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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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Fifty-One Weeks Later

As late afternoon became early evening Sunday, I was bucking myself up for the challenge ahead, both the Mets' and mine. Theirs is the one that matters, winning enough games without losing so that they return to the playoffs and try to win a world championship. Mine is simply to show up and try not to be an impediment to their success.

Wow was it familiar. It's just about what I was doing at this time a year ago. A year ago there was some slight relief (pun not intended, though it should have been) with the Mets winning three straight in Miami. It didn't fool many of us who were fast gaining our degrees in collapsology. Trouble was surely lurking and it hopped right out from behind the bushes the second the Mets' charter landed at LaGuardia for their final seven games. Me, I rendezvoused with the team for the final five, four of which were abysmal and we know how that ended.

So here I am and here we are and, a few key differentiating details aside, it's basically the same thing all over again. Sunday was fifty-one weeks since the worst day in the history of Shea Stadium settled in our hair and rushed up our nostrils. We went through all of that anguish and all of that angst and all of our recovery efforts and all the rationalization we could muster just so we could get right back where we started from: trying to make the playoffs, trying to not miss the playoffs, trying our darndest to be there as much and as best we can.

What's that saying about doing the same thing, expecting different results and the definition of insanity? Never mind that now. It's too late. It's been too late as long as I can remember. If I could just slip the bonds of fanhood without a second thought, don't you think I would have long ago? No, this is the life I, like you, have chosen. I have chosen a life that inflicted upon me insane amounts of unhappiness fifty-one weeks ago and I've gone through every motion possible just to arrive back at potentially the exact same precipice.

Except this time I'm determined to go the final seven games of the year, not just five (having already been to the previous eight which, virally speaking, literally sickened me). And if things go as wrong as they possibly can, it will turn a sweet-sorrow parting into the most bitter ballpark funeral I can imagine.

Hence, I'd appreciate it from my friends in Mets uniforms if they could build leads and hold them this week, if they could find a way to win far more than they lose and for their counterparts in management to not make me sorry I've been looking so forward for so long to so much.

Is it really so much to ask for?

As for the ancillary issues connected to the final seven regular-season lines of The Log:

1 win in the next 4 games clinches a winning record against the Cubs. (Current: 10-7)

2 wins in the final 3 games clinch a winning record against the Marlins. (Current: 16-16)

3 wins over the Marlins would make them the second-most oft-beaten opponent in Log history. (Braves: 20)

2 losses to the Marlins (shudder) would mean a losing record against every current divisional opponent. (Braves: 20-23; Phillies: 18-21; Nationals: 6-8)

4 wins are needed for the most in one season. (2001: 23)

6 wins in the final 7 games would put the final Log record at 40 above .500. (Currently: +35; Highest previously: +38 on 6/21/02 and 7/26/02)

2 Santana starts and 1 Pelfrey start would put 10 in The Log for 2008 for each of them, tying for the most by any one starter in any one year. (Leiter in 2001)

2 more games attended will bring the 2008 total to an all-time high of 39. (2001: 38)

4 more games attended will mean I've attended a majority of the home schedule in 2008.

5 more games attended will bring The Log's regular season total to 400 lifetime.

4 games attended against the Cubs will signify the only complete four-game series ever attended.

2 wins will clinch a .500 season. The Mets need more than that for their own survival, but if I were to finish 22-22, it would be quite familiar. My record was .500 in '83, '84, '86, '91, '92, '94, '95, '96, '03 and '04.

A win Friday would snap a Friday losing streak of five consecutive games dating back to 9/14/07, the first night of The Collapse. Friday is the only day of the week without a win recorded in The Log in 2008.

If I don't focus on the minutiae, the big picture might strangle me alive.

It occurs to me that with the last two losses in Atlanta, our record fell to 86-69, which was either intentional so as to inspire great championship luck or a subliminal way to sell remaining $869 seat inventory.

9 comments to Fifty-One Weeks Later

  • Anonymous

    I'm going with the subliminal seat sale number. This team is really depressing me to the point where it's affecting my creative juices… ugh.

  • Anonymous

    Well, the Mets have put themselves behind the 8 Ball now. Kiss the division goodbye, that's a goof. The Brewers have games against the woeful Pirates (and the Brewers seem to get that you have to beat bad teams down the stretch) and the Cubs who will be resting up for the playoffs. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs mail it in intentionally, hoping the Brewers make the playoffs and thereby setting up a cushy first-round series against LA instead of us/the Phils. Then again, a first-round series against us is probably seen as pretty cushy, too.

  • Anonymous

    What was your record vs the Expos? What about Eastern Division teams before the division expansion in 94? Just trying to give you anything that helps to not think about this season.
    It's really hitting me now that the Division is out of reach. We have to play well above our ability to win it–if the Phillies play .500 the rest of the way against teams they've owned all year. This is crazy. The Phillies have always choked, and yet because of one stupid year we all assume they're invincible down the stretch.
    Whatever. I know that this damn season is coming down to the final game, again. And I know that the Brewers may just get hot and knock us out. But I refuse to be as upset as I was last year. I'm starting to look at this team the same way I looked at the 2001 team: they took a season headed for total disaster and made it fun for a while. Shit, I know I'm not the only one in April and May that declared, “this is my least favorite Met team ever.” And look what they turned into! So come Sunday at around 4pm, they could be headed to Chicago, printing scouting reports on the Brewers, or setting up Tee Time for Monday — I'm going to applaud them no matter what. They gave all of us a great summer.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    If we somehow don't make the playoffs for the second season in the row, and also taking into account that we lost the 2006 National League Championship to a basicly .500 team, will you and Jason be changing the name of the blog to “Faith and Failure in Flushing?”
    And how disappointing it is to see, at this crucial point of the season, one concentrate so much on personal stats! :) :)

  • Anonymous

    Fear of Failure in Flushing that Formerly had Faith.

  • Anonymous

    This team has given me vertigo…

  • Anonymous

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  • Anonymous

    Versus Expos 13-12; Cubs 10-7; Cardinals 14-10; Pirates 14-13.

  • Anonymous

    Brewers seem to get that you have to beat bad teams down the stretch) and the Cubs who will be resting up for the playoffs. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs mail it in intentionally, hoping the Brewers make the playoffs and thereby setting up a cushy first-round series against LA .
    Wow this makes no sense. The Brewers finally won a game yesterday and that shows you they know how to win. Secondly, if the Cubs mail it in how does that help the Brewers exactly?