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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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Fireworks Night Can Blow Itself (Up)

Things that still suck, in case you thought there’d been a change:

• The Mets
• The MTA
• Cody Ross
• Fireworks Night

The Mets and their 5-3 loss in which Matt Harvey couldn’t rescue them and they couldn’t rescue Matt Harvey speaks for itself (and I believe the word it spoke was “feh”). Wednesday was yet another night of waiting, though unlike Monday and Tuesday, there was nothing worth waiting for.

Cody Ross…no further elaboration needed; I felt terrible watching Gerardo Parra bounce his head off the warning track Monday night but am not sure I wouldn’t treat Cody Ross in the same situation like a sizable plurality treated Jason Bay under similar circumstances, which is to say deplorably. So there goes my shot at the B’Nai Brith Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The MTA is on my The Out-of-Towners-style list of those people Jack Lemmon as George Kellerman planned to bring to justice. Their transgressions were…

a) not having a Super Express available after the game for those of us who preferred leaving Mets-Willets Point at 12:30 AM instead of sticking around for displays of colored lights;

b) having what appeared to be a local that would get me to Woodside in ample time for the 12:50 AM whoosh through the station without stopping;

c) the Long Island Rail Road not noticing a 7 pulling in upstairs at Woodside and holding the 12:50 to, oh, 12:52 when the next train where I, among many others, was going wasn’t coming until 2:04 AM. Nice coordination, fellas.

Oh, and Fireworks Night can blow itself. Or blow itself up. I have nothing against fireworks per se and if the Mets want to treat loyal Mets fans to fireworks after a Mets game — ideally after one that wasn’t delayed for nearly two hours at its start by omnipresent rain — that’s fine. My problem with Fireworks Night, in brief, is that it apparently attracts tens of thousands of people who wouldn’t ordinarily attend Mets games, people whose interest in the outcome of the Mets game is minimal, people who do a very aggressive wave in the third inning of Harvey Night, people who sit behind me who don’t shut up for a second and start vociferously rooting out of the blue for Cody Ross to hit one out “so we can have some action” and then Cody Ross hits one out. It was swell to have Citi Field full. It was lousy to have Citi Field full of what a dear friend aptly refers to as bananaheads.

How much did Fireworks Night 2013 suck? So much that I even briefly found myself regretting having attended Fireworks Night thirteen years earlier, for if the memory of Piazza capping off the ten-run inning didn’t burn so brightly, I might not have fallen for, “Well, they came back once before…” and made the 12:50.

And with that Metstivus litany of all the ways what should have been a splendid evening disappointed me, we reach the halfway point of this mostly miserable season on a pace for 70 wins, which sadly sounds much better than I would have expected. Besides the revelation of Matt Harvey and the plethora of weird-ass games, the big story of the first half to me is how replaceable almost everybody on this roster has been. I used to love Ruben Tejada. Now I all but forget about Ruben Tejada. My “WE LIKE IKE” t-shirt just makes me sad. If I could trade it in on a “WE DON’T NECESSARILY DISLIKE IKE, BUT, UH…” model, I would. And for all my fleeting fondness for the recent crop of retreads, I can already feel their magic wearing off. Sure, I’ll take Josh Satin (the Bronx and Staten Island) as well as EY and Brownie and whatever Omar Quintanilla’s cute nickname might be, but I can see throwing them overboard at the first sign of stagnation. If not for Harvey’s majesty and our sturdy standard-bearer Wright, I might not qualify for the fan loyalty program that would entitle me to those hypothetical earned fireworks nights.

Who am I kidding? They’ll stop blowing stuff up and Citi Field will revert back to being the province of me, Joe (who invited me Wednesday night when he lucked into primo seats and had no inkling of how much everything would suck), the dozen or so like-minded individuals I keep running into, some camp group in matching shirts, a cadre of overserved underage LIRR commuters who’ve been pounding Bud Lights since Massapequa and the occasional condescending Cardinals fan. Yeah, I’ll be back in the second half — the second half of this season and the second half of my first century. That is if my train’s on time and they start to play by nine.

14 comments to Fireworks Night Can Blow Itself (Up)

  • Andee

    Cody Ross can eat a bowl of farts. I didn’t realize half the people in the stands were members of his fan club. That must have really sucked.

    But more than that, I really don’t get TerryDan and their (mis)management of pitchers. They make pitching changes when they don’t need to, use up their relievers, and then have to send gassed starters out there because the bullpen has been worked to death and is about to be worked to death some more. Not that they’re the only ones who do it, but that doesn’t make it right.

  • 9th string catcher

    So, uh, not sticking with #dosomethingelse? I still don’t know why Kirk is still here BTW. Speed only really helps if you get on base which i think he’s allergic to.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    When Recker took the mound on Sunday I was thinking of a fireworks night I attended 14 years ago, when Matt Franco pitched in front of 54,000 in the 9th inning and the Braves beat us 15-0. I haven’t gone to a fireworks night since, and I only regretted that in 2000. I feel your pain.

    Coincidentally, if Buck didn’t homer on Sunday, I figure that 13-0 would’ve been the worst Citi shutout. I was kind of pleased that I would have been at both the worst shutout there and at Shea (see above). Am I sick?

    • Mets lost 13-0 to the Marlins last summer, featuring the 108.00 ERA of Garrett Olson. But there’s always a record loss lurking somewhere, I imagine.

  • Steve D

    I think Harvey had the best ERA ever in the history of baseball after 27 starts…they said on the broadcast they could not find a better one as far back as they looked. That probably can’t continue and batters seem to be measuring up his breaking balls better the more they see them. A little blip last night is forgivable, but this team has no margin for error. Replacing .161 with .378 and Omar for Tejada has been a shot of adrenaline, but the team is still hitting .233 which qualifies as putrid. The intrigue will be what happens with Ike now.

  • joenunz

    I took a picture of the kids at the new Shea logo on the Bridge. Other than that, yep, July 3 at Citi sucked…

    It was so bad that I was freaking DOZING OFF while the D’Back were mounting their interminable 7th inning rally.

    Oh and the fireworks sucked. Disjointed, unrelated All-Star highlights – Ron Hunt! Fred Lynn! Doc Gooden! Reggie Jackson! – combined with song samples, lasers and weak fireworks.

    Almost forgot, getting out of the parking lot sucked too. Not LOLIRR levels of suckiness, but still…

  • Parth

    Agree with ballpark vibe- a fake buzz last night- even though i was sitting next to someone actually keeping score!

    The fireworks themselves were perfectly in line with the Wilponian era- poorly orchestrated with choppy historical All Star video clips that had technology issues- music (non patriotic 3 second teases of each decade’s top hits) eerily stopped and started numerous times- PA announcer actually said “check 1-2-3” in the middle of it- and then resorted to stall tactics by asking fans “do you want some more?” It felt as cheap as the starting 8’s salary. I wonder if the Grucci brothers are Boris clients so Freddie and Jeffie opted for this discount crap instead. Sub par on the field, and off.

  • Gotta chime in here in defense of Fireworks night.

    I watched Wednesday’s game from a safe distance on Wednesday due to family obligations, but I still frequently check the promotions calendar for pyro spectacular. You say it’s bait for “bananaheads” who’d otherwise not be there; I’d remind you that those bananaheads have kids who are being introduced to Matt Harvey. And the post-game festivities will mark time for those kids, who will hopefully cherish the memory a little more. I still reminisce fondly about a visit to Shea in ’99 when I watched the Mets get killed by the Braves to the tune of 16-0, but may not show off that battle scar so readily if not for the bananaheaded friends who came and made that experience a little more memorable and a little less painful.

    That said, this defense doesn’t absolve the Mets from imploding on the night where the exploding was explicitly scheduled. If you want to wag your finger at the appropriate bananaheads, direct your digit to the front office whose most notable acquisition for the team in recent days was Mrs. Met.

    • If Fireworks Night was a proven breeding ground for innocent-eyed future fans/superb (if mostly inactive) bloggers like yourself, I would give it my eternal blessing. But after last night, as crusty, inveterate gamblers pushing into their seventh decade cheered on “CUB-ul” to “hit one into the Pepsi Pawch!” and cackled hysterically, I can’t readily find its charms.

      I have a sweet Shea Fireworks Night memory that has nothing to do with Piazza and the Ten-Run Inning. It might have emerged had the LIRR not kicked in my last nerve.

  • I couldn’t agree more re: fireworks night. I was hopeful that the huge crowd would get so worked up by Harvey that they would forget their insufferable apathy, but it was not to be. The wave really set me off, but there were other things too: no standing ovations exhorting a coming strikeout, rare cheering save for the home runs, and, perhaps worst of all, more scoreboard sound effects than I thought possible. The man verbally abusing his girlfriend sitting next to me didn’t help either, nor did a dunderhead Mets fan saying a Dbacks fan using a flag as a cape looked like “Super-gay Man.” Just a terrible display all around, and not something I’d ever take my kid to if I ever wanted him or her to become a baseball fan. My earliest Met memories were defined by the excitement of the crowd, not some annoying pyrotechnics that I could always do without.


  • […] said I put up with a loudmouth jerk on Fireworks Night who cheered for Cody Ross to hit a home run off Matt Harvey, and Cody Ross hit a home run off Matt Harvey, therefore they […]