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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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This Will Be

The lamentably late Natalie Cole told us in good old 1975 what This Will Be, but she wasn’t necessarily* in the forecasting business. It’s a blank slate out there. The new year couldn’t be much newer or less knowable. If you need precedent (despite precedent’s limited efficacy), just look back to 365 days ago. We had no idea what the Mets were about to do and only modest concept of who was going to do it for them when 2015 began. Counting on 2016 to reveal its mysteries at the outset is an exercise in assumption. No matter how informed yours is, I refer you to Felix Unger’s courtroom chalkboard as to what will be made of “u” and “me” should you rely too heavily on it.

You could say the same about life in general, but let’s keep our eye on the literal ball here. If you want to say, “This season will be…” and fill in the rest, knock yourself out. You’re probably gonna get it wrong. Or you’ll accidentally get it right. How the hell would you know what’s coming next? Or how would I?

We’ll guess anyway. We’ll even assume, potential for “ass” notwithstanding. I’d suggest taking your own projections and predictions lightly. Give the players you’re certain are going to fizzle a chance to surprise you. Give the benefit of the doubt to everybody in January. We’re tied for first for another 92 days. Enjoy it.

And maybe revel in the fact that we’re in the midst of the shortest offseason in Mets history. Usually at the dawn of a new year, we’d be hitting the Baseball Equinox, the instant at which we are equidistant between the last pitch of the previous season and the first pitch of the upcoming season.

The previous season extended itself quite nicely, you may recall. Thus, because the Mets weren’t finished with 2015 until 12:34 AM on November 2 (I checked the time; it was better than watching the Royals), we have yet to Equinox. The midpoint — that moment when we’re rounding second and heading for home — will arrive on Sunday, January 17, at approximately 10:34:30 PM EST. When the clock strikes that, you’ll know we’re on an inevitable glide path to Sunday, April 3, at 8:35 PM EDT.

Ah, call it 10:35 PM (or 10:05 PM if you want to be a stickler for the hour we lose on March 13 not being offset by the fall-back hour we gained before the World Series was over). First pitch on Opening Night is at ESPN’s discretion, and between them and whatever unwatchable ceremonies are wrapping up at Kauffman Stadium, figure everything starts at least 30 seconds beyond when it is supposed to.

Not that there’s much concrete “supposed to” for a baseball season three months in advance.

*Instead of that corny “the bride feeds the groom” tune, we played “This Will Be” at our wedding to accompany our ritual cutting of the cake. “This will be/an everlasting love,” Miss Cole sang for Stephanie and me nearly a quarter-century ago. I’m gonna say she was on target with that prognostication. R.I.P. to a singer whose voice remains an everlasting gift to us.

14 comments to This Will Be

  • eric1973

    Ok, so now it appears we’re ready for 2016, and it’s time to set the opening week rotation. In the old days (good times I remember), it would be simple. Just throw your best guys out there as early and as often as you can:

    Sunday———–Harvey
    Tuesday———-deGrom
    Friday———–Harvey
    Saturday———Syndergaard
    Sunday———–deGrom

    Not that simple anymore, though. Now feelings are involved. Innings limits and pitch counts are taken into effect. ‘Who deserves it most’ is widely considered. And our chatty manager will ruminate PUBLICLY (I may add), with every single thought that runs through his little grey head.

    With that in mind, here is the prediction for Opening Week, which I would be fine with, by the way, for the following reasons:

    Save Harvey for the Home Opener —–More fanfare. Save Syndergaard for the home series against KC later in the year. We can fight with them at home if they’re still mad at him. And throw Matz a bone to build him up a bit. No fanfare in Game 2.

    Sunday————deGrom (Opener in KC)
    Tuesday———–Matz (no fanfare)
    Friday————Harvey (Home Opener)
    Saturday———-Syndergaard (at home)
    Sunday————Colon (welcome back)

    LGM!

  • I love the concept of the Baseball Equinox. As the years have gone on, winter has seemed to be ever more dark and gloomy as I make do without baseball. This year, the warmer weather in the Northeast and the longer depth our Mets prolonged our season with have helped and winter thus far has been less daunting than usual.

    Have you ever contemplated making the Equinox the midpoint between the last pitch and the morning that pitchers and catchers report? While time may begin on Opening Day, it’s that first day of Spring Training when the malaise lifts for me.

    • I consider Pitchers & Catchers a mile marker, not a destination. A more inexact mile marker every year, I might add, given that it seems to have a soft launch, despite the publicizing of a report date.

      • Curtis Cook

        I agree that Pitchers & Catchers has become amorphous and undependable as a date on the baseball calendar. It does seem to be the day when beat reporters come out of hibernation, though.

        My personal choice for the start of baseball season is the first spring training game, as that’s when box scores and write-ups begin reappearing in our local paper, and actual broadcasts usually begin sometime that week. The intrasquad game and the game against That College Team never get a mention up here.

    • Will in Central NJ

      Every year around this time, the words “Pitchers and catchers report in [x] weeks” is the fallback cheer-up phrase I use to try and prop up despondent football fans….of whom there seem to be a few in the NY region this Monday morning.

  • eric1973

    Really interesting stuff regarding the Randy Tate game from 1975:

    8th inning: Gary Carter drove in Lyttle, and then Jorgenson hit a 3-run homer with 2 out, to basically win it.

    Montreal starting pitcher was Dan Warthen (no decision).

  • open the gates

    And of course, we just finished a season that was truly “Unforgettable”.

    RIP Natalie. Taken from us much too soon.

  • open the gates

    And for what it’s worth, speaking as a pro musician, my fallback tune for a cake cutting is the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four”, but “Everlasting Love” is an excellent choice as well. Anything but that awful “Farmer in the Dell” travesty that most bands do. You guys obviously have good taste.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Love, love, love the references to the Odd Couple. Keep ’em coming!
    I live about three hours from KC and briefly considered a trek to the 2016 opener. Decided I couldn’t bear to watch the ceremonies. Game 2 is a distinct possibility though!

    And the Password is…. “Lead.”

  • eric1973

    “Everyone knows Lincoln loved mayonnaise.”

  • Rob D.

    Aristophanes is ridiculous.

  • eric1973

    “Great clues? If Charlie Chan had these clues, he’d be running a laundry.”