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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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Only a Dream

Whoa. I just woke up from the weirdest dream.

The Mets were up 6-1, and it was a laugher. Totally easygoing Sunday night game, the kind you kind of stop paying attention to while still enjoying because you’re tired and starting to think about the week ahead and anyway you’ve won. All this cool stuff was happening in the dream, too. Jordany Valdespin hit a homer instead of flailing at an offspeed pitch at his ankles. And Jon Niese was pitching well, really well — I knew it was a dream because he wasn’t having one of those Jon Niese innings where something goes wrong and then something else goes wrong and then Niese pouts and sulks and acts like he’s too cool for this noise and the next thing you know he’s given up three or four runs in the frame and is looking stunned and resentful, like a big part of the problem isn’t his own inability to bear down.

I even dreamed Ben Sheets was back, wearing a Braves uniform. I think that one’s a recurring thing. Like I said, weird.

But the thing is, then it turned into a nightmare. 6-1 in the ninth, ho hum, right? Josh Edgin was pitching, which wasn’t a surprise because I’d been dreaming that we had an effective reliever since, oh, April. But Edgin walked our old friend Chipper, and then he hit Freddie Freeman right in the back, and I started to toss and turn and mutter things in my sleep. Then he struck out Dan Uggla and got Brian McCann to fly out, and I must have sighed and tried to sink out of the dream and back into a deep sleep, because now the Braves were down to their 27th out.

Except I dreamed Edgin walked Paul Janish to load the bases. And so Terry Collins brought in Frank Frank, and Frank Frank walked Juan Francisco after an at-bat that lasted several days, which is the kind of weird thing that happens in dreams, so it was 6-2 and the Braves had the tying run at the plate.

And so I kind of woke up a little, you know, when you wind up talking back to your dream? And I was like, Yeah right, dream. You’re just trying to scare me, but c’mon. Enough with the dramatics; I’ve got stuff to do in the morning.

But then Frank Frank walked Michael Bourn, almost hitting him in the chin, and it was 6-3 and the tying run was a very fast man on first base, and now I was trying to wake up but I couldn’t.

And then Frank Frank gave up a two-run double to Martin Prado and it was 6-5 and I was frantic and managed to claw my way up out of sleep, like you’re at the bottom of a deep dark lake, and I thrashed and thrashed and finally broke the surface and was AWAKE. Like, whew. That was freaky.

So I put my head back down — but the dream started up again. Picked up right where I left off, only now Jon Rauch was pitching, and in my dream he was even bigger than in real life — like twelve stories high and made of radiation. (Great but NSFW.) And Jason Heyward was up and this was suddenly a full-fledged nightmare, with cold sweats and the whole works.

Rauch got to two strikes and then threw a little slider in the dirt and it was like the dream slowed way down. The ball was right under Rob Johnson’s butt, spinning there in the dirt, only Johnson couldn’t find it. AUGGHHHH!!!! NOOO!!!!! Johnson looked this way and he looked that way and he looked behind him and I was trying to yell NO! ROB! RIGHT UNDERNEATH YOU! but no sound was coming out and Heyward was sprinting towards first. And finally Johnson found the ball and everyone was screaming, including me. But, see, he had to take a couple of steps into foul territory so he’d have a throwing angle and not hit Heyward in the back, and he rushed the throw — alligator-armed it into the dirt. It actually bounced and Ike Davis put his glove on the ground right at first base and Heyward was less than a step from the bag. And I’m thrashing around trying to wake up, freaking out that the ball will bounce away or hit Heyward in the ankle or Heyward will actually step on Ike’s glove and tear it off and the glove will go one way and the ball will go another way and the umps will have to look at the rulebook while everybody tries to figure out what to do and of course the call will go against us because we’re the Mets.

Except somehow Ike dug it out and didn’t get stepped on, and Heyward was out by an eyelash and the Mets all came off the field looking pretty sheepish about things, but they’d won. And I woke up.

What’s that? Why can’t I just dream something normal? I don’t know. I’d like to, I really would — I was enjoying my dream of being up by five and thinking good thoughts about Jon Niese. I don’t know what to tell you. Since about the All-Star Break my dreams have been kind of a disaster — they’re either nightmares or I can’t quite remember what happened and am pretty sure I don’t want to, or else so much weird stuff happens that I’m like, C’mon, seriously? Though rarely are they as weird as tonight’s, and thank God for that.

I dunno. I guess I’m in a slump or something.

5 comments to Only a Dream

  • Penacious h

    So someone in our Section, 516, starts to stand up (for like the sixth chance in the freakin’ inning) when Rauch had 2 strikes on Heyward– and before I knew it I yelled “hey siddown! They don’t deserve it! And the guy LISTENS! And the guy next to us high fives me and we mutter, together, what a crappy way to win, And then he says right on target: “they figured out how to take all pleasure out of winning!”. YUP. Then Rauch gets the well reported (above) 3rd and we go home feeling as icky as you can after a win! Geeez

  • Marcy L.

    Our hearts were pounding and our shoulders were slumping in Section 430 when Hayward was up with two strikes. I mentioned to my spouse that the scoreboard operator stopped putting up the dancing “2 Strikes” sign – could it have been superstition or plain frustration? Well, you know the rest of the story. They won, huh? They won? Nobody cheered and we all walked out towards the parking lot without any happy chatter. We won but it felt like a loss.

  • Dave

    And now we don’t even have synchronized equestrian handball or rhythmic weightlifting to divert us anymore.

  • One of your best posts ever. I’ve had similar experiences watching Jets games for the past 22 years.

    I turned off the game after the completion of the 8th inning because I knew this was going to happen. When the Mets have the game “in the bag” is pretty much the best indication that the visitors will win the game.

    Worst. Bullpen. Ever.

  • Dak442

    I found it presumptuous they went with “Taking Care of Business” after that mess. Petty’s “You Got Lucky” would have been more appropriate. Or “You Stupid Jerk” by the Angry Samoans. Or maybe just some circus clown music.