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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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Abandoned Playground

Something about the way the sun hits Shea in late afternoon when almost everybody's gone home appeals to me. Probably because it reminds me of the playground at East School. That's where I did most of my balling, if you could call it that, in my youth. It's where I played kickball and stickball and softball and basketball and football when I was in my single-digits and teens.

Never mind that I wasn't any good at any of it. Never mind that there was often some character of low degree waiting to target and harass the contemplative and unathletic. Never mind all that. I liked the East School playground, something about the way sun hit it in the late afternoon when almost nobody was around.

That's Shea at the end of a weekday afternoon like this one. That was Shea today. It looked a lot like it did at the end of April when almost everybody vacated the premises via good sense. Then it was 13-1. Today it may as well have been.

I stand by my statement of clarity: the Mets suck. A team does not have this stretch of games without internal suckitude defining its very soul. A team does not get the trademark Johan Santana start for which all had been waiting and then throw it away without some incredible suck.

Billy Wagner…somebody check his middle initial. I'll bet it's an S.

Let's not completely blame the bullpen. Let's blame the offense, too, the one that finds ways to leave tack-on runs forever untacked, the one that aims its line drives at Diamondback gloves until all it has left to give are wan popups. Let's blame Willie for whatever it is Willie did or didn't do while we're at it. There are no innocents when 4-0 leads are blown and 5-4 losses appear in their stead.

So much for momentum. So much for saving up energy by not effusively mobbing last night's game-winning hitter. So much for whatever illusions linger about the 2008 Mets. They are as scattered as the tenth-inning spectators were at Shea Stadium today, the playground abandoned, the sun setting on this very sorry team.

10 comments to Abandoned Playground

  • Anonymous

    I was wrong. Wags hasn't turned into Looper (apparently a servicable starter). He's turned into Benitez.

  • Anonymous

    I may be the only one who thinks Wagner will be fine… but once he's fine, something else will break down. These are your Mets.
    This loss heartens me, in that we're one step closer to wholesale changes. Maybe one day we can have a team that doesn't need to give at-bats to Damion Easley, Luis Castillo, Marlon Anderson, Fernando Tatis, Somebody Aguilla and Endy Chavez, all on the same day.

  • Anonymous

    This is now my new manifesto. I have shared it for the world to see.

  • Anonymous

    I'd be less pissed off at Wagner if he hadn't been so quick to publicly criticize Ollie Perez instead of supporting his teammate.
    But he was. So I'm pissed.
    Shut the fuck up and do your job Wagner!

  • Anonymous

    Many pots, many kettles, much blackness.

  • Anonymous

    I'm just kind of numb now. It seems that every day a particular portion of the team seems to find a new and excruciating way to fail.
    I think that, while the Mets have some very good parts, this team just isn't that good. :(

  • Anonymous

    Oh, God. Wasn't that awful?

  • Anonymous

    Wes Westrum? We're down to that??

  • Anonymous

    Well, it certainly wasn't amazin'…

  • Anonymous

    I think we all have a special thing for our childhood playgrounds. Even now I have live memories of best moments spent on our school playground. Those were good times! I can't help comparing then and now, our kids have more options on the playground, better playground equipment but I wonder if they feel the same way about the place as we used to feel.