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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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From Win and Lose and Still Somehow

There they go, off to a farm upstate, and I don’t mean Binghamton. Your 2013 New York Mets are no longer mathematically alive for postseason consideration. Spiritually they never showed much of a pulse, either, give or take a delusion or two that sprouted amidst the heat of late July. This season still somehow has 18 unplayed games packed into its tail end despite having seemed to have come to an abrupt halt the moment the phrase “partially torn” entered our reluctant conversation. There are no goals left for this team of ours other than to survive it with their hamstrings and innings limits intact.

Passing the decrepit Phillies for third place would be nice, but c’mon, let’s be realistic. We’re not really deep enough at this stage of the schedule to outdo decrepitude.

On the night the Mets succumbed to ensure they will commence 2014 eight years removed from their most recent playoff berth, Zack Wheeler wriggled out of a couple of jams and gave up but one solo home run to Davey Johnson’s hard-hitting, late-charging Nationals. It was the kind of performance that had it been surrounded by the slightest hint of life you’d take in a second as a sure sign of better days ahead, 3-0 defeat notwithstanding. If young Zack keeps throwing and keeps learning and keeps his UCL out of harm’s way, it can only be to the good in the future.

But on nights like Wednesday — which is all the Mets have anymore — it is nigh impossible to be encouraged by anything other than the fact that their 18 unplayed games are due to be reduced to 17 later this afternoon.

Wheeler almost impeding Washington’s still slim chances. Lagares putting down a very sweet bunt for a base hit in the ninth. Den Dekker and d’Arnaud allowing us the slightest of peeks at their respective potentials. Flores, if his right ankle is taped tightly enough. Vic Black’s hard stuff, more successful some outings than others. Evidence that Ruben Tejada wasn’t designated for oblivion at the ripe old age of 23. You want to see the kids in September? You got ’em this September. Yet it’s still not encouraging. How can you be dropped smack into the middle of this particular month and watch the Mets continually score nothing in front of nobody and say, “Hey, I can really feel the excitement building here!”?

The most sensitive of seismographs would be incapable of picking up an iota of enthusiasm in as morbidly lost a September as the Mets have authored in the Citi Field era — and that includes the first wretched one from relentlessly dismal 2009. Since this month began, either the Mets get mercilessly clobbered or they engage in faux pitchers’ duels, low-scoring affairs in which a Wheeler or a Gee leaves it all on the mound and whoever’s throwing for the other side outdoes our guy regardless. Our guy goes up against major leaguers. The opposing pitcher gets to face the Mets lineup. Case inevitably closed in the opposition’s favor.

Into this epic darkness, the Mets puzzlingly air between-innings come-ons for 2014 season tickets. “Enjoying what you’ve been seeing tonight? Now imagine paying for it 81 times next year!” Wait until the dead of winter and lure us while we’re vulnerable and have forgotten what Mets baseball actually looks like. Don’t run commercials for Mets season tickets during a series that is the opposite of a commercial for Mets season tickets.

Besides, aren’t the Mets set for customers? Every game this week has drawn a paid attendance of “20,000,” which is great for a team on the cusp of official elimination with 18 games to go. Capacity at Citi Field is around 42,000, so as you’ve been able to tell if you’ve watched any of these games, that means just about every other seat is filled throughout the stadium. If the Mets claim they’re drawing “20,000” now, by next year they’ll surely be jamming six figures into their brickly confines.

Finally, the Mets didn’t wear the first responder caps after BP, distancing themselves by another year from their small but meaningful heartfelt tribute in 2001 when during games they wore ballcaps representing firefighters, police officers and members of all the agencies that acted unfathomably heroically in the face of tragedy. David Aardsma says he was “contemplating” wearing his FDNY cap during the game, “but they took it from us long before we could wear it.” Totally justifiable move by MLB, since it is indeed licensing agreements that make this country great. No doubt the sight of Mets caps being used in competition Wednesday night had Mets fans everywhere rushing onto mets.com’s shopping page and clicking the icon marked “CAPS”.

It was to return previously purchased Mets caps, probably, but commerce is commerce.

17 comments to From Win and Lose and Still Somehow

  • FL Met Fan Rich

    How many people do you think are actually at the ballpark?
    5000?

    • Steve D

      Whatever it was, it is an ongoing embarrassment that only further evokes the late 70s. The only thing that worked to revive the franchise will be the only thing now…sell the team.

  • 9th string catcher

    Is it TC deathwatch time? Feels like scapegoating is next on the docket.

  • OK, elimination day again. At least it wasn’t in Aug.
    My favorite headline this week:
    “Mets to spend plenty of time on West Coast in 2014″

  • Dave

    Yet another season progresses from mildly hopeful to morbidly depressing. My observations indicate that other teams have actually figured out how to improve over time, wonder what their secrets are.

    • packard

      It’s a 2 part process.
      1. Have money to spend
      2. Spend it wisely
      It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to accomplish both at the same time.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    If it’s any consolation to anyone, last night’s game at Camden Yards featuring two teams in the middle of the AL Wild Card race drew a paid attendance of exactly ten more people than the Mets game.

  • Dave

    OK, now I get it, the offense has been promoting this event for the past month or so – http://nyczombiecrawl.com/news/.

  • March'62

    How things could be worse:
    1. Have a mule as a mascot
    2. Have John Sterling as your announcer for life
    3. Trade Zack Wheeler for 4 prospects
    4. Replace all the beer in the stadium with V-8
    5. Nobody shows up at the game to realize that they replaced all the beer in the stadium with V-8
    6. We could be the Astros
    7. They could add another week to the regular season

    And as for the FAN dumping the Met games – the Mets helped make the FAN what it is today. It stinks of ingratitude and I hope they continue on for many more years without any post-season games to broadcast. I hope the Mets buy their own station – WMET on both AM and FM so we can have all Mets all the time. They can broadcast their minor league games or classic games when the Mets aren’t playing. Or am I just dreaming?

    • Steve D

      How about if SNY drops the Mets? Now THAT would be rock-bottom.

      • March'62

        The Mets could always be broadcast on Channel 13. That way the Wilpons can come on between innings and ask for money.

        • Dave

          For a $250 pledge, you can have your choice of one of our Minaya Signing Specials, a Jason Bay or Oliver Perez replica jersey. Step up to the plate with a $500 pledge, and become a member of the Paid Attendance Club…the Bay or Perez replica jersey, plus with the purchase of a ticket to any remaining home game, you may sit in any vacant seat in that section.

          Remember, it’s fans like you who enable us to present Triple-A caliber baseball in Queens year after year. We cannot do this without your support, so the phone lines are open, make that pledge now.

          • March'62

            “you may sit in any vacant seat in that section”.

            Obviously with the exception of behind home plate. NOBODY is allowed to sit there.

  • stan

    For my $250 donation I want a Bobby Bonilla bobblehead so I can remember what a lifetime waste of money looks like.

    • dmg

      i’ll sell you my mo vaughn bobblehead for half that.

    • Dave

      Sorry, if you want the Bonilla Paying in Perpetuity Bobblehead, you need to pony up an annual donation of $1000 or more for life. Bequeath the Wilpons in your will and you’ll be credited in the program as a Madoff Level donor.