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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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Endless Season in Rainless Park

Go while the going is good
Knowing when to leave
May be the smartest thing
Anyone can learn
—Burt Bacharach

Mr. G was wrong. The grand upperclassman of New York weather forecasters said it was going to rain cats and dogs over the Metropolitan area Thursday and that Citi Field would be one big poodle. His colleagues agreed and the murky skies didn’t offer much rebuttal. My friend Sharon and I caucused the meteorological matter and came away convinced Irv Gikofsky wouldn’t lie to us.

Thus, despite holding tickets for the hotly awaited Mets-Brewers duel to the depths, discretion became the better part of fandom and we decided to take a pass. They’re not gonna play, we agreed, and even if they do, it was going to be five miserable innings of dancing through raindrops until the deluge came. We’d better not go.

So we didn’t go, yet it didn’t rain. There was no deluge, unless you count the torrent of Met misplays. That made Thursday night my first phantom game at Citi Field — the announced attendance says I was there, reality says otherwise. Reality and the announced attendance (24,661) are barely acquainted.

On one hand, I’m never listening to a weather forecaster again, at least if a baseball game is on the line and a tornado isn’t. Dillon Gee may have lost, but he acquitted himself better than Mr. G. Sharon was nice enough to invite me, I was delighted to accept and I’m sorry our arrangements imploded in the face of a faulty Doppler radar.

On the other hand, if you were going to miss one game you were sure you were attending in 2010, this one would have been tied for first with about 50 others. While I was home during the “action,” I nodded off briefly. If I were at the game, I would have fallen dead asleep.

The 2010 Mets: Your season has overstayed its welcome.

If I can borrow a third hand, geez, I’m tired of this Mets season. It’s the thing that wouldn’t leave, even though I know it’s headed for the exits in less than 72 hours.

As early as next week, I’ll go through those horrible offseason pangs of wishing for Mets baseball when 7:10 PM rolls around, no matter how much it’s raining, no matter how much it’s snowing. But let’s be clear — as clear as this particular night is windy: I will not be wishing for the 2010 season to rematerialize. This season has to go away and go away now.

This season has to be sent to a farm upstate to play with the 2009 season.

I’m beginning to have my doubts about the need for a 162-game schedule. This Met season, like last Met season, was truly too damn long. I’m not saying that just because they now permanently share losing records as a depressing common denominator. Other than last weekend when it seemed mildly important that we keep the Phillies from clinching for a couple of days, the Mets have had nothing to play for, and it’s shown. Once in a while, there’s been an encouraging pitching performance or a key ninth-inning hit and it’s provided five minutes of happy distraction. Otherwise, the phrase that keeps coming to mind is “amorphous blob”. The past six weeks or two months or maybe the whole second half has felt shapeless and formless. Games start, games finish, the Mets are involved in some undefined way, nothing actually happens.

This is the part of baseball Ken Burns never bothers to tell you about (perhaps because he’s too busy telling you about the Red Sox).

I’ve lived through losing seasons before this current spate of them — I think two is enough to qualify as a spate by now — and they don’t all feel this empty. Some years you get a player worth following to the end, and his at-bats or turns in the rotation make you forget how unmemorable the rest of it is. Some years you sense a change coming for the better, so you reason away the losses as a down payment on a brighter tomorrow. And then there are the years that just won’t go away. That’s what this year blobbed into ages ago.

This one is three eyeblinks from expiring. Knee-jerk sadness notwithstanding, it can’t vanish soon enough. I’ll miss baseball because baseball is what I do when given the opportunity to choose. I’ll miss the Mets and Mets games because that’s where I live spiritually. But this particular set of Mets and Mets games has been devoid of a reason for being since before the flood.

In a way, it’s too bad it didn’t rain Thursday night. This season needs washing away at once.

Maybe the perfect Mets bobblehead would cheer us up. Mark Simon of ESPN New York took a survey and shares the responses — including mine — right here.

12 comments to Endless Season in Rainless Park

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    You are right on about “The Season that just won’t quit”.

    It would take a psunami to wash this season away!!….It seems like this season has be going on for a decade!

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel and its a train coming towards us.

    This has to be a bad dream!

  • The length of season is ridiculous. It’s amazing to me that you could add an entire layer of playoffs yet not cut back the regular season at all. You have baseball in November. Unreal. If you have to have a 162 game season (about as ambiguous a number as I’ve ever heard) at least load up on doubleheaders and end the season on September 20th.

    I absolutely applaud you guys for diligently reporting on this team every single day, especially considering how appalling this season as been. I wish the Mets front office showed the dedication and passion that you guys have. I’ve seen other Mets related blogs absolutely give up on this team months ago, yet you two keep the faith (while the Mets provide the fear).

    The positive side of this horrendous season is that the offseason has the potential to be exciting. New GM? New manager? Potential trades? Development of the kids? What will happen to Beltran? Best of all, after 10/3, the Mets are guaranteed not to lose for at least 5 months!

    • It didn’t rain last night, so they couldn’t help but play, but how tempting must it have been to just call it off at the first sign of a cloud? How many Mets-Brewers games (and such) does MLB need?

      The season’s too long, except in 1999, when 163 games was the perfect length. OTOH, 145 or so games would have done the trick in 2007.

      On behalf of my partner and myself, thank you for noticing that we do this every day. It’s our pleasure, but it’s nice to see that somebody picks up on that.

  • Jon Shafran

    It was a LONG year. Started fine and happy at the All Star Break but then reality set in. Reality is that the organization needs to make changes. There were bright notes especially the young talent with Ike, Niese, Thole, Parnell and hopefully Mejia. Dickey was the best player on the team and Pagan showed that he can be a regular. They need a new GM and manager. They let Showwalter go to the Orioles and now missed the boat on Kevin Towers for GM. Obviously Jeff Wilpon doesn’t know how to run a team. Worst of all has been the medical staff. Can’t diagnose an injury to save their lives. They need to hire new medical personnel but knowing the Mets they signed a long term contract with them too. It might be a while to get out of this mess so forget about the long year it could be a long decade. I hope NOT

  • dmg

    …and there goes .500.
    how bout 10-games improvement over last year? is that a goal? probably not. they’d have to sweep the nats to get it.

  • I’m not crying about missing out on Towers (the Padres have not exactly set the world on fire the past decade or so), but really hope we can pry someone away from the Minnesota organization. Year in, year out, those guys always contend and rarely make bad decisions regarding payroll. Now that the Mets have really good young talent, it’s up to management to make sure they continue to develop and add complementary players that can help them contend.

  • Guy Kipp

    Nice effort by Jose Reyes late in the game to run out strike three when it got away from the catcher for the third out. He visibly looked annoyed, like he just couldn’t be bothered, and quarter-assed it down to first base.
    The “optics” of it were atrocious.

  • Matt from Sunnyside

    Yes! October baseball for the Mets!


    What happened to this team? I guess they at least did everyone the courtesy of collapsing in July instead of waiting until September this year, but geez. They looked decent in April, good in May, like world beaters in June, and then everyone in the lineup forgot how to hit for 70 games. What the hell, man?

    Maybe I was wrong about Jerry. I understand that it’s important to be even keeled as a manager, but when a team demonstrates that it has that much talent, and then plays that listlessly for more than two solid months (a couple of scattered, lopsided wins aside), you’ve got to wonder if he was a good motivator. It’s a really long season and I’m sure you’ve got to find ways to get a lot of those guys refocused.

  • Dr. Remulak

    Take heart, fellow Met fans. Those familiar with the NY Mets Cycles Of Seven know that this, 2010, is the final year of the current seven year cycle which (obviously) was a “down” cycle. Disappointment, gloom, misery and scads of terrible baseball were inevitable.

    Next year, however, marks the first year of an “up” cycle. The last “up” cycle gave us the Bobby V years, two thrilling playoff seasons and plenty of excitement. Good times are coming, as unlikely as it appears right now. Remember where you read it first: the Mets WILL win the World Series within the next 3-5 years.

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