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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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Our Jumping-Off Point

It has come to this: A person can't take a nap without the Mets giving up six runs.

No kidding. It was a scooch past 8:30 when I curled up and closed my eyes on the couch, feeling relieved that John Maine hadn't given up the big hit in the fourth; secure he was positively reinforced after Lo Duca and Endy each drove home a run to extend our advantage to 7-3; and suddenly drowsy. It wasn't my intention to nod off, but at least I could snooze peacefully.

I woke up around 9:30 and the TV said it was Nationals 9 Mets 7 in the seventh. Then I just stared at the score strip at the top of the screen.

How on…

What the…


Wasn't it 7-3?…

And now it's…

We're LOSING?…



Great meeting, guys.

Thankfully those few winks have come in handy because it allowed me the energy to stay glued to the Phillies-Cardinals marathon in St. Louis and, after hearing Philadelphia win it in the fourteenth (why couldn't the Cardinals have kept Ronnie Belliard?), I'm fully revived so I can stay up all night and panic. But panicking is such a short-term solution. Why panic when you can plan?

My plan is we might as well get this thing over with.

I know it would be more convenient if we all went to the respective bridges nearest us, but we should really jump as a group. More impactful that way — makes a bigger SPLASH!, if you will.

Jason predictably let me know he'd prefer the Brooklyn Bridge, but c'mon, that's a cliché, and besides, he left the country rather than observe first-hand our erstwhile seven-game lead melt to 1-1/2 (coward).

I was thinking the Whitestone because it's closest to Shea, or even the Triborough for its Metropolitan-connectivity symbolism — think about how the Mets have historically been about building bridges — but I say we all meet at Riis Park in the Rockaways and hike to the middle of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge. Shouldn't our last act as Mets fans at least bring a little attention to our sainted manager? Maybe veterans committee members read the wire service stories about how the Mets' ineptitude literally killed us and think “shame that people take baseball so seriously…hey, that's right…Hodges was a really great player and manager…let's finally put him in the Hall.”

Unlike the 2007 season, our action will not have been for naught.

So do we leap right away? Or do we wait until we're technically in second place? Maybe hold off until we're eliminated from Wild Card contention, too? Oh, that's coming. I hadn't really paid much attention to how our record stacked up versus the consolation contenders, but it turns out we're tied with San Diego. Thus, if…HA!…when the Phillies race by us, we have no cushion. Except for the beckoning waters of Rockaway Inlet.

Oh crap. I just remembered that I have tickets for a bunch of games next week and I'd hate for them to go to waste. I'm gonna have to wait out the remainder of the regular season now. Well, it won't take long. Only twelve left. And on the off chance the Mets right themselves and win another game, maybe they'll win yet another and somehow remain atop the division. Or perhaps the Phillies will lose again. Doesn't seem likely; they're 6-0 since Thursday and we're 0-5 since Friday. But you never know. Besides, I'd hate to waste those tickets.

All right, we won't jump yet. But I'll start counting out quarters for any tolls we might encounter on our road to doom. I don't have EZPass.

Neither, as it turns out, do the Mets.

23 comments to Our Jumping-Off Point

  • Anonymous

    This is the problem with being a transplanted, West Coast Mets fan. You can watch the Mets blow yet another lead, then switch to Phils/Cards through the bitter end, and still have it be the shank of the evening. Plenty of time to brood.

  • Anonymous

    Willie's inability to manage a pitching staff has really shined as of late. That and the major blunders Omar made in terms of the bullpen. How Mota and Schoenweis continue to be permitted to suit up is beyond me. I can't think of two worse relievers in the game today. Is the Mets' 40 man roster so limited that there is NO ONE better than either of those two schlubs?
    If the Mets do blow this lead, and it is hard to see how they can't, they will set a record for the largest blown lead post-September 12 in baseball history. If that happens, you can be sure that Willie will be looking for a new job next year and that he will be destined to live his life as the reincarnation of Gene Mauch.

  • Anonymous

    Only one person to blame for the latest loss and that would be John Maine. Given leads of 4-0, 5-1 and 7-3, he utterly craps the bed on the mound. Absolutely pitiful performance. Overall, the rest of the team played more than well enough to win this game easily. They scored 9 runs, had 15 hits, played flawless defense and the bullpen only gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings of relief. What more can you ask for from a team.
    One more thing. At what point did Jose Reyes turn into Rey Ordonez at the plate?

  • Anonymous

    I meant 8 runs.

  • Anonymous

    Nice night by Carlos McReynolds

  • Anonymous

    Why don't we all go for the Walt Whitman Bridge or something. Something that at least causes traffic jams in Philly..
    That said, I'm not that worried. I don't know why, and I have lost a lot of faith in this team, but I still doubt they're blowing this.

  • Anonymous

    Earliest possible elimination date is next Wednesday, the 26th.
    My vote is we wait until then. Should the Phillies suddenly collapse as well — always a possibility — and the Mets make to the playoffs by default despite losing their last 17, it'd be really embarrassing if we had already taken precipitous action.
    (Either way, they'll at least beat out the Phillies. Either the 2007 Phillies or the 1964 Phillies.)

  • Anonymous

    I just figured out why this is happening.
    It's the Baseball Gods' (somewhat delayed) retribution for Craig Brazzell & Victor Diaz delivering a similar cockpunch to the Cubs in aught-four…

  • Anonymous

    I also have a number of tickets for next weeks games. And, at one point, I had thought the Mets would parade the 2nd string out there for me to barely pay attention to. Think positive, you'll get your full moneys-worth for those tickets now! That is, if they don't make 6 errors like they did the last game I went to.

  • Anonymous

    One more thing. At what point did Jose Reyes turn into Rey Ordonez at the plate?

    HaHaHa . . . I like that . . . Jose Reyes has morped into Reyes Ordonez . . . a perfect book end to our looming dreadful future with the skilled but emotionless Carlos McReynolds

  • Anonymous

    I'm in for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (the Misery Trifecta!) and then I'm sparing myself until Sunday, because I didn't get a ticket for Friday (self-preservation kicked in?) and I'll be out of town Saturday.
    This all looked like such a good idea in March.

  • Anonymous

    Reyes became Rey Ordonez, or at least Paul LoDuca, back in May.
    I prefer the 59th Street bridge.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like we're being punished for something.
    I mean, the universe couldn't even throw us the bone of a Philly loss last night?
    Did we use up all our breaks with the Baseball Gods in '69, '86, '99 & '06?

  • Anonymous

    I've long thought we used up our allotment of mojo/karma/good fortune on 10/25/86. I mean, the biggest single at-bat in the history of the franchise, and we win on a wild pitch and an error?
    Since then, virtually nothing but gutless choking.

  • Anonymous

    Willie Randolph = the 26th Phillie.

  • Anonymous

    At some point, though, the kitty gets replenished, doesn't it, Sky?

  • Anonymous

    Now you know why I always accidentally refer to your site as Fear and Faith. For Met fans, Fear never strikes out, always comes first
    By the way, Brian Bannister would have been an excellent starter for Mondays game

  • Anonymous

    DUH. On both counts.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    Now I know how the Cubs felt after they left Shea Stadium with a half-game lead late in the 1969 season. Still in first, it already seemed like the pennant race had all been but settled with the Cubbies regulated to second. Hopefully, this won't happen to us but with a depleted bulllpen it sure seems like it could. At 83-67, we're actually tied with the Padres for the wildcard berth so believe it or not, we now actually have to watch two scoreboards whereas this time a week ago we hardly thought we would even need to turn our heads. And San Diego has nine of it's last twelve games against the Giants, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
    If the division is ours, 2007 might still be remembered not as the second straight season the Mets won the division but rather the season the Phillies failed to win it! Who ever would have thunk it?

  • Anonymous

    One would hope. Haven't seem many signs of it recently.
    I am at my wits' end. I can't focus at work, I am snapping at my family. I think most of all I am angry at myself for allowing myself to care so much. I know baseball is supposed to be a pleasant diversion; I tried that tack after the strike, and it only lasted a year. Last year I felt so f*cking miserable for 2 weeks after Game 7, I swore I would never be so heavily invested again. It felt like someone had stolen something I loved from me, in a heartbeat. This, by contrast, is a slow agonizing process, like a disease you waste away from.
    I hope either the Mets (or failing that , I) can snap out of this.

  • Anonymous

    Man, it's like we're sharing a brain…
    I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago — in the midst of Implosion #1 in Philly. Next day, my wife was like, “Babe you never wake up in the night like that. What's going on?”
    I said, “I dunno. I think the Mets are making me crazy.”
    She said, “I don't know if I buy it. We've been together 8 years and you've never done that before.”
    I said, “I've never had to deal with a pennant race since we've been together, either.”
    Which is true: we got together in '99. They were never in the division race (IIRC) and I was too over the moon to pay steely attention to the WC race. Same for 2000. From '01 to '04, they out-&-out stunk, in '05 they got into the fringes and last year was last year.
    So this is our first down-to-the-wire deal and it's killing me…

  • Anonymous

    The annoying accuracy fairy alights to point out the Mets trailed the Braves by 1 game with 12 to go in 1999 and 2 with 14 to go in 2000, so those were divisional races first and Wild Card fallbacks thereafter (the first one legendary, the second one happily less so). Your over-the-mooniness, however, is a good excuse for not recalling.
    2001 had a famous grab at the division title late but September '01 was a weird time.
    Re: Your “the gods are getting us for Diaz and Brazell” theory, Charlie, I thought two things:
    1) That's ridiculous, what do the frigging Cubs have to do with us?
    2) I thought the exact same thing last night as in “wow, this sucks as much as that felt beautiful.” I still hate the Cubs and I'm still glad we did it to them and I still think one has nothing to do with the other, but it did occur to me. (Got room in that brain for a third?)
    Let's not snap at our families because they happen to be in the line of fire between us and the TV. They'll still be here for us long after these players are back on the golf course. I like to take my frustrations out on inatimate objects myself.

  • Anonymous

    Not necessarily. It's 99 years later and the Cubs are still paying for winning the pennant (and then the World Series) on the back of poor Fred Merkle.
    It's funny, but before 1987 I never felt like I'd been punched in the stomach rooting for this team, and I go back to 1970 with them. In fact, if anything, I and a lot of other Met fans thought of them as pretty damn charmed, at least when they were good enough for the games to count for something. But since the Pendleton home run, it's been one shot to the solar plexus after another. Is it just a coincidence that it started the year after they were the beneficiaries of what appeared to be the most dramatic episode of divine intervention in US sports history? I don't know.