago waiting out a rain delay and you should be home or in a bar watching YES or lying in a gutter clutching a transistor radio and believing everything John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman tell you about how wonderful you and your team are.

I thought maybe the Skankophiles were on hand because this was a seven-pack game and seven-packs have been known to attract rabble; that was the case in 1998 when I witnessed a near brawl between Mets fans and Yankees fans during a Mets-Orioles game. But Jim informed me that this particular seven-pack to which he's party was themed to the Home Opener and there is no Subway Series game included. This means somebody who doesn't like the Mets and (presumably) has no interest in the Cubs went to the trouble of a) attending a Mets-Cubs game and b) dressing like a Yankee to do so.

We may obsess on them to an unhealthy degree but tell me there's not something terribly wrong with them.

13 comments to If Your Train's On Time, Then You Prob'ly Lost By Nine

  • Anonymous

    You're not the only one who's noticed the phenom of Yankees fans putting on full regalia to attend games at Shea – I wrote about it a few weeks back, and the numbers are only increasing. A few games back I noticed the duo of RODRIGUEZ and RIVERA sitting about five rows back from the field. Hell, I can't get my hands on those seats, how did they? Why on earth would they pay that kind of money to sit in those seats when their team isn't in the house? On a Tuesday night, no less?
    As my other half commented, “Is there a surge of Mets fans wearing hats and jerseys attending Yankees v. Kansas City in the Bronx?”

  • Anonymous

    < <"Is there a surge of Mets fans wearing hats and jerseys attending Yankees v. Kansas City in the Bronx?">>
    Why would any of us want to go THERE?
    I can understand Yankee fans wanting to come to a nice stadium for a change. But why would we want to go to that dump?

  • Anonymous

    Probably no surge of Mets fans at Yankee Stadium, even though I plan to get there a couple of times before it closes, for history's sake. And I'll definitely be wearing Mets stuff.
    Shea is just easier to get to for all of Long Island, so that's why you see these Yankee fans, who usually are at least baseball fans enough that they can enjoy a baseball game no matter where it is. That's the kind of fan I can at least appreciate a little. That appreciation obviously flies out the window when they start getting belligerent of course.
    The problem with the Yankee fans in the good seats in the field level is that a lot of baseball seats are sold out to coporations and businesses and it takes connections to get the tickets. These tickets get given out as perks in business deals or at offices. I know if someone gave me tickets like that to Yankee Stadium, i'd use them.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with the Yankee fans in the good seats in the field level is that a lot of baseball seats are sold out to coporations and businesses and it takes connections to get the tickets. These tickets get given out as perks in business deals or at offices. I know if someone gave me tickets like that to Yankee Stadium, i'd use them.
    Ding ding ding!
    Absolutely right. I get the field level seats from the wife from time to time from her office.
    I am going to the Yankee/Sox game Monday, due to a friend getting his firm's seats (the attendees, Me, a Sox fan, a Yankee fan and an Orioles fan). I will only go there if invited.
    I will wear my Met hat, hopefully on the heels of a Mets series victory this weekend.

  • Anonymous

    There really is something wrong with them.
    Is there anyone anywhere with less credibility than someone wearing a Yankee jersey with the player's name on the back?

  • Anonymous

    “it was Cubs 10 Mets 1, the score no indication of how close this game wasn't.”
    Hi Greg,
    I still wonder if the score could have been much closer had Willie decided not to lift Maine for a pinch hitter in the fifth. True, there was a man on base and it wasn't a sacrifice situation but Maine had gotten control of his stuff and I didn't think it was time to bring in Scott Schoeneweis for it was too early in the game.
    Sorry Willie's decision made your ride home so unpleasant.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Joe,
    I grappled with that one myself. These days you expect a pinch-hitter in that situation (one on, one out). Maine threw almost a hundred pitches to that point, but he'd had an extra day of rest. Then again, Maine is not much of a hitter and there was enough momentum in the fifth to think the iron was hot and worth striking. But David Newhan, three-run bomb from Saturday aside, isn't the most reliable hot-iron striker I know. But he walked. With first and second, one out and Reyes and Chavez up next, I thought there was no way we wouldn't tie it. Nice move, Willie.
    Schoeneweis was one batter away from keeping it 3-1. It looked like a decent gamble at the time. Since the Mets weren't hitting whatsoever last night, I don't know that it mattered. But in principle I think I'd leave Maine in next time in such a situation.

  • Anonymous

    My sister and brother-in-law are Yankee season-ticket holders…in the right field bleachers. I joing them occasionally. If it were anywhere else in the stadium I might don my Mets cap but, um, not there. I sit quietly and enjoy the game (but not the neighbors. Whoever decided that kind of behavior was charming?).

  • Anonymous

    Many Yankee-clad fans are in Shea to root against the Mets, so I've been told by them. Which is sad, their obsession with a team in a different league who supposedly is the redheaded stepchild of NY. But if I go to at least one more game in Yankee Stadium (making it my fourth lifetime, following one random 80s game, Seaver's 300th and the first interleague ever) I'll be sporting orange and (quietly) rooting for the other team.
    I struck up a conversation with the insanely loud, boisterous, buzzed Yank fan in front of me last night. He was getting a hard time from some Met fans and giving back better. He told me he's a Yankee fan but also really likes the Mets now because of Willie and the good young nucleus that reminds him of the '96 Yanks. His razzing was pointedly directed at Met fans' physical appearance, not the club, so he was OK by me. Especially when he got half our section to loudly boo and mock a kid who showed up in the next section with that ridiculous Growing Up Gotti upswept blowout hairdo with the Isaac Mizrahi headband.

  • Anonymous

    Jim and I witnessed a fellow walking in at security wearing an orange Mets shirt with BELTRAN 15 on the back. He told a Cubs fan that he likes the Cubs a lot because he's really a Yankees fan and he just wears that shirt to give his pals grief.
    If you can sort out the logic in that, the government could use your help.

  • Anonymous

    Have I mentioned that this thread title rules? No? OK. This thread title rules!
    As for Shea attendees in Yankmewear, to keep my blood pressure low I'd just assume they were from Planet Blort and hadn't figured out the difference between the two teams yet. It's probably not that materially far from the truth anyway.

  • Anonymous

    A year or two ago, I was in the upper deck and saw dozens of teenagers wearing Yankmee knit caps. I asked about it while in line for the ladies' room and was told exactly that — that they were from out of town and didn't realize that the two NYs were different.
    But what gets me is when writers from places like Chicago or LA or SF (I am, of course, referring to other cities with 2 baseball teams) can't seem to understand that we're not all Yankmee fans. They'll say things like “New Yorkers love Jerk Deter” (OK, maybe they didn't refer to him exactly like that) without realizing that there is a rather large group of people who, quite frankly, DESPISES Captain Fantastic and His Not-So-Merry Band of Intangibles. What is with these people?????

  • Anonymous

    I don't know about Chicago, but I have lived in both LA and SF, and it is different from NY in both cases, in different ways.
    Dodgers fans seem largely indifferent towards the Angels for the most part, saving what seething hatred does exist for the Giants. The Angels are thought to be “a different market” by Angelenos, actually, and that's not too far wrong, Arte Moreno's attempts to glom onto the LA name notwithstanding. The teams play 30 miles apart, and with the traffic it might as well be 300 miles apart. By and large Dodgers fans live in LA and the Valleys and Angels fans live in or near Orange and Riverside Counties, with occasional exceptions according to one's “local roots” (i.e. if you live in OC now but grew up in LA you might actually still be a Dodgers fan). But Freeway Series are hardly the powder kegs that Mets-Yankees series are.
    In the Bay Area, the Giants-A's rivalry is a little hotter, maybe because the teams actually have faced one another in the World Series within the last 20 years. But again, fan affiliation there largely lines up by geography: Giants fans in SF proper, A's fans in the East Bay (Oakland/Berkeley), with the South Bay/Sili Valley/San Jose up for grabs. However, my XH wore A's caps all over SF and nobody said boo to him about it; wearing a Dodgers cap there would be much more dangerous. Bottom line, though, if you said “San Franciscans love Barry Bonds,” you wouldn't be that far off, as people who live in Oakland and Berkeley (who, for the most part, surely do NOT love Barry Bonds) don't consider themselves “San Franciscans.”
    I would think, though, that Chicago would be different, more like New York in its two-team rivalry. When I went to a White Sox game there, during the height of Sosa-mania, I heard Sox fans chanting on the ramps after the game, “Cubs suck! Sammy swallows!” So certainly you wouldn't have said, “Chicagoans love Sammy Sosa,” unless you were one of the Blortians.