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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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The Fan Standing in the Cold Dark Night

Well, on the plus side Aaron Heilman kept us in it several batters longer than I thought he would.

After we got an HDTV, Emily and I had to deal with a problem: The picture had such hallucinatory clarity that we'd frequently get distracted by fans in the stands. What's that lady keep doing? Did you see that guy's hat? What's that guy reading? Would those kids watch the game already? (As a side effect of this, we went from thinking people on their cellphones waving at the person who can see them on TV should die to thinking they should die slowly.)

We're used to it by now, but during road games Met fans still catch my eye. For us New York folk, road games — even ones in the mountains far away — are primarily an oddity of the clock, to be watched from the couch. But for New York expats in those road cities, they're different: They're big nights planned out and awaited for some time — an evening when you'll get to see your team up close, and when you'll wear your faraway colors defiantly before the home crowd, whether in triumph or in defeat.

I thought of that after Matt Holliday's homer, when SNY's camera caught a guy in a blue Mets t-shirt somewhere on the third-base side behind a fuming Billy Wagner. Holliday had rounded the bases and headed back to the dugout, but that fan was still standing there in mute dismay, apparently too numb to do anything but stare at the field.

I wonder how he managed during everything left to come — Reyes' half-witting snare of Ryan Spilborghs' hard smash to avoid a loss in regulation; Reyes' round of high-velocity Twister with Clint Barmes; Reyes' erasure at the hands of conspirators Yorvit Torrealba, Brian Fuentes, Omar Quintanilla and, well, Jose Reyes; Heilman's apparent determination to walk Jon Herrera; Heilman's giving up a hit instead; and Holliday, again, sending the Mets to the hotel and us to mutter our way through preparations for bed.

If that poor Met fan was still standing there through all that, I hope he remembered the bars are still open in Denver.

6 comments to The Fan Standing in the Cold Dark Night

  • Anonymous

    I was the poor Met fan in the blue shirt about 50 feet to the left of where Holliday hit the home run. I went straight to the Whiskey Bar in Denver when Heilman came back for inning number two. Hey, other than the speeding ticket I got on the way to Coors, seeing my fourth straight Mets loss there over the past three seasons, and having mold in my house, I'm having a wonderful day. Oh yeah, and I'm heading back down for more in 12 hours. Keep an eye out for me.

  • Anonymous

    We're still seeing good stuff from everyone individually. This team just still isn't a team. I don't know if they're still torn apart by last September or not. That is most certainly horrible mojo, but it's getting to be a flimsy excuse here in late May. I'm still not convinced that firing a manager that lets his team play is the answer, either, though.
    Got to say, though. These last few games, Reyes has really been Reyes. He's kicking ass. He hasn't had many opportunities to do complicated televised handshakes, but he's been reignited, and I love watching him play.

  • Anonymous

    I fell asleep during the commercial break between the eighth and ninth. Mets were up 5-4. Schoeneweis had gotten the job done. Wagner was looking “relaxed” in the pen. Willie Randolph was still the manager. That's the last I remember.
    I woke up around 3:15 with Racing from the Meadowlands on. Took me a minute to realize I had no idea how the Mets game had ended. Surely it had ended well. It had to have ended well. Ollie toughed it out until he was left in too long. Smith and Schoeneweis had backed him up capably enough. Delgado had homered. Tatis had homered, for crissake. There was even a go-ahead run of some sort. We were winning. Surely we had won.
    I waited for ESPN News to flash the score. They take their sweet, sweet time to come back around to the NL. But we had to have won, had to.
    Mets 5
    Rockies 6 F/13
    Holy smokes and other things.

  • Anonymous

    Reyes is and always will be a child on the baseball field . . . 6 years in the bigs and he continues to play like a knuckle headed 10 year old kid

  • Anonymous

    What's the saying ?? Perez has a million dollar arm and a 10 cent brain.

  • Anonymous

    That weird hop that Ollie used to make over the baseline always made me think he was a superstitious guy prone to getting spooked. I think Peterson has calmed him down a lot, though.
    With Reyes, that other poster is exactly right. He totally plays like a knuckleheaded 10 year old kid that loves the game. He swings at crazy pitches sometimes. He always leads off too far on second. He gets in the corner of the pitcher's eye, daring the guy to try to turn around and get him out, no matter what the inning or score. It costs us sometimes, but more often, he breaks opposing pitchers' concentration and looks brilliant stealing bases and stretching out hits.
    When he plays with that aggression, he's such a huge factor. When he tries to play like a regular ballplayer, he's a regular ballplayer.
    Man, I'm glad that Mets fan in Colorado was able to catch Saturday's game. Nick Evans HOF 2028!