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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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I Hate This Game

Not that the first five games of the season didn't suck, especially the ninth inning of the first one (and the two in Atlanta — ah, they all sucked especially hard), but one could make a case for eerie fascination with history. When are we gonna win? Are we really gonna challenge the Orioles' record from 1988? Is 0-162 in the cards? Will we make the cover of Sports Illustrated? How awful will this get?

Then we began to win, which was, of course, magnificent. It felt so much like the season had begun anew that a familiar feeling crept in. What's it gonna be like when we lose? That's usually what I'm thinking after we start 1-0. The idea of a loss seems so foreign that at once I fear it because I can't imagine it and wait for it so I can be relieved that the world didn't end when it came.

Never mind that we'd already collected five losses. Those were the glorified exhibitions. After Saturday, we were an unblemished 6-0 in every way except the standings. Plus, each win had been more fabu (a word I picked up from a temp art director a long time ago) than the one before it. When are we gonna lose? Are we really gonna challenge the Giants' record from 1916? Is 157-0 — OK, 157-5 — in the cards? Will we make the cover of Sports Illustrated? How great will this get?

Then we lost on Sunday and sense of normalcy at last pervaded. We're a regular team that can't win 'em all but won't lose 'em all. We can start over like everybody else. Thus, Monday night was de facto Opening Day III, the first game of the rest of your year.

It's gonna be a lousy year from the looks of it.

I hate games like this. I hate games that are the second loss following a winning streak, thus invalidating that WE'RE THE KING OF THE WORLD! feeling from the winning streak. I hate the cold water games like these splash on my fan self-esteem. I hate that half the teams who played last night lost and we're in that half. I hate that even though it was April 18, we finished the night in last again (sub-hating that I fell asleep with Atlanta tied and woke up to find they won; I hate them in every state of consciousness there is). I hate how I look forward to a game all day and then it proves a travesty from the first inning on. I hate how I instantly lose interest in a game like this and start mindlessly flipping to other channels, thus missing nuggets like Heredia's “injury” manifesting itself. I hate that while we're losing, the Yankees are swallowing their dose of SlumpBeGone better known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I hate that West Wing Marathon Monday on Bravo felt redundant, me having seen every episode they were showing at least a dozen times by now. I hate that it was 5-0 practically all night.

Then of course I hated the ninth inning, the 5-0 deficit shrinking tantalizingly to 5-4 but the bases emptying and Victor the Redeemer left, ultimately, in the on-deck circle, unredeemed. I hate that what was going to be one of those unremarkable “whaddayagonnado?” losses turned into one of those finals where I spend the next twenty minutes blurting “godmotherfuckingdamnit!” like an X-rated Rain Man and listening to Mets Extra just so I can be sure we weren't awarded two extra runs by the official scorer on the basis that he felt bad for us.

Oh well. I hate it less now that I've relived it. I think I just woke up in a bad mood.

Regarding your helpful count of new Mets and how they've been allotted on an annual basis, how futile have the last few years been anyway? At least 13 of the 29 debuts from 2004 will almost certainly never be seen in these parts again (James Baldwin, anyone?). As for the 29 nuMets from '02, three whole seasons ago, none are on the current roster. None! Only two, Seo and Strickland, are even still in the organization. Player turnover wasn't just invented, but this takes built-in obsolescence to farcical proportions. What was the 2002 slogan again? Oh, I remember it: “Blink Once And You'll Miss McKay Christensen…Blink Twice And You'll Miss Mark Little…Missed 'Em!”

Yes, let's get Heath Bell up here immediately. That will solve all our problems. No more runs will score against us from the sixth through the eighth. Time Warner and Cablevision will pound their swords into digital plowshares. Fran Healy will take a vow of silence. Pat Burrell will be traded to Detroit. Leo Mazzone will retire. General managers from coast-to-coast will apologize for daring to look up from their statistical printouts for even a moment but they had to so they could fire their know-nothing scouts. Pretzels will be fresh and a quarter. Whoever sits behind me at my next six-pack game will sip Aquafina and utter only witty, original insights in a moderate tone. And as unanimous Cy Young, MVP and USA Roller Sports Magazine Man of the Year Heath Bell blades his team to unforetold accomplishment, Mets bloggers everywhere will produce irrefutable evidence that Blake McGinley must replace him in 2006.

2 comments to I Hate This Game

  • Anonymous

    If Heath Bell can produce all of that gloriousness, I'll never make fun of his hourglass figure again. I have a head start, being I'm a Time Warner subscriber and thus will rarely look upon him anyway.
    So c'mon, young Heath… get yer fat girly butt up here so Leo Mazzone will stop turning water into wine, Fran Healy will shut the **** up, Pat Burrell will be but a mere (bad) memory, pretzels will be fresh and cheap and Met fans will suddenly morph into civil human beings.
    Perchance to dream.

  • Anonymous

    I'm already feeling bad about what I just said. I really wish I had it in me to be mean and… well, MEAN it. That would make it so much easier to be a Met fan.
    But yeah, we do kinda suck, don't we?