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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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Take the Money and Rain

Welcome to your recurring state of suspended animation, last visited approximately two years and one month ago. The Mets haven’t lost and they haven’t yet lost. I suppose the same could be said about winning, but I just sat in the rain for what seemed like several hours, but it was just several innings and it must have warped my time-monitoring sensibilities. As I undampen far from the soggy ballpark, I can’t fathom the concept of winning, given the wetness of the context.

The Mets and Reds played six innings on Saturday afternoon. They were supposed to play at least nine and then give way to the Steve Miller Band, whose hitmaking in recent decades has slowed to Metlike levels, but I’m guessing they can still play. Hell yes, I wanted to hear Steve Miller. Hell yes, I wanted to see Mets baseball. Hell no, I don’t want to get drenched.

There was no Steve Miller. There was a shortfall of baseball. There was plenty of drench.

Can you blame the Mets for starting a game that had little meteorological chance of proceeding to its end point? I can blame the Mets for anything and usually do, so yeah, it was crass and presumably revenue-driven to not take the raincheck portion of Saturday’s tickets literally. Then again, you get the Reds in for one series and you presumably had a large crowd planning on this particular date happening and what’s being a Mets fan without a modicum of cockeyed optimism?

Somebody cockeyed read the radar, because all of New York knew it was going to rain, yet they started on time, or about four seconds before the weather morphed from annoyance to hindrance to obstacle. Those of us whose seats were uncovered — and that includes the pitcher, the catcher, the batter and so forth — were the most annoyed, hindered and distressed. Those of us who had umbrellas but nothing of a structural nature covering us did battle with those of you sat under overhangs and whined, “Excuse me, I can’t see…I can’t see…your umbrella is blocking my view…I have my choice of a thousand empty seats right now, but you who are sitting in the rain should get extra wet so I don’t have to move three feet.”

The preceding re-enactment was brought to you by Citizens Who Brought An Umbrella, Screw You If You Didn’t — and I approve this message.

It was a losing battle, no matter where you were. This wasn’t baseball like it oughta be, and that’s never minding that another Harvey Day was wasted, that Curtis Granderson is useless even when he’s proving himself indispensable and that there is nothing more quintessentially Metsian than one dope, sitting by himself in a downpour, huddled inside a giveaway poncho he’s been holding in reserve for four years, beseeching somebody, anybody to Let’s Go Mets…and the Mets not going at all.

I thought maybe the fifth would do it. I thought maybe Familia should’ve come in for the obvious neo-save situation. If the 1-0 lead Granderson gave us before Granderson conspired to take it away could have held up through four-and-a-half, I’m convinced they’d have halted it directly and they’d have called it immediately. I also thought maybe this would be the day Brandon Phillips wouldn’t get a hit against us in Flushing, something he’s been doing since he began making business trips to our neck of the woods. Alas, come rain or shine, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do — Phillips RBI double after a Granderson misplay — and so we’re gonna pick this up tomorrow at 1:10, 1-1.

The top of the fifth refused to get put in the books. We played the bottom of the fifth with another opportunity to win under rain-shortened rules, but we didn’t. And then the sixth. And then nothing. And then, later, the announcement that we were suspended and should come back tomorrow for three going on twelve innings of Mets baseball — a portion of them Matzian — plus Steve Miller, plus that long-promised Lucas Duda growth chart. I wonder if it will measure how big a ninny one is to sit in the rain and expect not to get wet.

I can take a hint, though. When it got too chilly (on June 27!) to bear the rain, I squeezed into the Caesars Club. When the tarp finally covered the field at the beginning of the seventh — Harvey gone, score tied, one of the Tsuris Brothers ready to ply his trade — I left. Actually, I waited through a few sweet Mets Yearbook excerpts playing on the fabulous 62%-bigger scoreboard and then I left. Who can walk away from Jackson Todd describing how after chemotherapy his previously straight hair came in curly? But who can resist a chance to make one’s train out of Woodside and seek warmth, dryness and a go get ’em tomorrow?

Which I will. Because, damn it, I am that quintessentially Metsian dope.

Thanks to those dear friends who provided me entrée and companionship at various points of my sporadically solitary sojourn to suspended animation. You folks make days like these more fun than they have a right to be.

And if you’re wondering what good rain is to a baseball team, learn more about the flora, fauna and so forth that are tended to by June showers at Citi Field. James H. Burns writes about a Mets garden tradition that dates back to Joe Pignatano’s tomato plants here.

9 comments to Take the Money and Rain

  • Thanks for stopping by and saying hi Greg. We were able to abandon our 2nd row Caesars seats in the rain for 6th row seats under cover before first pitch. All those years of watching summer rain in NY on TV and I finally got to experience it firsthand. Meanwhile back home in CA the temperature is set for 7 days straight of 100 to 107 degrees. Tomorrow’s twelve innings and concert plus the debut of Matz just might be a fair exchange if it comes with two Mets victories.

  • Eric

    Harvey is back on his game as well as we could expect in his 1st post-TJ season.

    That being said, it strikes me that Harvey is more prone than DeGrom is to giving up the RBI hit in a 1-run game instead of working his way out of the tight jam to strand the runner(s).

    In 1, 1A for staff ace, I give the 1 to DeGrom.

    It also strikes me that these close games due to the wispy offense and shaky defense are, at this stage and for now, good for the young pitchers’ development.

  • Daniel Hall

    How Granderson has not been charged an error is completely beyond me. The ball was IN HIS GLOVE!

    To be fair, without Granderson, we’d be in 0-0 suspension rather than 1-1 suspension, which may make my irate rage aftr that *error*(!!) moot, but I still demand a scoring change.

    The rain also puts a crimp into my ambitions to watch Matz’ens debut tonight, which I had been looking forward to quite a bit (straw of unfounded hope and so on). Like I know the Mets, they’ll continue at 1-1 for another nine innings before Matz ever gets a ball. Gee, thx, weather, I love you too. Not.

  • Old Geezer

    Mostly agree with Eric but can’t lose sight of this being Harvey’s first season back from TJ surgery. Will take either one as 1 or 1A. Also agree with Daniel regarding “hit” on ball in Grandy’s glove. These guys are major leaguers. I love it when they say “it was a tough play to make..” I always say “my wife can handle the easy plays,” and she’s 59. Anyhow, will be watching both games on TV today.

  • Mikey

    it’s remarkable to see bad things unfold, almost in slow motion, with this team.
    did anyone think for a minute the Reds would leave a runner stranded after Curtis’ misplay?

  • dmg

    earlier in the week, i was planning on going to the game, but that forecast — i never saw one before where the chance of rain was 125%.

  • eric1973

    When Cuddyer was signed, everyone thought he would continue his recent pattern of injury. Too bad this pattern appears to have been broken this season.

  • Daniel Hall

    I don’t want the DH rule in the National League, but if it ever happens, the Mets might be off well enough with rotating their starting pitchers through the spot…

    Seven strong frames from Mets – err, Matz. I have to go to bed now, it’s 1am, and I gotta work tomorrow (poor thing, I know). I trust them to drag a 6-2 lead to safety over six outs.

  • […] Given Harvey’s recent inability to replicate 2013 on command, I’ll admit to a little worry as the game developed. Matt was down 2-0 and looked (to me) uncomfortable. Dan Warthen had to visit the mound. I half-expected Ray Ramirez to follow. Where Ray Ramirez goes, the Grim Reaper is bound to check in soon enough. None of that happened, and Harvey found his groove, but I wasn’t taking any chances. My own fully reasonable concession to superstition was to delete the phrase “Harvey Day” from my vocabulary, whether spoken or electronic. It seemed a bit dated suddenly, like the NEW TWERK CITY tank top I saw some girl wearing inside the Herald Square station the other day. Besides, every time I psyched myself up for Harvey Day, either he’d get hit surprisingly hard or it would rain incessantly. […]