The blog for Mets fans
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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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The Only Way to Fly

Eight years ago today, Faith and Fear in Flushing took flight. We’re still aloft. The Mets were taking off for the sky on February 16, 2005. These days they’re learning to crawl.

Time’s flight has been steadier than that of the Mets’ ascent, which stopped cold on a called strike three that I couldn’t have fathomed would mark the peak altitude for the Mets Jason and I began blogging 20 months earlier. I can’t believe the Mets didn’t win the pennant (and the World Series) in 2006. I also can’t believe the Mets didn’t make the playoffs in 2007 (and 2008). But if I’m honest with myself, I can’t believe the Mets soared as high as quickly as they did following our 2005 launch given how crummy they were from 2002 through 2004.

That’s a lot of not believing for a fan of a team in whom, by custom, you gotta believe. Yet 2005 to 2008, the salad days for Faith and Fear, were halcyon days for us as Mets loyalists compared to the four seasons of nosedive that followed. There were moments to treasure between 2009 and 2012 — there are always instances that transcend the depths of a given campaign, as anyone who’s read The Happiest Recap could tell you — but boy, oh boy, was the prevailing context a tough thicket to negotiate. I’ve spent the first halves of the last four seasons not quite accepting whatever good Met fortune was transpiring before my disbelieving eyes and all four second halves dutifully documenting how that tenuous progress had evaporated upon re-entry into the atmosphere.

But I can’t stress this enough: we were there to watch it burn up. We watched the Mets go to hell in 2009; make a return trip in 2010; go back to find the jacket they apparently left behind in 2011; and treat it like a timeshare in 2012. The Mets have made a late-summer home in hell these past four seasons, and Faith and Fear has been on top of every baseball day of it.

I’m strangely proud of that. It’s easy enough to check out when August and September become choke points on the calendar. Many Mets fans — bloggers and non-bloggers alike — swear they throw up their hands rather than throw up something worse as one dispiriting loss becomes a losing streak…which becomes a losing month…which becomes a losing record. But I swear faithfully (if occasionally fearfully) that I’m here: keeping tabs, watching closely, listening hard, giving it as much thought as it takes to glean something out of close to nothing so we harvest as much digestible fruit off the Met vine as possible.

Why? Because it’s what I do.

Probably the nicest thing a reader said to us in our eighth season of blogging was this, after yet another deflating September 2012 loss:

It’s amazing to me that with the incredible glut of horrific, unwatchable and indescribably boring games that you guys keep coming up with interesting posts. Seriously, you guys are having a Dickey-like experience. You keep winning despite this terrible team. Kudos!

Granted, a comment like that carries a very different emotional resonance than one that appeared on our site the morning of October 20, 2006, hours after that called strike three…

Brilliant as always. Poignant as expected. Well done. This goes for the 2006 Mets as well.
 Ya know, if I didn’t read about the exploits of my beloved Mets on FAFIF, it’s like it never happened. 
Thanks for a fantastic season, guys. (You too, Mets.)

…but I think each sentiment speaks for what we do here. High times and low, we do with this team all that we can. Maybe it involves the Mets as they valiantly fall one unhittable curveball from greater glory, maybe it involves the Mets as they trudge on and on until we wish they’d just trudge off a cliff already, but we’re with them in our own way and we don’t depart.

I was wondering yesterday on the eve of this anniversary if instead of 2005, Jason had asked me if I wanted to start a blog about the Mets in 2013. This time we wouldn’t have the promise wrought by the splurge that brought Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran to our shores and we wouldn’t be bolstered by having consumed a significant taste of the talents young Jose Reyes and David Wright had already exhibited. Instead, we’d be coming off a winter when R.A. Dickey was traded and no desperately needed outfielder in his obvious prime was acquired, whatever the means necessary to have done it. Yeah, there’d be one young pitcher we salivated over for a few starts the year before, another we’d been assured will be even better than that guy and a catcher capable of making trading the Cy Young winner seem like a bargain. But there’d also be an ownership not necessarily capable of doing anything that pushes the team from a maybe to an almost-definitely — and in real time, we’re not nearly assured of “maybe” territory yet; we’re maybe “maybe,” at best.

Having watched the unwatchable and described the indescribable as a matter of horrific course in terms of the four seasons that have withered and died on us (never mind the unhappy endings attached to ’08, ’07 and ’06), I can’t honestly say for sure that non-blogger me would be dying to jump in cold in 2013. Who would root limply through the belief-draining second halves of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and volunteer, “You know what I want to do? I want to write about this team every darn day that it plays!”

Then again, who am I kidding? The Mets lost 88 games last year on top of losing 85 the year before, pausing in between to let my favorite player leave as a free agent. Sound bad? Shoot, the Mets lost 91 games in 2004 on top of losing 95 the year before — and those were seasons played out in what were also sold as the gateway to a potentially brilliant new era (they all are)…oh, and they let my favorite player from just prior to that period walk as a free agent. Yet there we were, on February 16, 2005, ready to go, not knowing what Pedro had left from Boston or if the Carlos of Houston could possibly be the Carlos of New York or how far David and Jose had to go to live up to our burgeoning expectations, never mind the usual questions about a miserable bullpen (et al) and an ownership that hadn’t noticeably distinguished itself to date, checkbook availability or not.

Of course we’d start blogging now if we hadn’t already. I was Mets-miserable for most of 2003 and 2004, and I was on board the first day of Spring Training in 2005. The Mets were Mets-miserable all kinds of years and dispatches from St. Pete/St. Lucie beckoned regardless the following Februarys. If the technology existed in 1978, I’d have blogged those Mets from the first of their 66 wins to the last of their 96 losses and been gladly back for more in mind-shatteringly abysmal 1979.

This Metsian blog turns eight today, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been a Mets blogger all my life. I was born this way and I’m still this way. So whether we’re in for a “fantastic season” or an “incredible glut of horrific, unwatchable and indescribably boring games,” Flight FAFIF continues aloft. As a dependably friendly voice was careful to remind us from the cabin, fasten your seatbelts.

23 comments to The Only Way to Fly

  • Inside Pitcher

    Happy Blogoversary Greg and Jace!

  • Skill Sets

    In spite of the Wilpons, we all enjoy your Mets fandom. Zimmo!

  • Matthew Artus

    I’m just grateful that the Wilpons haven’t tried to sell you two for scrap yet, or that Sandy didn’t trade you to Toronto to sweeten the pot. Here’s to eight more years!

  • BlackCountryMet

    You’re one of the reasons being a fan of the Mets is,despite everything,worth doing! Discovering the blog,through the book, has heightened my fandom and for that, I thank you

  • Joenunz

    +1 Greg and Jason.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Congrats to you and Jason for the eight years of fun and joy you have given to all us followers.

    Great question about would you two have had the same enthusiasm for starting a blog now like you did eight years ago when we were also perennial losers. But the difference then is even though we had the same owners as we had today, we knew they were trying. Right or wrong, they were trying. And the Mets still reflected something good in all of us.

    That all changed after Tom and Mike closed center field door at Shea that last day in 2008. As an original new breeder (love to wear that badge on my chest) I was totally unprepared for what followed – suddenly, one could not be proud of what the Mets stood for – not with the players but with the organization. Expensive seats and an indifference to the fan community that made the Mets what they were and then the induction of a general manager who represented everything that was not Mets – culminating in tossing out with insensitivity R.A., one who BLED orange and blue with the best of us so he can save having to sign him for two more years.

    That’s why it’s hard to be a new breeder today, just like it would have been hard to start a blog. This is not the Mets that we grew up loving, through thick and thin.

    Hey, sorry if I dumped water on your eighth anniversary celebration. We need FAFIF to give us hope that humanity has not left the Met world and that it will return some day.

    • Joe,

      No water dumped (which would be bad news for Senator Rubio). The scaling down of the outfield dimensions and the painting of the walls from misguided charcoal to Mets blue put my active Citi Field animus mostly behind me in its fourth season. As for the rest of the organizational hijinks, I’m going to hope for the best and try not to blatantly expect the worst.

      Thanks for giving us the New Breeder’s blessing. Here’s hoping the sixth decade of Mets baseball creates a generation of fans with less baggage than we carry.

      • Joe D.

        Hi Greg,

        You’re forgetting how svelte you became and how I’m losing weight too since we last saw each other so we too are carrying “less baggage”.

        Here’s also hoping that the future generation of new breeders allow themselves to enjoy the game for what it is and simply yell “this guy is great” or “that guy can’t hit a fastball” instead of subjecting us to a relentless specialized analysis of baseball through objective, empirical evidence (aka sabremetrics) and agonizing themselves over player contracts (money ball).

  • Howard mangel

    Thanks for a great 8 from you guys at least…from zimmo to Nimmo to Cliff to The Monster to self serving GMs and owners (or their sons), you guys continue to help us survive with humor and insight. Thanks and here’s to the 2013 Mers being half as good as you guys are!

  • Jerry

    I started reading this blog about 3 years ago, so I missed the first few years but this is one of three Mets blogs that I regularly read. Hopefully I’ll run into you fellas this year at Citi. Here’s to another baseball season.

  • Gio

    Happy Anniversary, guys. Keep up the good work! The brand of intellectual fandom that you guys chronicle here will always have value, regardless of whether the team wins or loses. But let’s hope they win. LGM!

  • RoundRockMets

    “We watched the Mets go to hell in 2009; make a return trip in 2010; go back to find the jacket they apparently left behind in 2011…”

    Ok, literally laughed out loud there. As your designated first not-previously-acquainted follower, let me say congratulations on 8 great years. And thank you for bringing your wit, passion and incredible insight to us. Thank you for giving us a voice.

  • Greg – congratulations on doing such a great job for eight years.

  • 9th string

    Hey – glad you liked my comment enough to list it here. I can honestly say that i missed a lot more Mets games in 2012 than FAFIF posts. Keep the faith (and the fear will follow).

  • srt

    Congrats on your 8 year anniversary, guys.
    Still one of my favorite Mets blogs.

    Long live Faith And Fear in Flushing!

  • Thanks to all of you from Jason and me. It’s nice for writers to be read.

  • Happy Belated Anniversary! (Sorry: I missed my train…)

  • JerseyJack

    Happy Anniversary, guys and thanks for putting together a “must read” blog for all Mets fans!

  • Kevin From Flushing

    I know I’m late to post this but: misery loves company, and I wouldn’t want to be in the company of anyone else than Met fans who like to read (and write!)

    Thanks for all the years of work and dedication, guys.

  • DAK442

    Belated congrats to you guys! And thanks for significantly enhancing my Mets experience, especially over these past few lackluster years. Someday we’ll be back on top again and I look forward to reading and writing about it here.