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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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American Idyll

Afternoon games at Wrigley…idyllic, no?

No?

Not this one. And that was the only one we get for 2008, which is OK from here. The Cubs are good and the Mets are relentlessly so-so, making it difficult to enjoy the ivy for the trees. The charm of America's most charming ballpark dissipates when you're losing 8-1 the day after the night you lost 7-1.

You can analyze the poor fielding by Delgado and the poor hitting by Delgado and the poor relieving by Delgado (what fun is blaming Jorge Sosa?), but I won't. The Mets defy useful analysis at the moment. The slippery slope of trying to unravel their ennui runs from “what's wrong now?” to “what's wrong tomorrow?” to “will it ever be righted?” and in about 15 seconds you're hosting one of those enlightening shows on SNY wherein second-tier WFAN talent shouts each other down for half an hour.

Let's go back to Wrigley instead. It looks so good on television. It looks so good in real life. It looks great in daylight. Get Ronny Cedeño the bleep out of there and you can't do any better for a few hours' commune with nature and baseball.

It boggles the mind to realize that not only was the darn thing built in 1914, it was built to play home to a Federal League team. A Federal League team, for cryin' out loud. Shea was sort of planned for a Continental League team, but it's not quite the same. Nothing's the same as Wrigley, no matter how many bricks are used by those who would be inspired by it. Compared to Wrigley Field, all those places are brick teases.

'Twas pointed out by Gary and Ron how Wrigley's the “template” for so many of the retro parks of the modern age — though not for limestone-based Nationals Park, the Mets' next stop and mine, too. We won't be seeing any more of Wrigley Field this season though a Mets prism, but we may as well get used to what they've got in D.C. as we play them down there nine times this year and nine or ten times every year for years to come. (Rumor has it we play nineteen different clubs in 2008, but mostly we seem to play the Washington Nationals.)

I look forward to telling you what it's like on the inside. If the Mets play the Nats like they did last week, it will be a far nicer place than Wrigley Field was this week.

7 comments to American Idyll

  • Anonymous

    I have a 1957 map which shows a circular shaped stadium labeled “proposed stadium” where Shea is located. As you know, Robert Moses proposed the Shea site for the Dodgers, which, O'Malley refused.

  • Anonymous

    can the mets stop sucking now?

  • Anonymous

    sigh…
    I fuckin' hate Ronny Cedeno…

  • Anonymous

    Not to belabor the point, but Delgado is post-prime George Foster/Vince Coleman/Bobby Bonilla/Roberto Alomar (did I forget anyone?) all rolled into one.

  • Anonymous

    “The Cubs are good and the Mets are relentlessly so-so, making it difficult to enjoy the ivy for the trees. ”
    Hi Greg,
    The reason it 's difficult to enjoy the ivy is that it hasn't yet sprouted green.

  • Anonymous

    My husband and I went to Wrigley last year, saw Duque throw his ephus pitch and get a win one day, saw John Maine melt down the next. Ah well.
    There's a lot to like there. We can learn from Wrigley and Cubs fans. The fans are knowledgeable, even little kids know how to keep a scorecard there. They “trash talked” with dignity and humor. We sat next to two diehard Cub fans who, between talking trash, regaled us with tales of Harry Carey. The whole neighborhood is what I would love for Citifield to be. Even the drunks were civil.
    Even when the Mets lost, we had to smile at what my husband called their “recessional hymn”. The fans stand and sing “Go Cubs Go” which is almost as endearing as “Meet the Mets”. Chicago is awesome, especially when compared to the surliness of Philly and the apathy of Atlanta. Damn shame that we're only there twice this year. Damnder shame we couldn't at least have won one.

  • Anonymous

    I've been to a handful of games at Wrigley and concur. The carnival-like gameday atmosphere is great – the bars are packed, the streets festive. All the kooks decrying the Willets Point redevelopment should spend a weekend in Wrigleyville to see what belongs next to a ballpark rather than chop shops.
    The fans are mostly genial, but the razzing I got after a 2003 Met loss (“Haaaaa!! Mets suck!!!”) was less than original.