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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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No Hurricane Yet, But It Sure Did Blow

There was this bizarre humming sound that popped up a couple of times from behind Loge on the first base side Friday night. Maybe it was audio feedback. Maybe it was the Martians homing in on Grovers Mill again. Or it could have been a monitor indicating a case of flatlining.

The Mets, the crowd, all of Shea Stadium went brain dead in their opener against the Phillies. No real sign of life from the bats, no sustained pulse from the fans, no evidence that the plug hadn't been pulled on the flight from Milwaukee.

Strange they and we would come into the final showdown series of the season this way. Mike Pelfrey pitched wonderfully, but Brett Myers pitched better. Ryan Church leapt and almost made a great catch; the result was a two-run homer for Greg Dobbs. Ryan Howard leapt and did make a great catch; the result was an out on Jose Reyes. Eight innings of ineffectual offensive behavior gave way to a ten-minute tease that amounted to a big fat zero.

The whole night just didn't work. The trip in on the train was slow and my car was overtaken by the vocally robust cream of Massapequa youth who apparently looked just old enough to be sold suitcases of Coors Light and Busch (in my perfect world, everybody soberly and quietly reads scouting reports and the Baseball Prospectus on the LIRR). We straggled out of Jamaica and crawled to Woodside. The Port Washington connection whooshed by a minute or so before we pulled in. I headed for the 7 Express only to learn signal failure would consign us to the local track. Once at Shea, my electronic ticket did not compute with the scanner because somebody I otherwise hold in high esteem did not follow fairly explicit “you take Seat 7” instructions (but I kind of figured he might not, so I brought a copy of what was supposed to be his ticket as well and got through the gate).

Finally, I arrive in the bottom of the first, Mets down 1-0, and some jerkoff chatting on the phone at the head of the row doesn't want to get up to let me through. I sit down and I'm treated to listless baseball in front of me, some genius loudly and repeatedly calling out JOBU! to Carlos Delgado one row in back of me and that weird humming from who knows where meaning who knows what.

On the plus side, Ricardo Rincon looked pretty good and there was almost a fight between one Phillies fan and a men's room full of Mets fans.


I'd like to think the Xcel Center in St. Paul is the only place that had an elephant in the room this week, but this was the first September date at Shea since the last spate of September dates at Shea. Sure, certain events and certain series from the recent past tend to cross your mind, and yeah, some Schmidthead in a Phillies jersey waved a small banner from Modell's that said 2007 at the start of the bottom of the ninth and the gods did not punish him for his obnoxious presumptuousness (presumably the oversized hanky was a Pennsylvania promotion, but boycott Modell's anyway), so you begin to worry if not exactly panic.

But it's a different year now. This was just a lousy game. As Tony Soprano said to Patsy Parisi — after the death of his brother Philly — “you're with us now, so why don'tcha, uh, leave the morbid shit back at Junior's crew and have a happy birthday?”

We're with the 2008 Mets this September. We're alive and well.

7 comments to No Hurricane Yet, But It Sure Did Blow

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it was yet another “Idiot Night” at The Big Blue Thing. I had Joe Cool behind me… who moved me to actually flip someone off for the first time in my life. The kind of guy who makes me ashamed to be a Met fan, who exemplifies the kind of fair-weather fanhood that's sadly crept into Flushing over the last few years. To wit:
    Delgado comes up. People cheer. Joe Cool: “HA. Remember when we were all booing him?” (Uh, no, f**kface… actually, I don't. I remember when morons like yourself were booing him, but kindly don't assume that “we” were “all” booing him. Some of us actually support our players through thick and thin, not just when it's fashionable to do so. STFU.)
    Delgado grounds into double play. Joe Cool: “Huh. He's just like A-Rod. Never comes up big when it counts. We don't need an A-Rod on this team.” (Wherein Laurie's middle finger makes its inaugural appearance as an individual entity.)
    This kind of nonsense went on all night. I was treated to such loftily-delivered pearls of wisdom as “It's Daniel. Not Dan or Danny… DANIEL.” (Thanks for the timely info, dude) and “that Victorooni guy is from Hawaii” (kill me now). If not for the awesome girl I was seated next to, I would have moved to any one of dozens of disturbingly empty sections to get away from him. Things were bad enough without listening to this idiot spout his ridiculous crap in my ear. It was obvious he was trying to impress the woman he was with…why do men at sporting events try to impress women by being snide, critical and negative? I guess they feel like it makes them sound like a real fan, like they know the “inside dope.” IT DOESN'T. IT MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A TIRESOME, POMPOUS A$$. And anyone who'd go on a second date with you after listening to you sneer at and belittle your own team all night deserves what she gets.
    Low point for me was probably the Ryan Church non-catch, which not only gave me a Todd-Pratt-in-reverse heart-stopping moment (like with Finley, I thought he had it until his body language said otherwise…) but made me sort of dead inside afterwards. Oh, I saw something to counter the 2007 banner… A Met fan in a “Phuck the Fillies” t-shirt with WILLIAMS 99 on the back. HAHAHAHA. Dude, that's harsh. But hilarious.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn't believe there were so many empty seats in the upper deck for so important a game. Even Gary Cohen alluded to it with amazement and disbelief. Doubt the low crowd was caused by anticipation about Hurricane Hannah because she wasn't to hit us until today. Hate to admit it but the Yankees would have been sold out had they been hosting the Mariners on the other side of the East River.
    Advance tickets must not have been selling well since we were inundated with emails from management to come out to Shea this weekend.
    What did they announce the attendance at?

  • Anonymous

    What was with the empty swaths of upper deck? It was like a wave that stops dead in right field. Ed Coleman said in late afternoon it was a sellout but that was clearly not the case. Are they no longer selling the seats now that they're selling the seats?

  • Anonymous

    More than 48,000 was announced and it seemed close to accurate for a change. Everything up to the wings of the Upper Deck was pretty full, but the wings were plum unoccupied. It was almost like they were having a 1979 tribute and closing the upper deck.

  • Anonymous

    Left field I mean. Waves usually start in right.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn't it “Bring your dog to Shea” night? (No joke!) It seems like that could have had some sort of effect, although I'm still trying to figure out what. They were showing lots of shots of people with dogs, and several of those dogs were big enough to need their own seat. Phillies in September? Odd choice for Bring Your Dog To Shea night, regardless.

  • Anonymous

    It was the same canine promotion as was held last September's Friday night game against the Phillies. It was also the same exceedingly incompetent umpire creating improvisational strike zones behind home plate. It was the same bottom line result, too, even if it wasn't as cranky an evening.
    Maybe the rainout was a good thing to shatter all precedent.