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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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How to Survive Such Times

Mets sucked, grounding out and then grounding out again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. I’d tell you more about the first game but a judge ordered me not to. Then after a robust 25 minutes in which nothing bad happened, they sucked once more, striking out and then striking out again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. I’m allowed to talk about that one but I’d prefer not to.

Times like this arrive now and again for fans of every team, like droughts do for farmers and wipeouts arrive for gamblers. Your baseball team isn’t getting hits and scoring runs, and while you’re no psychic it’s pretty obvious that they never will get hits and score runs again. Every time they are sent out to play a baseball game they will lose, until the current players grow old and are replaced by younger players who will also not win, and this is the way it will be forever and ever, opposite of amen.

That’s not true now just like it’s never been true before, but I know it feels that way, and if I can barely convince myself otherwise what chance do I have with you?

Having lived through these slow-motion blue-and-orange car crashes more than a few times, I’m going to give you some heretical advice: unless you work for the Mets or are a beat reporter or whichever one of us is on recap duty, do something else.

No, not forever. Jeez, it’s not that bad. Just for a night or two.

“But wait!” you say. “It’s not winter, so I have no idea what to do with myself from 7 pm until whenever!”

I know, I’ve struggled with that too. Some suggestions:

  • Take a baby step and watch other baseball, trying not to get obsessed about one particular score down there at the bottom of the screen. I’m an MLB.TV subscriber this year and that’s reminded me baseball’s awesome even when it’s not being awesome to you. When the Mets are finished doing whatever terrible thing they’re doing on a given night, I flip around from game to game until I go to bed or nothing’s left. Tonight I saw Sam Dyson escape a serious fix against the Astros, and Brian Dozier hammer a walkoff homer for the Twins. Now I’m listening to Vin Scully. He’s narrating a Rockies-Dodgers game with nothing particularly interesting about it, but I already feel a little better.
  • Read a book. Amazin’ Again, that’s a good one. Or possibly even something not baseball-related. Those books exist too.
  • Take your significant other to the movies. Turn off your phone (you monster), get a big popcorn and don’t worry about RISP (or the lack of them) for two hours.
  • Go for a walk. Or a drive. Look around at the world. Listen to the birds, the bugs, or both.
  • Go see a band. Don’t ask them to play the national anthem, “Meet the Mets,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “Lazy Mary,” “Piano Man” or the Kars-4-Kids song. Let them play whatever they want to play. Hum along if you’re so moved.
  • Tackle that chore you’ve been putting off. You’ll have a sense of accomplishment and won’t have created another task for yourself by putting a Mets-related fist through the drywall.

The Mets will do what they’re going to do whether you’re there or not. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s true. I went away last summer; the Mets didn’t wait around for me to get back. I’m going away again next week; they’ll soldier on.

The point is that you’re a fan, not an unfortunate who did something ill-advised that earned you an orange vest and three hours a night in the custody of SNY. You have an unlimited supply of GET OUT OF UNFUN BASEBALL FREE cards that you can play any time. This might be a good time to lay one down.

With a night or two away, you’ll feel better. And when you get back, who knows? Maybe things will be different.

21 comments to How to Survive Such Times

  • Kevin from Flushing

    This is exactly what I need right now.

    Unfortunately I used my get out of unfun baseball free card a week ago after the White Sox series. Certainly Mets baseball in Miami during such trying times was not worth ruining my Friday & Saturday plans. It turned out by skipping those two dates I missed literally half of all the offense we’ve put together in the last 10 games.

    I’m certain Cespedes and Cabrera are too hurt to play but press on because the team is entirely out of options. It sucks that everyone on the offensive side is either slumping or hurt, but it WILL pass. This is just part of being a fan. We chose this. Everything will improve.

  • Daniel Hall

    Stayed up late for the first half of the double header, and boy, are there regrets now. is a great thing. Tonight I’m gonna catch R.A. Dickey and sigh about 2012.

    So tired. Any minute now I will fall asleesgkjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • eric1973

    This Mets’ (non) hitting continues to perplex. If Legares had not gotten injured, you look at the Mets lineup 1 thru 7, and I’ll take it. All these starters are good.

    Problem is, they are not playing up to their potential. When that happens, rightly or wrongly, at some point, the manager usually takes the fall, though not necessarily the blame. Or they go after the coaches first, like they did with Bobby V. Management is not as patient as WE are.

    This can lead to desperation moves, like using Familia with a 4-run lead. Luckily, TC has now seen the light regarding that theory. If one wants to use him in non-save situations, use him 2-runs down to 2-runs up. Plenty of work to be had there, rather than 4-run mop-up. And they don’t really need him with a 3-run lead either, as if those situations still existed.

    Besides, gotta keep watching to see what Jan is up to.

  • Dave

    Yeah, tonight I’m going to watch Veep and maybe get a little caught up on Kimmy Schmidt. Laughing beats screaming, cursing and burying my face in my hands.

    This team has been unable to score this year against Oliver Perez and Jonathan Niese. That’s no way to go through life.

  • kdbart

    It’s the bats that are there and play almost every day that are killing them. Thru Sunday, batting averages over the prior 2 weeks, Granderson .216, Cabrera .194, Cespedes .107 and Conforto .103. Those 4 are going to be in your lineup day after day and must hit, even at a mediocre level, in order for the Mets to win consistently. The ESPN telecast had interesting stat last night. Going into last night’s DH, the Mets had 30 more homers this season than at a similar point last season but have actually scored 3 fewer runs.

  • mikeL

    had dinner plans monday nite, which at the time appeared to mean missing the game, then only delayed…yesterday i gave each of the games a listen, only to opt for music in the car. yes, watching (or listening to) the team through these painfully offense-starved stretches is a waste of time better-served. i understood that as a kid back after the departure of the franchise…and it took me years to come back.
    i’m hopeful we’re only talking days (weeks?) but who knows?
    let’s go mets godammit!

  • Wheaties54321

    Great post. Great advice to survive a greatly disappointing gamut of games. Where have you gone Fernando Tatis?

  • kdbart

    Mostly watched the US beat Costa Rica 4-0 than the second game yesterday. Way more enjoyable.

  • Mikey

    Jason, thank you for this post. I felt bad that I turned both games off around the 6th inning, and not so bad when I saw that I didn’t really miss anything. it really is a slow motion car wreck right now. The starting pitching is constantly pitching in pressure situations, especially when our defense fails behind them.

    I think we’ll turn things around when the power bats start to ignite again. I just hope we’re not too far back when they do, we don’t want to be out of the race by mid July.

  • Mikey

    oh and I was looking at the Nats lineup yesterday. Murph is hitting like .382 and Ramos like .357, and every other starter is hitting below .250 (I’m not sure if these stats are exactly right, just estimating)… then are they constantly scoring runs and getting big hits? How do they score 10 runs without blinking?

  • Dennis

    I never want to see the Mets lose, and while I never thought of Jon Niese as a warm and fuzzy guy, I never disliked him either. A solid back of the rotation pitcher. But I do find it somewhat humorous that he tossed 7 innings of shutout baseball yesterday. Almost like a pleasant F you to those who had pissed on him during his seasons here…..LOL.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I guess Niese’s only problem was that he never got to pitch against the Mets.

    I too have MLB.TV. I find I watch it mostly if I hear something good or bad has happened in another game. The “jump to” feature is great. And of course this year I’m catching some Dodger Home games (i.e. Scully).

    Tip: I first got MLB.TV a few years ago when my wife gave it to me for my birthday, full price. Since then, if you hold out, they always send a “one day Only” half price sale E mail to last year’s subscribers, usually in May, but this year it came around April 20.

  • Gil

    They certainly suck right now.

  • eric1973

    Great post, Dennis. Agreed on Niese.

    Just got a load of TC’s comments from last nite, and the Mayor of Panic City is in full panic mode.

    Gotta agree with the Dennis/Rob E./Matt in Richmond wing here, as this too shall pass, even with the current lineup.

    TC needs to portray it this way as well, but if you listen to him, the sky is falling. He needs to be a calming influence in these tough times, rather than a Chicken Little.

    • Rob E.

      I don’t see the “Chicken Little” angle in TC, and they are not as bad as they look (and the Bucs seem to have our number), but there are a few distressing red flags here. They look a little complacent, and worse, the “aura” of the Big Four seems to have been tarnished a bit (not counting Thor). The opposing fear just isn’t there this year. They keep leaving the door open for Washington, and Washington is playing with much more purpose this year. It’s one thing losing to Kershaw or Strasburg, but you can’t get swept by Niese and Nicasio when you throw out Matz & deGrom (and they had chances against Niese).

      This is NOT a Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson problem. The lineup needs to pull it together or this thing is going to slip away one drip at a time. Today IS a big game, and if he uses Familia up by three runs, I totally understand that.

  • Bob

    As my Mom used to tell me about the Mets in 1963, 1964, 1965.1966, 1967,1968…..
    OY VEY!

    Mets fans since Polo Grounds…
    Let’s Go Mets!

  • Matt in Richmond

    Great suggestions Jason.

    I don’t sense any panic in TC or the organization, only from the short memory fans that have somehow forgotten how much worse things looked at times last year. If using Familia once with a 4 run lead is a panic move then every manager who has ever managed has made panic moves. Why are we still discusising this non issue?

    The guys need to hit better, but these things happen. Guys go through cold spells. It’s just been magnified because guys like YC and MC got cold at the exact same time as a slew of injuries happened.

    Welcome back Kelly!!


  • eric1973

    Can Juan Uribe be far behind?

  • open the gates

    Repeat after me: They’re never as bad as they look when they’re bad; they’re never as good as they look when they’re good. Repeat 50 times, wash it down with a glass of warm milk, and call me in the morning.

    Having said that, there is no requirement as a fan to see your lineup squished by the likes of Jon (auuughhh!!!) Niese. Reading a good book works. Or go to your magic computer and dredge up replays of seasons past. Johan’s no hitter does nicely.

  • Rochester John

    Just got back from Pittsburgh (and, boy, is my team tired). Actually, that’s exactly what I saw, a tired team, and you could see it on their faces. Since April 28th, the Mets have played 37 games in 40 days. That might be OK for 21 to 24 year old Double A players, but these guys are a little older. Add to that the fact that, because of injuries, older guys like Cabrera, Walker, Granderson, Loney and Cespedes are playing every game, I can see where their fatigue is earned. It would be nice to see some of the younger guys (Conforto, Flores, Plawecki) pick up some slack.

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