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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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Sleeping With the Fishes

Tuesday night’s Mets-Marlins extra-inning affair at beautiful Joe Robbie Stadium dripped on until about one in the morning (or as they call it in the Bronx, prime time). Then, about twenty minutes later, or so it felt, there was a Wednesday night Mets-Marlins affair at the same facility whose turf, it saddens me to report, does not appear to have been aided one little bit by the signature product from the fine folks at Pro’s Choice.

Maybe somebody needs to actually open the sacks of Soilmaster to get it to work.

The Mets and the Marlins. They just kept going. They never left. They found the ugliest place in America for baseball and they grimly resolved to continue pecking away at each other, two direction-impaired pigeons hopelessly attracted to the same murky birdbath.

Is it any wonder I cracked open a fortune cookie as the 1-0 regulation series finale moved briskly through its sixth or seventh hour, and it read, “HELP! I AM BEING HELD PRISONER INSIDE A METS-MARLINS GAME!”?

Well, I could have.

Nobody forces me to watch Mets-Marlins games, yet one is always in progress everywhere I look, so they are awfully difficult to avoid. We nod off with the Fishes. We wake up with the Fishes. We go outside with the Fishes and discover summer has disappeared and fall is in gear. I fully expect there will be more Mets-Marlins games today, tomorrow and into eternity.

Salvation? Mets.com claims there are no more games with the Marlins immediately ahead: not here, not there, not anywhere for the rest of 2011.

But I assume that’s a lie.

I assume the Marlins stowed away on the Mets’ plane back to New York.

I also assume, as in The Blues Brothers, the Marlins have already convinced the folks at Bob’s Citi Bunker that they are the Good Ole Boys, and by the time the actual Atlantans show up today for their makeup 4:10 twinbill, the Marlins will have engaged the Mets in another 18 or 27 or 36 innings of soggy, saggy Fishball.

I assume Wayne Hagin is broadcasting it right now.

Finally, I assume that when Fredi Gonzalez complains incessantly that his team is the authentic Mets opponent du jour, Jack McKeon will excuse himself to the parking lot so he can write out an American Express travelers check to cover the extensive bar tab. Except McKeon and his band will instead lie in wait to assault the Cubs when they arrive so they can take Chicago’s place for three or four or twenty more games against the Mets this weekend.

Are we done with the Marlins yet for 2011?

Are we really and truly done with them?

Was the 1-0 kissoff to Joe Robbie actually it?

Will Emilio Morrison Buck really not be leading off at 4:10?

Will Gaby Sanchez and his stinging bat really not be watching every breath I take, every move I make, every bond I break?

Can we really scrub the teal accents out of the Mets logo?

’Cause I don’t believe it.

We’ve been playing the Marlins every day and every night and every morning for the past five months. Sometimes — like when R.A. Dickey is starting and Bobby Parnell isn’t closing — the result is satisfactory. Yet no matter the score, the process grinds clear down to the nub of the soul when it’s Marlins, Marlins and more Marlins. I’m honestly surprised the Mets are not still down in Miami, engaging in the same continuous (as opposed to continual) night-day-night doubleheader until the Dolphins troop in Sunday morning to tell them in no uncertain terms that they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay there.

The Mets play the Marlins. It’s the only thing I know anymore.

21 comments to Sleeping With the Fishes

  • Nice job as always.

    The irony is that in a few months, when we’re buried in snow, you would gladly stab someone in the eye with a spoon if it meant you could have a fresh Mets-Marlins game to watch.

  • Maggie

    The Marlins are the Joe Pesci of baseball – annoying, classless, lazy, egotistical, and just barely effective enough to screw people up as much as they do.

    I don’t know where Sun Robbie Dolphins Craphole Stadium fits into that metaphor, but goddamn is it hideous.

  • tim

    The Miami Marlins need to move to the AL so that Marty McFly’s vision of the 2015 future can come true. It would mean that the Cubs would win the World Series, which is not an ideal result, but at least the Mets wouldn’t have to play them 16218 times a year.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Why all the moaning about having to play at Joe Robbie etc etc etc Stadium? As Gary pointed out last night, it’s the only place ever that the Mats are over .500 lifetime (min. 50 games).

    PS: I was thoroughly amazed (Gary too, it seemed) that thier 2nd best record was at Busch Stadium. One series in June 1985 is all I remember…

  • Kevin From Flushing

    So glad to be rid of the Marlins for another season and extra glad to be rid of that stadium. Now the fears of what travesties await in the new ballpark will start creeping in.

    Hopefully all the hexing going on will be directed at the Marlins for animal cruelty.

  • dmg

    i’ve been to three games at citifield this year. all three: marlins. in the past two weeks (11 days, actually) the mets have played the fish 8 times.
    could we please go back to a balanced sked?

    • Dak442

      It seems like every time I stumble into tickets, or have to fill a package… Marlins. Honestly, it does seem like we play them 40 or 50 times a year. I know we should rightfully hate them because of their celebrations upon the end of Shea, but I feel mostly indifferent. They’re such a lackluster franchise, whether they’re good or bad at the time.
      They really need to go back to a balanced schedule, both from a fairness perspective, and because it’s a travesty we only play the Cubs and Cards and Dodgers a couple of times a year.

  • Guy Kipp

    Let’s not forget, next March we’ll be treated to about 7 or 8 matchups between the Mets and their frequent spring training sparring partners, the Marlins.

  • 45 Year Mets Fan

    When Shea closed the Mets had Seaver pitch to Piazza. Aside from ex Met-Jeff Conine, who will close down Joe Robbie?

    • Matt from Woodside

      Maybe they’ll have a special ceremony where Josh Beckett and Gary Sheffield fold that giant blue tarp into a Bagster.

      • The Bagster! That is the strangest ad I’ve seen behind home plate anywhere. Part Bag! Part Dumpster! I don’t doubt there’s an application for that, but a) is a Marlins game played inside what could charitably called the Bagster of ballparks the best avenue to reach potential consumers?; and b) do the Marlins work with their advertisers on honing message? “Sure, we’ll slap anything you want back there, including how appealing a part bag, part dumpster is.”

        The Bagster…geez.

        • Matt from Woodside

          That ad was perfect for that place, though. Early Tuesday morning, I think it was Nick Evans up to bat with that ad behind him, and there were 200 fans in the stands and Gary said a cat was on the field.

          I surprised myself by thinking “Man, I can’t wait for the new Marlins park to open next year.” I don’t even know why! It’s not like I’m going to fly down to Miami to catch any games. Soilmaster is somehow a depressing place to watch a game on TV though. You and Jason have been cracking me up the past couple of days with your farewells.

    • Will in Central NJ

      With half-seriousness, I think the Fishies might bring in our old pal Luis Castillo to help Jeff Conine close down that joint. To us Met fans, Castillo is an enigma, to put it nicely. But last I checked, Castillo is the Marlins’ all-time hit leader….kind of like our Ed Kranepool. Yeah, Conine could throw the final pitch to Castillo…and Castillo would drop it.

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    Keep it going on!….That means I get to see the METS for 81you Road games!…..Besides we beat them 6 out of 8!