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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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With a Whimper

If the Mets get shellacked 7-0 by the Cubs, does it make a sound?

I ask because looking around the series of tubes, I see a lot of first-half-of-the-season stuff, and not a lot of stuff about a normally patient club making like nine Jeff Francoeurs so they could get in their SUVs and be somewhere else as quickly as possible. (Time of game: 128 minutes.) Jon Niese was unlucky in the first and made a bad pitch in the seventh and was pretty good between, but it didn’t matter, because the Mets were hacking like they were up nine runs in the bottom of the fourth with a hurricane coming in. Seriously — if you attended this one, you ought to ask Mr. Met for your money back.

Why worry, though? It’s inconceivable that one lousy game could ever mean the difference between making the postseason and having an entire fanbase think about starting the car in the garage, right?

After the Mets finished not bothering anybody in putting the closing touches on a .333 mark against the .388 Cubs, Emily and I headed down to Coney Island for a date with the Brooklyn Cyclones, home of Brandon Nimmo, Phillip Evans, Kevin Plawecki and other potential Mets. They lost, though the Cyclones put on their usual great, goofy show, entertaining fans and never taking themselves too seriously. This was actually my second Cyclones game in three days, and every summer it’s a pleasure to get reacquainted with MCU Park. I love how the day’s heat gives way to the cool of the breeze coming off the ocean from right field and how the neon rings on the light towers slowly emerge from the darkness as night falls, mimicking the flashing lights of the amusement parks behind the left-field fence. Though here’s a weird thing: There were postgame fireworks Friday night, but apparently 10 p.m. is the latest they can be shot off on Coney Island, and when that hour arrived the game wasn’t over. Solution? The Cyclones made a brief announcement that sounded half amused and half apologetic, and started the fireworks show while the game was still going on. So guys hit with red puffballs blooming and white stars descending and shells thud-thudding right over the batter’s eye. Never seen that before.

Hey, maybe it would have woken up today’s Mets.

This isn’t to be too negative: The first half was better than any of us could have hoped (though I didn’t think the Mets would be terrible), the team is right smack in the expanded playoff hunt, and whatever happens the rest of the way, we’re done with watching a ball plop down on the outfield grass and feeling resigned that we will go to our graves never having seen a friendly no-hitter. And though I’m wary given our record of recent second halves, I’m excited to see what moves the team makes and how it does. There’s clearly bullpen help coming, and a quest for a right-handed bat (which, if you’re enough of an optimist, could be Jason Bay), and something tells me Sandy will be looking for a bigger move to make if it’s available. And of course there’s plenty more baseball to be played, with attendant stories to be written.

I just hope the protagonists are a bit more engaged than they were today.

7 comments to With a Whimper

  • I doubt this seasons failure/success will hinge on this lousy 3 game series..Look this year has been a real positive, our future is bright..Take a few days off and forget it…

    Rich P

  • BlackCountryMet

    The Cyclones park is great and the atmosphere is dead friendly. I did a Mets & Cyclones fixture back to back. Went to the Jason Bay walk off Subway Series win on Sunday then headed straight to MCU park for their game v Staten Island Yanks. Owing to the rain delay start, extra innings for Mets and breakdown of the train, we got there for top of the 8th!! It was great to see ‘ball at that level and the guy and his wife next to us couldn’t get over we’d come from England and done the 2 games in one day. Always look for Cyclones results now

  • TJHinNYC

    Apropos of nothing, except today’s date. On July 9, 1969, Tom Seaver took a perfect game into the 9th inning. I was a vendor at Shea that year (and the next) and kept one eye on the field in the latter innings. When the bottom of the 8th inning rolled around, I was not down in the bowels of the satdium handing in my take for the day. No, I was still in full vendor regalia, ladened down with pounds of quarters in my change apron. And I was sitting in the aisle of the right field mezzanine boxes. Seaver got to bat in the 8th, and got an appropriate standing ovation. He quickly made out and retreated to the dugout to focus on the matter at hand. After returning to the mound, Seaver dispatched the first batter (you can look up who that was, because it was the following batter whose name remains “legend.”) Pinch hitter Jimmy Qualls dug in at the plate, and before we knew it, sent a clean line drive over shortstop and into left-center field. Naturally, every Mets fan was greatly disappointed. But, a thunderous ovation soon enveloped the sold-out ballpark. Before long, the Mets gave everyone a raft of great memories when they continued their quest for their first World Championship. What a day and what a year!

    • Joe D.

      With close to 60,000 in the stands, no doubt your best day ever as a vendor!

      Great memories – saw the game on TV and purchased the two tabloids the next day. Front page both of them – which got to be a habit the rest of the year.

  • Andee

    Well, the Gnats lost 2/3 at home to the Rockies, who might actually be worse right now than the Cubs, who also beat the Braves 4/6. I just feel kinda vindicated we’re not 20 games out like all the “experts” foolishly predicted. This was never a 100 or 110 loss team, that was just silly.

    But of course now that I can smell playoffs, I want a bite…

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