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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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Crazy, Stupid, Hope

I have the data to refute this, but every Mets game I’ve ever been to seems to have ended with the Mets trailing in the ninth, getting the tying and/or winning runs on base or at least to the plate, and losing anyway. The data says that’s nonsense, that I’ve seen many more wins than losses in the now 46 seasons I’ve been going to Flushing to bear witness to professional baseball. Starting July 11, 1973, and running through May 1, 2018, I’ve been to 649 regular-season Mets home games. The Mets’ and therefore my record on those occasions is 357-292. I don’t usually add the totals from Shea Stadium (218-184) to those compiled at Citi Field (139-108), but am doing so here to underscore the point that I seem to keep experiencing the same loss no matter what ballpark the Mets put it in.

“Seem” is the key word here. Tuesday night at Citi Field versus the Braves, my first personal communing with my team since last September, seemed so familiar. It could have happened at Shea or Citi. It could have happened in either of two centuries, any of five decades. The Mets can be in first place, last place, any place. The identities of given players are immaterial in this recycled scenario that has surely played out live and smack dab in front of me over and over again.

The Mets fall behind.
The Mets stay behind.
The Mets inch to somewhat closer behind.
The Mets frustrate endlessly.

Then hope — crazy, stupid, ultimately infuriating hope — bounds onto the field, unmolested by security. Look at it prancing hither and yon. Where’s John Stearns when you need an interloper tackled?

Aw, hope is just having fun out there. Look at hope getting on first on a ball that’s not quite caught. Look at hope parachuting a pop fly between outstretched gloves. Look at hope coming to the plate with every chance to turn a 3-1 deficit into…well, absolutely nothing, because hope can be a real pain in the ass that way. With one out, hope nonetheless winks from the on-deck circle, even politely pivots to let a ball squirt to the backstop.

Will ya look at what hope did now? Hope put runners on second and third with our most dramatic pinch-hitter at bat! Hope wouldn’t screw us over!

Hope screws us over. It’s what hope does. Not always, but enough. Seems like always. It’s not. Besides, how do you stay mad at hope when hope gives us a run in the process of making a second out? It’s no longer 3-1. It’s 3-2. There’s a runner on second. Hope is our pal, our amigo, our knight in shining Under Armour. Hope is taking one more swing on our behalf, driving a fly ball to left, kinda deep, kinda perplexing the left fielder and it’s gonna…

It’s gonna be caught. The ball is secured, hope is apprehended and the game is lost, 3-2. We almost had a win there. We definitely had a few minutes of hopeful fun when we thought we might win. It didn’t fully supplant the frustration and futility that defined the night, but standing up and yelling with a sense of purpose toward the end made for a nice change of pace from all the slumping back and grumbling of the immediately preceding hours. For that, we can thank hope.

Which is exactly how hope gets us seemingly every time.

8 comments to Crazy, Stupid, Hope

  • Dave

    Thing about Hope is that we don’t have her all to ourselves. Last night she smiled at us, then looked towards the Braves dugout and said “Sorry, but they asked me out first. Look at some of those young guys, aren’t they handsome?,” and you just have to keep your fingers crossed that it’s a fleeting attraction, and convince yourself that she’ll be back.

  • LeClerc

    I’m hoping that Conforto sits a bit, and Nimmo gets more opportunities to start.

    Also hoping to see Rosario looking less confused at the plate.

  • Harvey Poris

    We are not in April anymore. Hope dies in May

  • Michael in CT

    And of course, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” (Emily Dickinson). I can see Emily as a Mets fan.

  • Greg Mitchell

    The old need-8-in-bullpen trend strikes again as Mets had no one to pinch hit for Rosario. Can’t fault pinch running with Lagares but in the old days (not long ago) you could do that and still have a Kelly Johnson type to pinch hit.

    Going to game tonight. Almost want to say: TOO hot. The weather, not the team…

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Well, in one respect you were at the best Citi Field Night Game of the Year so far….weatherwise.

  • […] deficits of 5-0 and 8-2 would inevitably let me down, but I decided to let them and the silly hope they episodically engender have a go at me. The weather was sublime, the company (2015 National League championship spirit […]