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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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Baseball's Least Magical Date

What better way to commemorate the second anniversary of Collapse Day than by folding, crumpling, blowing away and being kicked in the collective groin by the Washington Nationals?

This was the first time we'd played on September 30 since the September 30 that has come to define the fortunes of this franchise to which we are mysteriously and inextricably linked. The September 30, 2007 follies and the actions of the weeks that preceded them was a foreshadowing of what this team would become.

A bunch of chumps with no clue, no pride and no professionalism.

The New York Mets have done almost nothing right in any on-field or off-field sense since blowing that seven-game lead two Septembers ago. Except for a brief spurt of solid play in July and August 2008, they've been a dismal team populated by dismal players led by dismal management. They weren't much healthy when it counted last year or early this year and we've seen how they've disintegrated since getting ill.

No Reyes, no Delgado, no blah-blah-blah? No pride and no professionalism. Chumps! This is not an outfit that gets easily inspired let alone motivated. It's content to be swept by the one team in the National League that used to be indisputably worse than it. How do I know it's content with being beaten about the ears by a ragtag 103-loss unit? Because they let it happen. Because they always let it happen. Because the Nationals had 103 losses when this series began and they have 103 losses now. Because I'm the genius who watches this team enough to know quality when I don't see it.

The Mets are up to 92 losses, incidentally. Only the calendar running out will keep them from topping 95.

Fire Jerry. Fire Omar. Deduct a day's pay from everybody's enormous salary and donate it to a good cause. I'm gonna go stare in the mirror and ask myself, speaking of no clue, why I've made the weekend plans I have. I'll be at Citi Field Friday. I'll be at Citi Field Saturday. I'll be at Citi Field Sunday.

I'll be at peace Monday. Infinitely stupider, but at peace.

Oh, and speaking of even MORE no clue…this. Can't somebody fire a Wilpon or two?

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29 comments to Baseball's Least Magical Date

  • Anonymous

    You, sir, are what's known as a “glutton for punishment”.
    It's just so disheartening to realize that most of these very same suspects are going to be back in '10. Why even bother bringing Manuel back when you know the “death watch” will begin on Opening Day? Why hang onto Omar when you know his off-season moves will consist of overpaying for a middle-rotation starter no one else wants, maybe a cheap bullpen arm or two and whatever geriatric LF happens to be available? I don't know…
    Jeez, I'm already complaining about 2010. Blame it on the 09'ers, they're just that damned discouraging.

  • Anonymous

    You, sir, are what's known as a “glutton for punishment”.
    A glutton for Blue Smoke at any rate.

  • Anonymous

    I actually forgot they played at 4:35 today, turned on the FAN, heard them go up 4-2, THEN got back in the car to runa quick errand, heard it was 1st & 2nd no one out, ran back home and told my son and wife (who had the Yankee game on), “turn the TV on and let's watch KRod blow a save”. I thought I was over this, I hadn't watched a game in about 3 weeks (portions here and there). Even in this shitty season, they managed to find a way to rip my heart out again. But by all means, let's bring the whole roster back. I saw Adam Dunn with his .268 AVG and his 38 Homers and said..”oh yeah, we didn't need him”.

  • Anonymous

    My 11 yr old son plays in a fall baseball league. There are no real standings, no championship, no trophy — it's just a bunch of kids who love to play baseball. So they go out there at play their best during every game, for no reason other than to play baseball, improve their skills, and to win the game at hand. So explain to me why the Mets can't do that?

  • Anonymous

    KRod's line tonight is still better than Gl@v!ne's 2 years ago. A tough loss tonight, but really, what would a win have brought? A playoff berth? Consider how devastated a Braves fan feels right now, especially after Paulino comes out to the mound afterwards laughing. We've been there before with the fucking Marlins, we know how it is.
    On the rubber situation… it's frightening how much it doesn't bother me. Like the Mets on-field play in 2009, I'm just used to this kind of ineptitude. This is nothing new. Remember, our owner likes to talk about how great the 2000 World Series was. Seriously, is it just because getting embarassed by the Yankees reminds him of being a kid? WTF?!
    All I know is if Santana pitched a perfect game with 27 strikeouts at Yankee Stadium, the Steinbrenners aren't giving him the rubber. They'd remove it from the “sacred” mound, Im sure, but only to incinerate it.

  • Anonymous

    Let me rephrase my stance on the rubber situation: it does bother me, but it's frightening how quickly I accept it.
    This is the stupid team I've chosen. This is the stupid baggage that comes with it. I'm the stupid guy who keeps supporting them.
    And shit, how about the Reyes situation? Did anyone not see that coming?

  • Anonymous

    What can I say that hasn't already been said by Greg, Jason and all of you?
    Only that few fans really see quality baseball today, let it be at Citifield or Dodger Stadium. Even the best teams don't properly execute the basic fundamentals. Even on winning clubs many batters don't bust out of the box. Fielders lose balls in the sun wearing sunglasses over the bills of their caps to look good instead of the old fashioned flip down types. Runners don't know when to take the extra base and ignore the third base coach. Why aren't on-deck batters signaling to runners to slide or at least getting the bat out of the way so they won't get hurt?
    And how often have you seen a team lose a game more than the other team winning it?
    Ridiculous salaries and multi-year contracts have created complacency among players. But this is partly the fault of the fans for they have allowed this mediocre trend to continue. Unlike football, baseball is dependent upon attendance figures.
    Continue paying outrageous ticket prices and continue getting inferior baseball. Encourage teams to bid against each other for high priced free agents and then pay to see them stop producing the same figures that got them signed in the first place.
    Majestic home run shots, diving catches or close to 100 MHP pitches does not necessarily mean the game is being well played. The little things are just as important to winning as those other things are. If one thinks he or she sees major leaguers performing at their best then watch replays of games from the sixties and seventies on MLB network and notice the difference in quality, even on losing teams playing out the string

  • Anonymous

    A tough loss tonight, but really, what would a win have brought? A playoff berth?
    Logically, I hear ya. If the Mets had held on without incident, I wouldn't feel 180 degrees different. It wouldn't be cause for celebration that we'd beaten the Nationals and not been swept. I would have just been glad the season was a little closer to its expiration date.
    But to lose that way, as if to be emphatic in their reminder of how much they (to use Rodriguez's word) suck…how do they do it?

  • Anonymous

    BTW – I was so intent on venting my anger last night that I forgot to indicate it was me who submitted the above post.
    Woke up late this morning as well and just barely made it to the office on time (but it's only a 10 minute drive anyway).

  • Anonymous

    Nope,
    See that everyone appears as “anonymous” when replying to a specific comment – so I did leave my name despite a lack of sleep after all!
    Just hope this doesn't mean FAFIF will begin executing the funadamentals as well as the Mets are.

  • Anonymous

    People always razz me for loving and following the World Baseball Classic, but my reasoning is quite simple: the Japanese and Koreans play baseball the right way: strong fundamentals, constant hustle, and execution of the “little things”. It's breathtaking to watch! I don't doubt for one second that it's the reason why Japan and Korea have utterly dominated the first two tournaments.

  • Anonymous

    Good point and reflective of our overall social values.
    One exception was back in 2004 in Atlanta when Kaz Matsui, so frustrated after bobling yet another routine grounder, got his anger out by deliberatly throwing the ball over the head of his first baseman instead of holding onto it. This enabled the runner to take an extra base. I remember the dirty stare he got from the pitcher on the mound. Fortunately for Kaz that happened to be Tom Gl@v&n* so I'm sure he wasn't all that devestated that his shortstop's temper tantrum helped to cost him a game.

  • Anonymous

    Off-season moves: I see Milton Bradley and Jose Guillen as corner outfielders, and Jose Contreras leading the team in starts and innings on the way to an 8-14 season with a 5.33 ERA. Anybody see ANYTHING implausible about this scenario?

  • Anonymous

    In other news, the Giants are 3-0.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the curse of Fran Healy.
    The ex-Yankee catcher and Dolanvision broadcaster put the kibosh on Los Mets after the Wilpons put together their own low-rent tv operation, and left Fran out of it. The last three years of no Significant October Baseball for the Metropolitans [Steve Somers] proves it.
    Beats a billy goat or a black cat …

  • Anonymous

    Mercifully, I missed yesterday's follies, as I was en route to see Bruce Springsteen play the final shows ever at Giants Stadium.
    Let me say firstly that Bruce is an anatomical marvel. He turned 60 a few days ago and is still built like a halfback, with just as much stamina.
    Bruce opened the show by debuting a new song — “Wrecking Ball” — in honor of the “Old Girl” iminently being knocked down. It was a terrific celebration of place, heart and resiliency: pure “Jersey” and better than anything Chumbawamba could have done. He even included a shout-out to the Giants in the lyric! Would that he could have written something similar a year or so ago…which kind of brings me up short. Giants Stadium is “the Old Girl?” Giants Stadium is 12 years YOUNGER than Shea. I'm just sayin'…

    Oh, and speaking of even MORE no clue…this. Can't somebody fire a Wilpon or two?

    JESUS H. CHRIST, it just gets better & better & better, doesn' it?
    SELL! THIS! TEAM! NOW!

  • Anonymous

    If I were in a charitable mood, I'd look at the gesture toward Rivera as something akin to this:
    “When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice-versa, sends a gift — that's something.”
    So said Lou Gehrig on July 4, 1939. 'Cept that New York (N.L) gesture toward a New York (A.L.) great wasn't built on Gehrig beating the Giants' brains in.
    Perhaps Jeff could sent Mariano the first base bag to commemorate the bases-loaded walk he received from Frankie Rodriguez.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps Jeff could sent Mariano the first base bag to commemorate the bases-loaded walk he received from Frankie Rodriguez
    For fucks sake–you had to remind me of that?! I had seriously forgotten about it!

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps I'll send Mr. Wilpon a rubber as well…the one his father should have been wearing on the night he was conceived. This is as embarrassing as Pete Rose Poster Day back in 1978.

  • Anonymous

    Holy shit, lenny, I fell off my chair..that was friggon funny.

  • Anonymous

    I'm fairly certain I'm laughing as much over the Pete Rose Poster Day reference as I am over the other thing.

  • Anonymous

    That's funny Lenny.
    As if this whole pitching rubber scenario isn't enough, I was at Tropicana Field last week watching a Rays game. I consider them my secondary team, my AL team. I was horrified to notice that there are several, almost lifesize pictures of Yankees in the concourse! WTF?!!! I could maybe, maybe understand if it was some sort of baseball legends tribute bs, and Mays, Aaron, Musial etc. were there too. Nope, just Mantle, DiMaggio, Ruth…
    I fucking give up. It's a plague and it's everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    Hell, send 'em the glove Luis Castillo “used” on 'that night”. Or maybe ALL of Luis Castillo. But not the pitching rubber, we might actually need that next year.
    Re: Pete Rose Poster Day: some scars never fully heal. And some things never change. I guess that makes me a glutton for punishment too.

  • Anonymous

    It was April '79, Pete in as a Phillie to commemorate what he did as a Red. They presented him with the original LeRoy Nieman print between games of a doubleheader (a doubleheader sweep, though I doubt I had to specify). Pete made the most ungracious thank you speech I've ever heard.
    “It's you fans that make me go, go, go!”
    Go, go, go to hell, Pete.

  • Anonymous

    Ahhh, 1979. Mettle, the miniature Met mule. Low-budget Old-Timers Day festivities. Pete Rose Day. Pete Falcone. The magic truly WAS back in those days!

  • Anonymous

    Lenny,
    Still haven't stopped laughing! Next season they should hold “Wilpon Condom Night” to promote safe sex.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent idea! Every fan over 18 in attendance will get their choice of either a Brooklyn Dodgers or NY Giants officially licensed condom. They'd be for novelty purposes only, of course, as they'd no doubt be prone to breakage.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lenny,
    You're repeating the mistake made by the Wilpons when they wanted Citifield to be a shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers and not Casey, Gil, Seaver, Doc, etc.
    Therefore, the replica condoms should have pictures of Met players on them instead. After all, they do play like a bunch of dickheads…..

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