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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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So It's One More Round for Experience

Just for an instant, a halo formed around the 2012 Mets. It happened when Bryan Petersen swung through Bobby Parnell’s two-out, one-two pitch in the bottom of the ninth at Marlins Park early Wednesday evening. It was strike three, but Kelly Shoppach couldn’t hold onto it. Petersen dutifully took off for first, but Shoppach found the handle quickly enough and fired the ball to Ike Davis for the verifying forceout.

The last game of the season was over. The Mets won it, 4-2, beating the Marlins, the only team in their division that finished behind them. They were sending us into winter with a victory. Andres Torres, Scott Hairston and Ike Davis had homered, Jeremy Hefner had thrown seven-and-a-third effective innings. Parnell earned a save. It was a game that felt like it should have been blown open a few times and then it was a game that felt like it might be blown altogether, but in the end, it was what it had to be. It was a win and it was done.

Over WFAN, Howie Rose urged its placement in the books, a bound set of virtual volumes destined for the lacquered shelves, filing cabinets and storage bins of our minds. Those books have got to go somewhere; even digitized, they take up an inordinate amount of space. Still, you find the room for them. I have 44 sets, dating back to 1969, the year I became a Mets fan, right at the moment I wish everybody could have become a Mets fan. I’m pretty sure I think everybody became a Mets fan the same moment I did. It’s why I speak so casually of decades-old Mets results and allegedly obscure Mets names, and it’s why I innately don’t understand when Mets fans use terms like “long-suffering” or “second-class” or “checked out” when it comes to the Mets.

The Mets have never made me suffer. The Mets have never been second to anybody in my pecking order. I have never checked out on the Mets. I’m wholly realistic about their composition and their chances, and I rarely skip an opportunity to express my dismay when I find their overall direction unsatisfactory, but I got here in 1969. Deep down, it will always be 1969 for me. I just assume it is for everybody. I wish it were for all of you.

On SNY, the Mets congratulated one another as teams will do after wins have been achieved in relatively mundane fashion. There was no reason to jump up and down, so they didn’t. The guys who hadn’t been on the field emerged from the visitors’ dugout to greet the guys who had. Collectively, it wasn’t much of a season: 74-88, second from the bottom of the National League East, 20 games out of first, 14 games from the nearest available playoff spot, 49 losses in 77 games since that last juncture on July 8 when the Mets seemed capable of competing to play deep into October.

Individually, there were highlights scattered across 2012 and a few players had forged campaigns of which they could be proud. Hairston, for example, hit 20 home runs despite starting on only 86 occasions. Somewhere in the SNY viewing audience had to be a fan who came to love the Mets more than ever or perhaps for the first time because Scott hit home runs in 2012. That fan has a favorite player who may not be back next year, but the fan of the player will probably stay a fan of the team. Someday, after that allegiance has hardened into lifetime fealty, he or she will wax nostalgic with people he or she has yet to meet. “I’ve been a Mets fan a long time,” the line will go. “I go back to the Scott Hairston era. He was my favorite player when I was a kid. I didn’t know he was only a part-time outfielder. He hit home runs whenever he played and I loved him. I couldn’t believe when they let him go. Oh, and you know who else I really liked on the Mets when I was growing up?”

For somebody, 2012 was their 1969, their introduction to all of this. His or her perception of what the Mets are, can be and always will be will differ from mine because of what they experienced this 74-88 year. The lows will be processed differently. The highs will be appreciated in a whole other prism. It will all make another kind of sense to that lifelong Mets fan because of the way 2012 played out, maybe because of the way 2012 ended. The final game of some future season will be just like that Closing Day in 2012.

“Remember Scott Hairston hitting that two-run homer? Remember Ike Davis reaching 90 RBIs? Remember Jeremy Hefner? He was so awful a couple of weeks earlier and he had two really good starts at the end of the year. Yeah, I know they were against Pittsburgh and Miami, but I really thought he was going to be something. Oh, and you know who else I thought was going to be really good?”

It doesn’t have to be your first go-round and it doesn’t have to be your 44th. You’re on a path with these Mets. Every bound volume is special. Every season means something. Every last game on every schedule is yours if you decide it is so. When that last game is won, that’s even better. That’s the halo. You can, at that instant, feel like I did when my first season ended, which was with a 5-3 victory over the Orioles that crowned my favorite team as 1969 World Champions forever more. The Mets have been World Champions ever since. The 42 seasons in the succeeding 43 that didn’t produce a similar result? I remain unconvinced that those aren’t the aberrations. Thus, I await — sometimes patiently, sometimes less so — the restoration that my inner six-year-old knows as fact is coming someday.

The handshakes and backslaps were over and the halo dissolved as soon as it developed. Sandy Alderson was suddenly on the screen speaking the cool, detached, coded language of the executive class, assuring Kevin Burkhardt that the Mets’ “environment” had continued the improvement that had begun when he and his lieutenants had come to New York two years earlier. Terry Collins, in his role as the gym teacher whose anger-management courses likely worked too well, kept punctuating the positives of 2012. In the SNY studio, Bobby Ojeda was speaking up for my sanity, dismissing chatter about positives. You won 74 games, he kept repeating, there are no positives when you win 74 games.

It sounds harsh now, in the wake of one of those 74 wins (20 of them belonging to one pitcher, another achieved by a pitcher permitting no opposition hits through nine innings), but it was a refreshing drink of candor compared to what Alderson and Collins had been pouring. Ojeda was nailing everything that has been bothering me about this thing I love since the new regime came in. Not that I had much use for the old regime, but these guys never express any sense of urgency about a team that isn’t built to win and, in fact, loses far more often than it wins once they get the hang of it: 22-34 to wind down 2011; 28-49 to conclude 2012.

I’d hate to see what a deteriorating environment would have produced.

Alderson, on whom I find Mets fans project whatever qualities they wish to fit their worldview (Sandy as infallible savior; Sandy as incompetent stooge), had offered his offseason preview to reporters earlier in the day. He didn’t say what I wished he’d say, which would have been:

“Our team’s performance was unacceptable this year. We will evaluate everybody, work hard to make the right choices and put a much better product on the field next year and have a consistently winning one for the long term. We cannot continue to have one year after another like the last four. We recognize that despite a handful of highlights, this was not a good season. We aren’t going to pretend it was. I will not tell you who we might or might not retain or acquire. There’s no point in my giving away our strategy. But everything we do will be motivated by wanting to win.”

He didn’t have to flip over a table or knock a row of recording devices out of his inquisitors’ hands. He could stay cool and detached as he spoke. But he should have emphasized that the Mets are in business to win. It’s hard to tell either by the way they play or the way their upper management talks. And Collins could have built up his pupils’ confidence all he wanted, but he, too, could’ve thrown us a bone with just a little acknowledgement that a professional baseball team has not, in fact, performed well if it disappears down a chute with two months to go year after year. There are budgets, there are injuries, there all kinds of excuses (some of them perfectly legitimate), but a couple of straightforward eyes-on-the-prize sentences don’t cost a cent and they hurt nobody.

Which is why, in the dying weeks of another deadly season, I came to adore Bobby Ojeda being completely off message and on target. A clip of Burkhardt interviewing Hairston had aired. Chris Carlin tossed one underhanded to Bobby O. Hairston had a good season, right? What about a new contract for Scott? If Ojeda had followed up with a nod in Hairston’s direction, I wouldn’t have objected. It’s the kind of thing that’s done after a last game of the season where losing teams are concerned. A small piece of a shattered puzzle fit pretty well. Praise that piece — it’s how ball is played on regional cable network team telecasts.

Ojeda, however, wasn’t having it. Yeah, Scott was fine, he said. But this team won 74 games; nobody looks good when you win 74 games. And he just kept going like that, saying what the general manager and the manager (and the chief operating officer) should have been saying. He was saying the Mets need to win a lot more than 74 games and shouldn’t feel disproportionately good about themselves until they do.

I’d swear I’d follow Bobby Ojeda through the gates of hell, but I figure following him to the end of a fourth consecutive losing season will suffice.

Ten teams will continue to play October baseball in 2012. The Mets aren’t one of them. The Mets haven’t been one of them since October 19, 2006. With the ascension of Davey Johnson’s Nationals, Endy Chavez’s Orioles and Bob Melvin’s amazingly undercompensated Athletics to the playoffs, the list of teams that haven’t qualified for postseason since Adam Wainwright was about to strike out Carlos Beltran (who are both eligible for more baseball this month) is down to seven. Only the Pirates, Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Astros and Padres have been absent from playoff competition longer than the Mets…and only the Pirates, Royals, Astros and Mets haven’t rustled up as many as 80 wins in any season dating back to 2009.

There have very real budget issues in the years since Called Strike Three. There have been very real injury issues. There was a discredited front office and field manager. There were replacements. But for four long years, the Mets have been one of those teams. And for six going on seven years — a period longer than the interminable void that swallowed the half-decade between the 2000 pennant and the 2006 division title, the Mets have failed to qualify for the best part of the baseball year.

I’d call it urgent. I’d call it unacceptable. I’d call it a shame, not just for this 44-season Mets fan who can at least be bought off with a firm reliance on precedent — remember, I still think 1969 was the norm — but for the Mets fans who keep signing up for this: those who were lured into the life by all that glittered in 1973 or 1986 or 1988 or 1999 or 2000 or 2006…or those whose point of entry was some random encounter with 1963 or 1978 or 1991 or 2004 or 2012.

It doesn’t matter when you became one of us. You’re one of us now and you’re one of us forever. We’re in this together. We sustain ourselves by memory, by habit, by ritual, by hope and by each other. We welcome the voices of Gary, Keith, Ron and Ralph; Kevin, Bobby and Chris; and Howie, Josh, Jim and Eddie into our ears. We cloak ourselves in orange, blue and reduced-for-clearance black. We lobby on behalf of R.A., we negotiate by proxy for David, we want to know when we get to see Zack. We have no catchers we’d ever want to see again yet we can’t wait for them and pitchers to report to Port St. Lucie. We are 1:10 and 7:10 and, as of less than twelve hours ago, 2013.

We love the Mets unconditionally. But we’d love them to win or at least prefer they and their supervisors seem a little more palpably concerned about losing. And as our 51st set of bound volumes is — after 162 entries — put away alongside the previous 50, we don’t believe we’re being unreasonable about it.

32 comments to So It’s One More Round for Experience

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Hey, confidence goes a long way, didn’t you learn that after years upon years of Fran Healy?

    Fantastic post. Sums it all up.

  • Inside Pitcher

    Thank you Greg – that was beautiful.

    Let’s Go Mets! Now and always!

  • Brendan

    Every day reader here, never commented before but I felt the need to today. This post really resonates with me and explains how I feel after another frustrating season of Mets baseball. They’ll obviously never lose me as a fan, but its been a tough four years. 1999 lured me in as a kid and I long for any sort of postseason baseball at Citi Field. Great post, let’s go Mets!

    • BlackCountryMet

      Just how I feel. 2001 was my starting point and it HAS been a tough 4 years. By my nature, I’m uneasy with sports teams spending huge amounts of money and “buying success” however it’s clearly unacceptable for the Mets to continue along the lines of small market teams who by their geographical position can’t spend fortunes, yet outdo the Mets on the field. Bobby Ojeda is damn right in his comments. I’m filled with unease about the immediate future, we can’t continue in this vein as attendance indicates. Our only trading pieces are ones we should be adding to, not trading away. So yeah, in late Dec and January I’ll be yearning for Mets baseball, unfortunately by July,if not May, I suspect we will be enduring another Groundhog Season. However, once a Met..ALWAYS A MET and with 2 trips across the pond planned for next yr,I’ll continue to live in hope ;-)

  • Tom W

    Fire Alderson.
    Hire Ojeda.

  • Outstanding post Greg, the acceptance of failure that this organization has embraced is a bigger problem than any Ponzi scheme or bad relief pitcher

  • Dave

    “The Mets have never made me suffer.” I’m envious. I’ve always figured that was part of this whole thing of ours. But I suffer gladly, because as a fan of a certain age, they have taken me to the mountaintop not once but twice and almost a few other times, and it’s great up there even if you know you can’t stay for long.

    I just fear that there have been so few joining us in recent years. Young kids now know nothing but the Mets being awful and that other team already having their playoff ticket stamped when the games still feature palm trees, tiki bars and players wearing #82. Very easy for kids to jump on bandwagons, especially when every other kid in their school is on it already. But being part of a smaller circle has its advantages.

    • dmg

      when i was my son’s age, i had 1969; he had 2008. i had 1973; he had 2012. and i grew up when the mets were hip and cool; he’s done it at a time when they’re just a punch line. i couldn’t blame him if he wanted to switch allegiances, and yet he’s the one who couldn’t wait to see a ballgame at citi field a couple sundays ago and buy a second ton of metsorabilia. god love him, but what have i done?

      • Dave

        Your son sounds like a fine young man. You’ve taught him many valuable lessons that will serve him well…don’t always follow the crowd, perservere, understand that disappointments are part of life; put them in perspective and work through them, for they will build character. My daughter is looking at distant colleges to attend next year and is likely to be the token Mets fan on campus, and knowing her, she’ll wear that like a badge of honor, even if or even especially if they still suck.

        And of course, if our kids had switched allegiances, they would cast no reflections in mirrors. Don’t want that.

        • Will in Central NJ

          I’ve written this before, so apologies to those who’ve read this already:

          My wife and I shopped for a new house 2003-04. Numerous open houses we visited had kids’ bedrooms decorated floor-to-ceiling in Yankee swag. I’d joke to the homeowners, as I pointed to the decor in the kids’ rooms, “If we buy this house, I’ll have to fumigate this room.” Numerous times the reply was, “Ha ha, we’re big Met fans, but the kids insist on being Yankee fans.” Presumably, these kids cast no reflections in their mirrors.

          If you read this Mr. Wilpon, there, throughout the tri-state area, is your legacy.

  • […] Mets have played embarrassing bad and losing baseball in the second half of the season. You, me and Greg Prince are having a tough time accepting this losing season after losing season but with the exception of […]

  • Scott M.

    Fantastic. I don’t expect to read a better article wrapping up the 2012 Mets or, for that matter, what it means to be a Mets fan in general.

    I’m a 1986 guy. My older brother is a 1973 guy. My first son was born this summer so I’m going to consider him a 2012 guy until he can speak for himself.

    It’s funny. I never really out and out got angry at this year’s team (Johan’s No-Hitter, and R.A. in general helped with my Mets anger management issues, I suppose)and I think it had to do with my imagination dreaming of taking my boy to the ballpark and knowing that the Mets, his winning Mets, will be giving him memories someday in the future.

    Aw heck, I’m babbling on. Suffice it to say that this is the best Mets blog out there and you and Jason pretty much always have an accurate feel for the pulse of the team.

    This post just made me feel sad that the season is over, in spite of the final result of the season and in spite of the seeming lack of passion from the front office. You can’t say that the readers and writers of FAFIF lack passion…

  • 9th string catcher

    I’m a ’76 guy. That’s right. Vail. Boisclair. Staiger. Mazzilli. Stearns. Swan. Apodaca. With my grandmother living in Norfolk, I went to be wondering if Ed Kurpiel was going to make it to the big club. Why on earth would anyone root for this kind of team? I guess if you like underdogs, this is the team for you. Same as it ever was.

    It was interesting watching them win it all in ’86. Almost uncomfortable having a team so fully stocked with talent, all-stars, playoff victories and competent management from veterans who had actually won before. It almost seemed wrong to not have a left handed catcher or converted pitcher playing 2nd base. I look at this season not with disdain or anger, but almost as if it’s what’s supposed to happen. Of course we have four sub .200 batters in the lineup. Of course our most expensive players are on the disabled list or have inexplicably horrible seasons (or both). Of course we have relief pitchers with eras over 5. This is the NY Mets baseball club.

    I don’t mean to be negative. The thru line on this team always seems to include a number of players with negligble talent, round pegs stuck in square holes, no credible baseball philosophy and an incredible lack of leadership. It’s not surprising that the strongest leaders come out of the broadcast group – Bobby O, Darling, Hernandez – since they were really some of the only Mets to ever win anything in 50 years.

    The Mets are out of the playoffs and have no idea how to get back there. All is right with the world.

  • Stephen M.

    Sums up many of our cumulative feelings on our Mets. I’m the ’73 older brother to Scott and despite my Giants winning Super Bowls there is no better feeling for this sports fan than winning the ultimate goal in baseball. It’s been a long time. I still have the pain of Beltran’s strikeout and clearly remember me and my son’s not saying a word when it was over except me telling my son to turn the TV off when he went to bed. Stunned disbelief. We’re supposed to win a World Series every twenty years or so were my only thoughts. I’ve lived away from NY for over 25 years but I was still checking boxscores right up until Wednesday night, just like all the years since ’73.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Guys,

    I’m one of the orignal new breeders (remember?) so I’ve lived through it all.

    Maybe I was naeve back in 1977 after the massacre even though I was already 26 years old. I was depressed, totally depressed with Seaver being forced out of town but still hoped our team was improving with the young kids we got and the ones we were grooming. I didn’t completely appreciate Seaver comments at the time about the team going nowhere as I do now. I still had my dreams despite the obvious knowledge of the Grant mindset.

    Looking back at those days my feeling is simply that under the De Roulete family with Grant taking control, we had idiots running the show. Incompetent ones.

    But that was it.

    It never got to the point where I thought the front office had the indifference of a computer. I remember how enthusiast Doug Flynn was getting the chance to be a regular second baseman and saying how we had a great young and upcoming club. That’s show he had heart and spirit.

    Heart and spirit are qualities both the players and fans can overcome, with a Grant in charge. Those are things that cannot be overcome with an indifferent computer in charge.

    Not meant to knock Sandy Alderson as a person. He is a layer and thinks with an anlaytical or detached mind. That is fine. That is what makes a good lawyer and businessman.

    It’s just that those same qualities do not make for a good franchise. Baseball is a game of heart and needs to be looked that way – even if the Wilpon financial situation makes it rough to win even 80 games. I’ve gone through enough losing seasons to know they can still be fun.

  • Just_Da_Damaja

    “and have a consistently winning one for the long term. We cannot continue to have one year after another like the last four. ”

    – Sandy Alderson

    last 4 years ?

    try the last 6

    o wait…the wilpons STILL consider 2007 + 2008 to be SUCCESSFUL YEARS !

    this is EXACTLY what I have been screaming about for eons…

    So long as the Wilpons make money ( 2007 + 2008 broke attendance records ) ….they dont give a hoot whether the team wins or not…

    2007 + 2008 were monumental collapses….we should not aim to have years like that !!!

  • Joe D.


  • MetsMama

    My son finally embraced baseball and the mets last year but towards the end of the season. So this has been his first full fanatical year. He watches every 1:10 game. He reviews the highlights first thing every morning on my iPad before I’m out of bed. Besides dickey and wright (he’s not an idiot) one of his favorites is mike nickeas. He caught some game and saw him hit a home run (was it a grand slam?) and just thought it was the best. As a mets fan I just kind of shake my head but as a mom I’m pretty much cool if any player he loves is a good guy first. I love the idea of him sitting at game 20 years from now waxing nostalgic on Nickeas.

  • Lou

    Words are just that…words. If Sandy had said the season was unacceptable (and basically he did infer that), how would it change the deals that need to be made or make players on the farm develop faster. The real problem with this team is very simple. For far too long, previous regimes ignored the farm system, drafting safe players staying below slot instead of going after the high impact players. That’s where money should have been spent, not signing free agents to ridiculous untradeable contracts. Then of course fans want the Mets to spend as much money as the Yankees, even the day after a 55 million dollar payroll won the American League West. Yes its frustrating and I have been a fan since 1965. But what Alderson is doing is the correct approach regardless of the fact his personality lacks fire. To those that want him out what’s your plan? Sign who? Trade who for what? Years of poor baseball management reacting to fan outrage has got us into this mess. Patience is the only thing that will get us out of it. The key of course is once the Mets get there, management needs to sustain it. Look at the Cardinals, Braves, Rangers, Giants, and the A’s. These clubs operate and stay competitive every year by keeping their farm system strong and spending wisely on players. Alderson has drafted some terrific arms that are at the low levels of the system. They will help in the future or perhaps even sooner in trades that could bring in key pieces. I will say this, Alderson has to do something this winter to change the talent on the major league roster. Even he said after two years now, he has enough input to make changes quickly. Hopefully the off season will be interesting.

  • Dan

    I’m an everyday reader but this is the first time I’ve posted. I got to say that I really enjoy reading. You really capture the fans perspectiveof the Mets.

    Me, I grew up and still live in Denver, CO. Before the Rockies got here, it was 1986 that put me firmly on the Mets bandwagon. I was 11 years old and thinking I was headed to being a Red Sox fan, but, the Baseball Gods decreaded that I go with the Mets.

    I suppose I could’ve jumped ship in 1993. Who would’ve blamed me? The Colorado Rockies were new and the Mets were kind of bad. I didn’t because, at the end of the day, I couldn’t not be a Mets fan. So here I am. At times it’s sucked being a Mets fan but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not even a Rockies appearance in the World Series! LET’S GO METS!

  • Metsfaninparadise

    Pitchers and catchers report in 103 (approx.) days!

  • DaveSchneck

    Wonderful post, both well-written and nailing it from the fan perspective. It is quite apparent that this ownership does not care about winning ENOUGH, and that is reflected by the GM’s comments. Their fiscal incompetence has trumped whatever will to win the existed prior to this mess.

  • Andee

    All I’m going to say is, players to Sandy (and every GM) are a product. If he’d said what you advocated, it would be, in essence, saying, “These players, with very rare exceptions, all suck.” If you go on record as saying that, how do you make trades? How do you sell your product to other GMs, if you’ve already said flat-out that they can’t play their way out of a wet paper bag?

    I don’t think Sandy is infallible. I don’t think any GM can ever claim that. All of them miss the boat on good players, acquire lousy ones. The ones with the “better” reputations probably have luck to thank every bit as much as “genius.” (Brian Sabean, I’m looking at you-ooo-ooo.)

    The question is, would you rather he be the GM or Jeff Wilpon be the GM? Because that was basically the situation for the last couple of years of Omar’s reign, and would probably still be true if Selig didn’t cut the Wilpons a lifeline deal. Jeff + more money to spend =/= better Mets. Jeff + more money to spend probably equals more horrible contracts, a more expensive product but not necessarily a better one.

    Me, I’m willing to try something else for a few years. I don’t care what Sandy says, I care what he does. So…let’s see what he actually does, from this day forward.

    • DaveSchneck

      Agreed, I care about what Sandy does, not what he says. So far, he has done virtually nothing to improve the club. This winter is high time for him to DO things to help the club. He can start with extending Wright and Dickey WITHOUT crying poverty to fill the other holes for 2013.

      • Andee

        He can only do that if ownership lets him do it. That’s the thing. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together was going to take this job without a huge carrot on the end of the stick — in Sandy’s case, the chance to be top of the list to be named commissioner after Selig retires.

        Otherwise, as long as this ownership remains in place, that’s our only shot at getting the organization rebuilt. Anyone else hireable by the Wilpons would have quickly become Jeff’s puppet, and if he did a shitty job when they had money, I don’t think you even want to know how he would handle things without it.

        Either it will work and the organization will become flush within the next two years, or when Sandy (or Joe Torre) does take over as commissioner, they’re out of there faster than you can say “Vince Coleman.” But I don’t agree that Sandy has done nothing. The pitching in the lower minors looks awesome now (wouldn’t it be nice, having a pipeline of great bullpen arms like the Braves do?), and getting Wheeler was a real coup.

        They do need more lumber, that’s for sure. However, the old way would have been to vastly overpay for someone like Josh Hamilton, who’d be a very bad fit for this team, or for Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton, both of whom have below-average OPS+ but will probably be bidded up the yingyang anyway. I’d just as soon they be someone else’s problem, unless they can be had for a lot less than the predicted going rate.

  • Steve D

    As the Yankees win their 13th division in 17 years to our one, this time of year is always painful. We are denied the drama and highs and lows of October baseball…thanks to Johan, I had that feeling for 3 innings in June. The Yankees are a well run organization and the Mets are run by bumbling losers by comparison. It’s hard to root for those people, but we diehards still do. I just try to give them as little of my money as possible these days. They’ll have to sell someday…it’s our only hope.

  • joenunz

    What a season! Hooray!

    That’s right degenerate Met fans, your team – barely, by the skin of its teeth – beat the Vegas over/under of 73 1/2 by one full half.

    I look forward to investing another C-note next year in “over”…can’t say I don’t get my money’s worth.