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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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Decline and Fall

The descent of Western Civilization from its state of earthly pre-eminence can be dated from the pagan celebrations that regularly engulfed the plates of home in the early stages of the twenty-first century Anno Domini. These were bacchanalia whose sheer offensiveness to long-established standards of morals and tastes crested with the actions of the False Idol of Nieuwenhuis going yard within the sacred grounds of Our Lady of Cholula. It wasn’t so much the deed that was executed off the iconic wooden bat that touched off such momentous impact as it was the untoward merriment that ensued in its wake.

An expositor of all that was good and decent spoke out against the Nieuwenhuis idolators, declaring that their exuberant secular embraces, repeated vertical motions of the feet and offering of baked goods to the face of the Nieuwenhuis itself ran counter to the spirit of social acceptability. This, the expositor foretold, portended “another indication of the ongoing decline of Western Civilization”.

For his steadfast foretelling, the expositor of all that was good and decent was mocked and rebuked, yet within less than two solar days, those who would perpetrate the offensive bacchanalia received their comeuppance, first from an unforgiving atmospheric disturbance that lengthily delayed their next opportunity to perform their native rituals; then from an endemic torpor that transformed their heretofore iconic wooden bats into hauntingly familiar piles of dust; and finally from the karmic fates that would not allow the idolators’ Joyousness of Gee — in which the first among bases was at last ideally attended to by he who could play the first among bases far better than he could the leftest among fields — to go nine unabated innings.

One did not need to be an expositor of all that was good and decent to predict that the mythic monstrosity known as Freeman of the Peach Patch would itself go yard well beyond the standard time frames of routine. Those who rallied around the False Idol of Nieuwenhuis were left to burn with the fury of a thousand bottles of hot sauce as the denizens of the House of Ted replicated essentially the same form of idolatry that had appeared to the former celebrants so innocent and uplifting not two solar days earlier.

Our Lady of Cholula wept. The False Idol of Nieuwenhuis was rendered impotent. The Joyousness of Gee was devastatingly curtailed. His prophecy having arrived on the edge of accuracy, the expositor smirked the smirk of the chronically self-righteous. All concerned were condemned to play and play again as the second solar day continued as if the first one had never ended. An offering of fresh young aces would be made to appease the gods, yet the gods were said to be determined to once more disturb the atmosphere with the grimmest of clouds, the most raucous of thunder and delays that might lengthen well into a third solar day before all could be said and done. Western Civilization thus sagged until it slumped on the verge of no longer standing straight.

Only the promise of perseverance on the part of the fresh young aces and, perhaps, an encore presentation of Mets Yearbook: 1978 could save the idolators now.

14 comments to Decline and Fall

  • Ojeda's hedgeclippers

    I kept waking up muttering the mantra implanted in my brain by Terry Collins and Bobby Ojeda:
    “He deserved to finish the game.” Never mind that we deserved to win a game.

    Gee was great, to be sure. But he did come up in the top of the 9th with a man on base with an oh-so-tantalizing 1-0 lead. No pinchhitter? Really is that how bad our bench is?

    On the plus side, Duda finally played his natural position where he should have been all along and while Murph looks nothing like even Uggla at 2nd base, he is still improving.

    Bottom of the ninth, camera on Bobby Parnell for some reason. We all knew he wasn’t coming in now, despite having made himself into a premiere closer after years of fits and starts. The game was Gee’s to win or….

  • Inside Pitcher


  • Steve D

    Those Met Yearbooks remind me that baseball helps place a scale on my life to measure what happened when…for example, I know I played an all-night poker game in June 1980, the night of Henderson’s HR. Without baseball, I don’t know if I could place things that happened 33 years ago. I even remember a car trip to Buffalo in 1972 and on the radio the Mets were playing a low scoring game vs. the Expos in Montreal. Bob Murphy was commenting on the new double-knit jerseys.

  • Dennis

    I always thought that Costas was a smug douche….and now this just confirms it. Decline of Western Civilization due to a HR celebration? Has he watched the real news lately?

  • kjs

    They waited four hours to start a game before a day/night doubleheader?

    And I thought WE were an abused fan base.

  • March'62

    A few notes Greg:

    1. Both the Mets and Braves play in the Eastern Civilization. Atlanta hasn’t played in the Western Civilization for years.

    2. Your thesis flies in the face of the Big Papi theory.

    3. I can never stay up till the end of those games in Atlanta. They really should start earlier so people in New York can enjoy them.

  • open the gates

    Man, you have so many neat ways of saying, “The Mets lost again!”

  • Greg ~ That was a funny post to a not funny ending game.

    What does it say for western civilization when a .600 team celebrates a walk off against the 2013 Mets. They avoided embarrassment? Gee earned the ninth, win or lose. It’s about confidence (FAIL) not wins. Are we going to pull Wheeler in the 4th, down 3-1 to save his ego?

  • joenunz


  • BlackCountryMet

    I’m interested,allowing for hindsight,if most people felt Parnell should have been brought on to close?

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Woke up this morning to find out the Mets lost 2-1. Didn’t surprise me. Then heard how they lost it. That surprised me – Gee being left in when pitching a shutout. That was a good move and should be done with other pitchers. That he gave up a two run walk off homer in the ninth did not upset me for it’s not his fault – what upset me was that on the eve of Super Tuesday (hate that) he only got one run of support – and that came off the bat of Gee himself.

  • mikeL

    gee’s been pretty darn dominant these past 4 starts. it sucks that he had to lose but it would have been worse for him to get pulled only to have parnell cough it up. gee will learn from it and move forward. harvey, wheeler and gee look like a strong 1-2-3 moving forward.
    what sucks worse are the mets’ bats.

  • […] that the Mets played not two games against the Braves over the course of 24 hours, but three. And in that first game Dillon Gee was as dominant, in his own way, as the prodigies celebrated hours later. Only Gee […]

  • […] but that’s stinkin’ thinkin’ of a pre-5/26 (or, really, pre-Decline of Western Civilization) mindset. The Mets were ill, not dead. Then they lived long enough to cobble together one of the […]