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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Mets' Magic Number Continues to Dwindle

The New York Mets would like to welcome their exclusive sponsor for the month of June, Kinko's.

Kinko's: For when you need every loss in a pile of losses to look and feel exactly the same as the loss before it. At Kinko's, we can rapidly replicate a single loss over and over and over again so before you know it, you're hauling a ton of losses back to the car.

Copiers hummed to perfection Wednesday night as a superior opponent outplayed the dogass Mets in all facets of baseball. Details available upon request for fussbudgets and masochists.

One other fact also keeps coming out exactly the same, however: We're still in first place. The schedule and the margin being what they are, we will, at the very least (which itself is often beyond our meager reach) end Friday in first place for the 38th consecutive East-leading day.

Fellow members of the Legion of Doom, I ask you for a moment to pause from mulling what is wrong with the Mets and instead devote thought to this:

How lame is our competition?

The Braves have picked up all of TWO games on us since we began sucking irredeemably. We've been 3-13 since winning on June 2. The Braves? They're 6-12. And the Phillies? The Winnin' Utleys who gave us the unkindest shove downhill? They're 6-6 since sweeping us. The brass ring would be theirs if they'd stepped up. But they, like the Braves, have not.

The Marlins have pulled from 9-1/2 out on May 27, when we swept them in Miami, to 4-1/2 back today. They were four under .500 then. They're three under now. Any gains the Marlins have made on the Mets have been purely coincidental. Though I'm admittedly in no position to look down my slumping nose on any team, if I have to start worrying about the Marlins, then it's probably not our year anyway.

T.S. Eliot never lived through this particular June, yet our Mets are still in first place. The lingering effects of April and May are doing a John McClane and dying hard. Unless someone discovers steroid-fueled gambling was at work (and passes a few rules to retroactively make it punishable by forfeit), the sublime spurt that sent us out on a commanding 35-19 start counts in the National League records. That's the only reason we're still in first place…that and the composite April 1-June 20 mediocrity of the Braves, the Phillies, the Marlins and, because they're still in the division, the Nationals.

It doesn't seem like it, but we play under lucky stars. Play atrociously, but play under them nonetheless.

10 comments to Mets' Magic Number Continues to Dwindle

  • Anonymous

    I'm having 1973 flashbacks right now. Doesn't anybody in the NL Least want to win a pennant here?
    They'll be back playing each other soon enough, and when that happens, SOMEBODY'S got to win (don't they?). So this is what it's come down to. Win your division games, and you'll be all right.
    This team has the talent to be so much better than it's been, though. Being a shade better than four decidedly mediocre teams that happen to be in the same division is no big deal. All it means is that you're a shade better than decidedly mediocre.

  • Anonymous

    I don't get it…I just don't freakin' get it…
    This is a talented — I mean talented — team. They seem to have the right attitude. There doesn't seem to be that much grousing.
    And yet…
    I haven't seen such a deadass squad since the dark days of ought-four. Somewhere, Art Howe is smiling…

  • Anonymous

    I'm just numb at this point. My first thought – literally, the first thing that occurred to me as I slapped at the alarm clock – was “at least they're off tonight”.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and — indicative of nothing — every time I see Nick Punto come to the plate, I'm compelled to ask: “What does an Italian do on 4th down?”

  • Anonymous

    The pitching suddenly looks as old as it is and/or as untested as it is.
    David Wright is shaping up to be a B+ ballplayer on his best days-does 'over-rated' fit?
    Carlos Delgado? Mo Vaughn? Aside from a spare hundred pounds…
    Beltran is either a diva or neurotic. Some cherce.
    Let's call Scott Schoenweis the New Rich Rodriguez and be done with it. This team deserves third place-Disgust Abounds.

  • Anonymous

    That sounds nice until I realize the Braves took 3 series from us and the Phils just swept us.
    But hey, we win on Fridays!

  • Anonymous

    While the Mets obviously have issues, They're obviously going to play better than the Phillies .500 or the braves .333. We have a whole 7 games to play before we slip and slide into Philly. 7 days to get righted. During that series the calendar turns to July and we get to show the Phllies that, oops, June was an aberration.
    Philly and the Braves still have to beat us, when we get righted, we just have to win, because we're already there.

  • Anonymous

    As has been touched on above, I'm worried by the fact that, despite our current (if tenuous and arguably undeserved) position in first, our lackluster competition kind of mopped the floor with us. I mean, we can't seem to take a series from the Braves and the Phillies swept us in resounding fashion.
    It's hard to tell if they were good or we just really sucked, but I have a feeling all three of us are under-performing. The question is, who is going to revert to form and to what degree? We've all seen the Braves go on long winning streaks. They might seem incapable now, but I wouldn't put it past them.
    Damn it, this should have been a time to solidify our lead and laugh at the pitiful NL East competition. But like Ron Darling says, we need only look in a mirror for all our pity laughs.

  • Anonymous

    Uncle Floyd lives!

  • Anonymous

    8-3 this year on Fridays. On the other hand, this particular June began on a Friday with a loss.
    So much for trend lines.