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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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Not Free Enough

I thought it was swell that the Mets told those of us who held rain checks from Saturday’s soggy yet official game against the Braves that we could come back to Citi Field and trade them in for shiny new tickets to Monday night’s game against the Nationals.  And I had a half a mind — to use too obvious a straight line to pass up — to take advantage of their goodwill. I wasn’t exactly planning to go see them for a third day in a row but I just kind of assumed my momentum would carry me there. The Mets play, I seem to materialize.

But I couldn’t do it. Could not pull the trigger. Could not bring myself to subject myself to another live and in-person look at them, even though as a Mets fan my default mode is to avail myself of every live and in-person look at them I can get. I mean, c’mon, it’s the Mets gameand it’s free.

Ultimately, it wasn’t free enough. I don’t want to say they would’ve had to have paid me to spend three more hours with the 2012 Mets, but even at a ticket price of $0.00, this wasn’t going to be a cost-effective visit.

Not unless the Mets were going to comp my transportation. And food. And beverage. And mental health coverage.

Yes, I had a half a mind to go see the Mets again Monday night. Thank goodness the other half of my mind stuck up for sanity.

What did I miss by not paying what the Mets of September 2012 are worth when R.A. Dickey isn’t pitching?

• R.A.’s Cy Young rival Gio Gonzalez looking not remotely Dickeyish yet winning handily. He gave the Mets five walks in six innings, and the opportunistic Mets made him pay by…no, actually, Gio, like the Saturday set, didn’t have to pay. The Mets cashed in no opportunities. Scott Hairston hit a solo home run, but by then, Collin McHugh had spotted the Nats five runs, and the score was what it was going to be for the rest of the night, 5-1.

• Kelly Shoppach dropped a foul pop that extended a Kurt Suzuki at-bat long enough to turn it into a home run, which reminded me of an observation I made while sentenced to ten innings of Mets baseball at Citi Field on Sunday: if there is one modern-day player who seems likely to get caught up in a Black Sox-like scandal, my nominee would be Kelly Shoppach. That’s not to say I think he was throwing the game. I don’t think any of our catchers is capable of throwing a game, let alone a baserunner out at second.

• The Ramirii, Elvin and Ramon, were effective, as was Jeurys Familia. I don’t know if their combined four innings of no-hit ball means anything in the scheme of 2013, but good for them. It didn’t do the Mets any good since their batters did nothing to three Nationals relievers for three blankety-blank innings, but the Mets, per Terry Collins’s delusional postgame comments on “positives,” would like us to believe what good we see is good, and the rest can essentially be ignored.

• The Mets tied their mark for uninterrupted home-game offensive futility by not scoring three runs in an eleventh consecutive Queens contest and they came up with something I didn’t even know existed besides: they’ve now gone 106 innings in a row without scoring more than one run in any given Citi Field inning. That’s the worst for any team since 1909, back when catchers probably did drop foul pops per arrangements with the gambling community. What’s the 2012 Mets’ excuse?

• Official attendance was a shade less than 22,000, presumably including the tens and tens of Saturday tickets exchanged for Monday. Based on the photos I saw online and the wide shots from the center field camera on SNY, I wish to congratulate the Mets’ official attendance counter on submitting the winning entry for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for distinguished fiction by an American author. If R.A. doesn’t win the Cy Young, at least we’ll have that.

16 comments to Not Free Enough

  • Dave

    I don’t recall if anyone in the organization officially called this the dreaded “rebuilding year” or not, but that’s what we more or less assumed was the point of shedding a Pittsburgh plus Kansas City sized chunk of payroll. If so, can anyone tell me the difference between “a rebuilding year” and “this team sucks?”

  • sturock

    Good question. And how long will it take? It’s more like a “pre-build” because who’s gonna still be there if and when this team gets good again? Matt Harvey? Anybody else?

    I think Collins is emphasizing the positives (whatever they are) in his post-game interviews because otherwise we descend into the same negativity that has gripped the Mets since, what, called-strike-three? The 2007 collapse? The 2008 collapse? The cliff we fell off in 2009 and– except for a brief fling here and there like the 2012 season that ended with Johan’s no-no on June 1– never climbed onto again?

    I dread another winter like last year’s Madoff season. All the negative discourse surrounding my favorite team is hard to take.

    When does it stop? When does it turn around? Do we believe in Alderson?

    It’s a good question. Is the rebuild slowly happening? Will it take three to five years? Or what if the Mets just suck?

    • This is a reasonable question. The Mets suck, but I can’t tell if it’s transitory sucking or transcendent sucking.

      • sturock

        For those of us who were children back then, at least the Mets were fun when they sucked in the 60’s.

        For those of us just out of college back then, at least the Mets were fun when they sucked from 77-83– and you could smoke large amounts of pot in 9/10’s empty Shea Stadium.

        For those of us who lived 3,000 miles away in LA at the time, at least the Mets were fun (but pushing it) when they sucked in the firecracker-bleach-Baby-Bo early 90’s.

        But what outside of the broadcast booth are they doing for me now?????

  • Jim Haines

    Jackie ‘The Jokeman’ Martling threw out the first pitch better than Baba Booey did.
    Jackie did provide unintentional hilarity as he was there to pimp his foundation to stop the needless slaughter of horses. Okay. The audio for his 2 PSA’s were under-a-pillow-muffled, but the tagline of this foundation is ‘Redefines the relationship between Horse and Man’ which sounds like a DVD you’d buy wearing sunglasses in Detroit at 2am.
    Gametime temperature was 38 degrees in a stiff wind. Aaaaah, a ballpark in a marsh.
    Retired to the Over-Rated Club near section 413 because of the balmy breezes.
    The Over-Rated Club has no bathroom, nor coffee.
    In the Over-Rated Club they were thoughtful enough to show the Bengals/Ravens game on too many TVs.
    The doorman and police officer were engrossed in this game, especially when I came back with my Hot Chocolate and needed the door opened because the Over-Rated Club doesn’t serve Hot Chocolate either.
    They were also thoughtful enough to show the Men’s Finals from the Tennis Thing being played 132 yards away.
    The Tennis Thing on TV, incidentally, drew the biggest crowd cheers of the night.
    The ongoing Mets game was broadcast on a few TVs. Unfortunately, these broadcasts were on TVs near the air-vents, so we sat in an indoor draft. These TVs in the draft are somehow showing the same game in this ballpark out-of-synch.
    ‘The count oh-and-two The count oh-and-two on Ike Davis Kelly on Ike Davis Kelly Shoppach on deck Shoppach on deck.’
    We left in the seventh. This didn’t mean we got home any quicker because the Tennis Thing ended at the same time and completely snarled traffic in the parking lot for the last two innings anyway.
    The tickets were free.
    On the plus side, my wife liked the steak sandwich.
    You can take this team and this organization and censored, censored censored up their censored censored with broken glass.

  • Dak442

    On the plus side (I’m reaching here), Keith’s inability to account for the whereabouts of most of his Golden Glove trophies (“I think they’re in a box in the basement”) and Gary’s subsequent plea (“I’m the only one in the booth who doesn’t have one. Can I have one of yours?”) livened up the broadcast proceedings. We could use more LOL moments that aren’t directly related to the on-field mess.

  • eric b

    No bigger condemnation of the Mets lately than Greg’s not wanting to go to a game. :-(

  • Dave

    Sturock…I recall the details of 77-83 exactly as you did, except I don’t remember them being fun, they just sucked. Best part was that you could buy general admission tickets, slip an usher a few bucks, and then sit wherever you wanted to. I’d rather hear Gary, Keith and Ron talk about Richie Hebner than have to watch him play, so at least we’ve got that.

  • Steve D

    In June I thought I might have to change my icon…but the crestfallen Mr. Met is more apropos than ever.

    Where have you gone Nelson Doubleday? Mets Nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you.

  • The brand equity of horrible losing epochs and not necessarily brilliantly engaged former owners only grows when compared to what keeps sprouting in place.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Does this make you feel any better:

    METS ANNOUNCE PRELIMINARY 2013 SCHEDULE

    Opening Day Is Monday, April 1 vs. San Diego at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field

    The New York Mets today announced the club will begin the 2013 season at home vs. the San Diego Padres on April 1 at 1:10 p.m.

    The opening homestand continues Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4 with games against the Padres followed by a three-game series with the Miami Marlins, April 5-7.

    The Washington Nationals’ first trip to Citi Field will be April 19-21 and the Philadelphia Phillies travel to Queens for a three-game series, April 26-28.

    The Mets host the Yankees at Citi Field on Memorial Day, May 27 at 7:10 p.m. and Tuesday, May 28 at 7:10 p.m. The Mets then travel to the Bronx for a two-game series, May 29-30.

    New York’s remaining Interleague schedule includes games against the American League Central. The Mets will travel to Minnesota, April 12-14, Chicago, June 25-26 and Cleveland, September 6-8. In addition, the Mets host the White Sox May 7-8, Royals, August 2-4 and Tigers, August 23-25 at Citi Field.

    Following the 2013 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field, the Mets will open the second-half with a seven-game homestand from July 19-25 vs. the Phillies and Braves.

    The majority of 2013 home games at Citi Field will start at 7:10 p.m. for night contests and 1:10 p.m. for day games – with the exception of Thursday, July 25 against the Atlanta Braves, which will start at 12:10 p.m., and Thursday, August 8 vs. the Colorado Rockies, which will also start at 12:10 p.m.

    The Mets will conclude the 2013 regular season with a four-game series vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, September 26-29.

    The 2013 schedule is subject to change, including all Saturday and Sunday games times, which are subject to Major League Baseball’s national broadcast agreements with FOX and ESPN.