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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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Change in the Weather

This here’s a jungle, ain’t no lie,
Look at the people, terror in their eyes.
Bad business comin’, can’t be denied,
They’re running with the dogs, afraid to die.

Beat the drum and hold the phone. The sun came out today. But the Mets refused to see their shadow.

Six more weeks of sucking? We’ll see.

The weather was better than what those of us who have schlepped to Shea in cold winds and under threatening skies had gotten used to this season. The weather was glorious, actually. The weather was everywhere. It was CW 11 Weather Education Day with Mr. G and Linda Church. I don’t know what that is, precisely, but it gets thousands of kids out of school and it happens every year at this exact juncture since 2007. I will never, ever forget the first CW 11 Weather Education Day with Mr. G and Linda Church. It was the day Carlos Delgado came up in the ninth and capped off a miraculous winning rally whose memory gives me chills while it envelops me in warmth.

It was so fucking long ago.

The just-completed seven-game homestand against the sincerely second-division Reds and Nats should disabuse us of the notion that Mets are a good team. They are not good. They’re not necessarily bad. I’d call them ungood.

Ungodly ungood.

Now you could have gotten warm and bothered about it on the first legitimate shirtsleeves afternoon of 2008. Or you could have removed your Starter satin jacket and your Cooperstown Collection hoodie and soaked up the sun and hoped for the best. Your hopes would come up a little shy in the baseball victory department but there was the sun and other reasons to be glad you were outside at a game, not inside at your computer.

Even still…

I was at today’s game through the courtesy of Matt Silverman, whom you may remember from such excellent projects as Meet the Mets, Mets Essential and 100 Things Every Mets Fan Should Know & Do Before They Die. Matt scored field boxes for himself, me, his MTM co-editor Greg Spira and the incomparable author of Mets Fan Dana Brand. We were a quartet whose collective Met experience dates back, respectively, to 1962 (Dana), 1969 (me), 1973 (Greg) and 1975 (Matt). If you can’t have fun with all that Metsiana in the air — and the great weather — then you’re just a dolt.

But the bright sky and the loud kids and the heavy Metsian I.Q. and Gary, Keith and Ron peeking down from far over our shoulders and Mike Pelfrey bidding for immortality…it doesn’t disguise how ungood your 2008 Mets are. They’re just nothing special.

Maybe the tact to take is not to go nuts about it. Maybe the thing to do is accept their ungoodness and expect nothing more. I’m forty seasons into being a Mets fan. There were plenty of seasons when I thought maybe something good would happen, but anticipated little. Those were the teams I grew up on. ’69 was my entree but the real education came in ’70, ’71, ’72 when the Mets were also pretty ungood. Those Mets played a variation of the kind of game I saw today. Those Mets got effective, often awesome pitching and it would be undercut regularly by inept offense. They didn’t run themselves out of rallies because they rarely started rallies. But it was what it was and they were what they were.

We’re probably too sophisticated to laissez-faire away a .500ish team today. The .500ish team makes too much money to win barely more than they lose in our estimation. But the damn truth is that’s exactly what they do and their salaries aren’t going to change that. A new manager might. Sometimes a new manager does. Sometimes another team in the same division makes your own maneuvers moot. Should the Phillies or Braves or Marlins get legitimately hot for three weeks, and the Mets remain ungood, that may be it for the competitive portion of ’08.

And ya know what? Oh well. Seriously, oh well. I want the Mets to win as much as any Mets fan. I want the Mets back in the playoffs as much as any Mets fan. I want the Mets to win a third world championship as much as any Mets fan. Yet I sat back in the wake of my sunsplashed afternoon and pondered the 39 seasons that led me to the field level today. The successes have been sporadic. I come back anyway. After 13-1 drubbings, I come back not two weeks later first chance I get. After a 10-4 humiliation on an Arctic blast of a Monday night, I walk around on Tuesday thinking without an ounce of sarcasm, “Oh good, I get to go the game Thursday.”

Why should I let the Mets being ungood get in the way of my good time? Why can’t I just enjoy the final season of what I truly believe is the most beautiful place on earth if all you do is look at the field and the seats and the fences? Why can’t fun be fun in a world in which there is so little at large to feel cheery about?

I’m disgusted that the Mets lost 1-0.

I’m disgusted that Pelfrey’s finest outing was wasted.

I’m disgusted we’re still lacking that initial no-hitter

I’m disgusted that Reyes attempted to go first to third on a bunt.

I’m disgusted Reyes has devolved from shortstop gone wild to a showy Dick Schofield.

I’m disgusted Beltran was doubled off third.

I’m disgusted that Delgado is in a two-year slump and couldn’t pause it long enough to rekindle the magic of the inaugural CW 11 Weather Education Day with Mr. G and Linda Church.

I’m disgusted that Willie Harris isn’t turned back at the players entrance by security.

I’m disgusted that a last-place team just won three of four from our alleged contender.

I’m disgusted that in games started by Odalis Perez, Tim Redding and Jason Bergmann, the Mets scored all of seven runs.

I’m disgusted that Billy Wagner publicly sniped at several of his teammates afterwards.

I’m disgusted that several of his teammates absolutely earned Wagner’s wrath by apparently hiding from the press.

I’m disgusted that Willie Randolph manages like an NFL coach staring at one of those go-for-two/don’t-go-for-two cards.

I’m disgusted at the four years handed Luis Castillo and the deterioration of Aaron Heilman and everything else that disgusts us all.

I’m not made of cotton candy, for crissake. But I can’t stay disgusted for the last year of Shea Stadium, for my fortieth year of being a Mets fan. I like being a Mets fan too much.

The Mets are ungood. Maybe they’ll be better this weekend. That would be great.

Actually, that would be awesome.

15 comments to Change in the Weather

  • Anonymous

    The Mets are ungood. Maybe they'll be better this weekend. That would be great.
    Actually, that would be awesome.

    It would be awesome, my friend, but it wouldn't say much about anything: the team “we're” about to face is a slighly worse brand of ungood…

  • Anonymous

    And ANOTHER thing…
    This suckhole of an abortion of a disaster of a season reminds of nothing so much as 1993.
    Trust me, we're this close to firecrackers, bleach and “I'll show you the Bronx…”

  • Anonymous

    Maybe instead of “Live And In Person” the Mets slogan should be “Ungodly Ungood.”
    I could get behind that.
    The Dick Schofield reference really shows off the Metsian I.Q. Nice one.

  • Anonymous

    “I'm disgusted that Willie Randolph manages like an NFL coach staring at one of those go-for-two/don't-go-for-two cards.”
    It's Herman Edwards!

  • Anonymous

    At this point, I'm speechless.
    But I'm sure glad you're not, Greg.

  • Anonymous

    Fabulous telecast of the game from the upper-deck. Gary Cohen continually reminisced, great guest spots (Kranepool/Shamsky/Howie Rose) just great..
    At the quarter poll we trail-but this horse race has much more to go-and the pack is still bunched up..hang in there.

  • Anonymous

    It would be awesome whether the opponent is 20-22, 0-42 or 42-0. It doesn't have to say any more than that for now.
    Per your 1993 point…yeah.

  • Anonymous

    For the first time ever, I wish the Yankees were tearing it up. I mean, we're not doing a thing against last-place teams this year, right? Well what the hell are we going to do this weekend?!
    I'm just terrified that the Yankees will “find themselves” and right the ship during this series.

  • Anonymous

    Now I never said Willie wasn't a whiz at clock management. Why, he may even run it down to the two-minute warning on himself pretty soon.

  • Anonymous

    It's Herman Edwards!

    Bullshit. It's Rich Kotite!

  • Anonymous

    And they should be terrified that we'll do the same.
    All things considered, this is a good time for a little spotlight on this lackluster bunch. Throw them in the glare of a “SUBWAYSERIES!!!!!!” and see how they respond. Put the big money ace on the hill to start it out right. The next handful of games couldn't be more critical than they are for this club … unless you're their manager.
    (not sure that makes any sense. Need more coffee.)

  • Anonymous

    The history of this franchise for the past decade seems to be one of unadmirable restraint. Not leaving a starter in after 90 pitches, not retaliating on inside pitches, not getting too high or too low. Perhaps it is time to act as if a crucial series, even in May, is about to commence.
    Coffee or not, you're making sense.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. This year, the Subway Series is coming at the perfect time. It's sh*t or get off the pot time.

  • Anonymous

    I can't remember a Subway Series with less buzz. The novelty has long worn off. Both teams are utterly mediocre, playing in mediocre divisions. Even the weather is helping stir up apathy – three soggy, gray days.
    I'll be stunned if we don't go 1-2 this weekend.

  • Anonymous

    Phew! Thanks Juan Valdez!
    Not that it's a novel concept, per se, but I'm realizing that my feeling about this team has run pretty well in check with their performance over the last year; which is to say, wheel spinning.
    When I read “It's sh*t or get off the pot time,” I thought “Yeah!” and then I thought “haven't I thought that before?”
    This was followed closely by “yeah, before this last homestand, and before the last road trip, and before opening day, and … oh lord … last September, August, July and June. Shit.”
    All of which leads me to the conclusion that more and more of us (and, presumably, Mets ownership) are beginning to grasp: Time for a change.
    I don't despise Willie. I don't love him, but he seems alright. Sad fact is, though, something's got to give, and he's the only reasonable and potentially effective target for a pink slip. One suspects these next couple of series will seal his fate.
    Time for more coffee.