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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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Toss the Linen

Let's run down what the New York Mets accomplished today.

1. They didn't commit a shocking mental or physical error.

2. Daniel Murphy gritted his way through one very good at-bat.

3. Johan Santana was terrific in a terrifying hitter's park.

But the first is damning with faint praise, the second was immediately rewarded with a double-play ball from an exhausted, lost David Wright and the third was an utterly wasted effort. It was a day in which the 3-4-5 hitters went 0 for 11 with six Ks and no Met had an extra-base hit — and, incredibly, it was the best showing of a lost weekend of horrifying baseball.

And so we've come to this: See this towel? There it goes. Thrown in. Done.

Oh, I'll be a faithful watcher and chronicler of Met games for the rest of 2009. It's long past too late to stop doing that — if I made it through 2003 and 2004, I can get through the rest of 2009. Hell, on October 6th I know I'll catch myself wishing I could watch David Wright strike out and Fernando Tatis hit into a double play, sick as that sounds. I don't have a choice about these things. I'm a Mets fan; I watch the Mets and celebrate the Mets and fume about the Mets and suffer with the Mets. It's what I do and what I'll continue to do.

But I no longer believe in the Mets. Their 2009 incarnation is done. Giant fork in the back. Over. Eliminated, with the math a technicality.

I know, they're four games back at the halfway point of the season. I know, they're missing blah and blah and blah and blah and blah. I know, the NL East is so pathetically bad that the proper course of action would be to bust the division down to AAA level and take another wild card from the other two divisions. I know all this.

But none of that matters. Ask yourself this: Is there anything about this team that makes you believe in anything except their capability to lose another game in a fashion somewhere between listless and excruciating? The ability to lose in some newly appalling manner is the 2009 Mets' only transcendent quality. In every other way they are drearily consistent: offensively inept, defensively sloppy, fundamentally unsound, mentally ill-prepared, poorly constructed and badly led.

I'm not done watching them. But I am done being deluded by them and disappointed by them. The towel is thrown in. Garbage time has begun.

Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

21 comments to Toss the Linen

  • Anonymous

    Well, that's not very fan-like, is it?

  • Anonymous

    I'm through 7 games on my 15 game miniplan. The next 8 games determine whether I repeat in 2010. At very least, I have and will be exploring an awesome, if under capacitied yard. If you haven't, check out the memorabiia store at field level on the third base side.

  • Anonymous

    where in the fan code does it say that to be a fan one must be fantastically delusional in his expectations?
    as long as i don't pick up another team, kind of pay attention sometimes and go to a game every once in a while (maybe?) i'm holding up my end. i don't gotta believe. and by the way, tug was being sarcastic when he said it.
    our new slogan should be “you can't fucking BELIEVE” how we lost another one

  • Anonymous

    I believe. I believe. It's silly, but I believe….

  • Anonymous

    About all I can muster up is “I have my doubts.”

  • Anonymous

    Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.
    Do you think Kris Kringle's available to pitch for us?

  • Anonymous

    I never thought my Mets fandom would approach Knickfan-like levels of apathy, but we're getting close. I still love the Mets (always will) but it doesn't mean I have to like them right now.

  • Anonymous

    All I can say is I will beleive that Omar will not let a collapse happen and that we will see a drive for the division lead before the end of the season. But as a fan all my life, if I am let down by a GM not doing anything with no sense of urgency, then my faith in this ownership will really be tested and I will call for the head of Omar. He should then be fired. No questions asked.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I couldnt even watch yesterday.

  • Anonymous

    “Nobody thinks we're going to make it.”
    “You've just described every great success story ever written.” (From the film, SAY ANYTHING.)
    I personally don't think we're “going to make it” either, but jeez, wouldn't it be…AMAZING if we did?

  • Anonymous

    :-) I believe the expression is “damning with FEIGNED praise.”

  • Anonymous

    Kris can't be any worse than what we've got….

  • Anonymous

    Feint. It's “damning with feint praise”.
    we're going to be looking for someone with a full season plan to buy in with next year. The friday/random crappy weekday games plan was fine to get us into opening day, but the weekday plan is all over the place and has us going to two games in a row – for the same opponent – more than I care to… especially in this state.
    we have four all-stars on our team and we can't win a fucking game. it's not like this is a rebuilding year and we have a team of young guys who are just figuring things out for the first time. the play on the field – or lack thereof – is inexcusible.
    as i told someone on saturday, when i was at the house of evil, the reason i wasn't wearing mets gear was because the mets weren't playing, not because i was embarrassed (even though i am). they're still my team. but right now, they suck. maybe every single player on the DL will come back in two weeks and the team will magically become a contender, but if you bet on that, you're going to lose a lot of money.
    in the meantime, i still have tickets to use and games to go to and I'm going. i'm just probably not going to glue myself to the tv or the radio every night. if that makes me not a fan, so be it.

  • Anonymous

    Neither could the late Maureen O'Hara

  • Anonymous

    To get something of value, one needs to give up something of value. To replace several players of value due to injury, one needs to give up several players of value as well.
    More than one player is needed to make up for three injured regulars, two starters and a set-up man. I would therefore not jeopardize the future to try and salvage the 2009 season. We learned our lesson in 2004 and did not repeat it in 2005.

  • Anonymous

    I like yrrrr style, grrrrl…

  • Anonymous

    No…it's damning with FAINT praise, as in “praising something so noncommittally (faintly) that the praise is actually construed more as an insult.” It's not about faking the praise (which would be feinting or feigning), but about how weakly something is being praised.
    On the “weakly” tip, that's pretty much my best adjective to describe how my faith in this year's Mets crop is feeling. I still have faith – I always have faith in the Mets, to some degree, with 1973 and Game 6 1986 as my enablers – but this year's crew is disappointing in ways that extend far beyond the loss of the core or the lack of trade chips. It's that a) any squad that is cobbled together to represent a major league team should be endowed with at least basic baseball fundamentals, which this lineup is clearly not; b) this particular lineup is absolutely the product of continued systematic failure to properly exploit under- and over-valuations in the market, to soberly evaluate team strengths and weaknesses and respond to them, and to represent the vision for building the team anything like accurately. Wilpon, Minaya, etc. simply cannot claim that they are building winning teams when they continually fail to intelligently evaluate their options and instead play the “either throw gobs of money at it or pretend it doesn't exist” game.
    As a result, as has been talked to death, we've got a barren farm system and a third-string starting lineup. Our strong core is a base strength, but it cannot include players like Carlos Delgado. anything he contributed this year should have been counted as gravy, not relied upon. You can't plan on Reyes, Wright, Delgado, and Beltran to play 155+ games per season, season in and season out.
    So, yeah, my faith is set atop a foundation that is shaky, at best. I do believe in miracles, but not every day.

  • Anonymous

    I continue to fume about the Mets' worst move of the off-season, which was not solidifying the lineup by signing Adam Dunn (22 homers, .401 OBP on a terrible team, perfectly consistent with his career numbers and exactly what has been missing this season.
    But even without Dunn, the Mets aren't done. They are in danger (Rollins is about to get hot, Lidge is looking better) but as long as Reyes and Beltran return at full speed after the break, this team can compete in this particular division. If two or three of Perez, Maine Wagner, Putz and Delgado come back by mid-August and the return of Beltran and Reyes have kept the Mets within four games of first, then we'd actually look pretty good.
    And, look on the bright side… if we don't catch the Phillies then we can't collapse in September

  • Anonymous

    I watched with one eye closed as the Yankees swept us the weekend previous. I was thankful to be leaving on a six-day roller coaster road trip so my brain could be completely devoid of baseball. Hershey Park was great. Cedar Point was heaven. Dorney Park was unimpressive. Each night I'd have an “oh yeah” moment around 11pm and check the score. I was happy to be away.
    Yesterday was my first full day home and I thought, “it'll be nice to catch a game, especially Johan.” After his second pitch of the game, I remembered why I was so happy to have left New York six days prior.
    But hey, it's not over. We all know how it will turn out: we'll go on a run after everyone gets healthy and fall one game short in the end. Wagner will probably blow half his games along the line.

  • Anonymous

    Not to disagree with any of the sentiments discussed here – my towel landed right next to Luis Castillo in Yankee Mausoleum about a month ago – but I just want to point out that Maureen O'Hara is NOT late. Thankfully, she's 88 and still very much kicking!

  • Anonymous

    On the plus side, I cannot imagine any of the teams in the East, as presently constituted, making it out of the NLDS alive. If the WC comes from the West, and there's a pretty good chance it does, that means the Dodgers in the first round. 'Nuff said.
    But I also cannot imagine that at least one of these teams is going to look a lot different a month from now.
    Ours, hopefully.