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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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That's The Way of The World

Late summer is the season of easy denial. If the atmospheric conditions are generous, there’s not a damn thing wrong when you step outside and obviously there never will be. Warmth is a given. Cool dribbles in as needed. It’s not at all hot. It’s surely not cold. It’s Baby Bear weather.

It’s just right.

What’s all wrong, of course, is late summer is over at approximately the instant you realize you’re in it. I’ve been feeling late summer for literally two days. I spent part of the first of those days staring at a reassuringly calm Atlantic Ocean. I spent part of the second of those days staring at the offensively comatose New York Mets. Nature’s been kinder of late in these parts than the Detroit Tigers. Good luck if you think you’re gonna sneak anything past the heart of either of their orders.

Late summer, 2013, Long Beach, New York. (Not pictured: Mets losing.)

Late summer, 2013, Long Beach, New York. (Not pictured: Mets losing yet again.)

Maybe this flawless climate will last another week. A line of thunderstorms, a shot of humidity — never mind the slightest whisper of a tropical depression — and the idyll is pulled out from under you. Even if you’re lucky enough to make it to the end of August meteorologically unscathed, you can’t expect to extend your unbeaten streak. Late summer’s done once the sun sinks over Labor Day. You know what unfolds thereafter even if you don’t want to.

Your baseball team can ease you toward September or it can just remind you how fleeting the gentle breezes of these perfect days really are. You don’t quite dread the onset of autumn when the autumn promises possibilities. We used to have possibilities. Someday we will again. This September we will not.

So we are left with late August and you are advised to embrace its intangibles before they are unattainable. Stroll onto its boardwalk. Stroll into its ballpark. Mark down as victories the acts if not necessarily the outcomes. My boardwalk’s not yet complete, but it’s going the distance, block by block. My ballpark? On Saturday it provided me complimentary coasters and somebody else’s 19th win. A barrage of hits for the visitors: few of them sent far but nearly all of them struck hard. The Tigers scored three runs. Baserunning and umpiring cost them three more. They only needed one.

There was no beating the weather or Max Scherzer. You take what you can get.

The Mets ended Saturday 58-69. After exactly as many games a year ago, they were 58-69. Late August wasn’t going anywhere then, either, except away. The Mets stuck around for 35 more games because they were obliged. I trust they’ll live up to their obligations again this year. They’re mighty sporting that way.

This team hasn’t exactly unraveled the way it has in recent second halves, probably because there wasn’t much about them that was raveled to begin with. It’s awfully discouraging if one chooses to be discouraged — and to be perfectly blunt, I usually do. Today, however, I choose my chances; Tom Seaver’s second bobblehead in as many years; and however much late summer I can stuff into my soul for the inevitable rainy, windy, baseball-devoid days ahead. The Mets are again in the midst of pulling in the competitive patio furniture as September approaches. It’s not how we’d prefer to spend our late summer days with them. But I can’t stand the idea of spending my late summer days without them.

It wouldn’t be just right.

9 comments to That’s The Way of The World

  • Lenny65

    And soon the long off-season begins, where we wait and hope they’ll find some bats to complement the pitching staff they’ve put together. My optimism regarding the pitching is, of course, tempered by the grim reality of what normally happens when the Mets go into off-seasons desperately needing something. Occasionally it goes well, frequently it does not.

  • Fl Met Fan Rich

    Football was made for cities with crappy baseball teams.

    Baseball season ends this weekend when college football starts!

  • dmg

    that was a sad lineup to send out against a triple a squad, let alone scherzer and the tigers. i feel bad for harvey.

    your title made me think of this ditty — maybe you did too. up one day, the next you’re down.

  • Parth

    Makes me think of deep Doors cut- Summer’s Almost Gone-

    Sept has for the most part been the look forward to football- although first 4 games I still kept an eye on Met prospects, however bad the team was. Jets dis-organization makes any hope moot at best and i will miss Met baseball more than most years.

  • Dave

    Title made me think of the song of the same title by SF anarchist punks Flipper. Sample lyrics: “Life is the only thing worth living for,” and their concerts were legendary for promoters turning off the power. Fun stuff.

    By this time of year, in a good year I can say “at least I have football season to look forward to.” But as (IMO) any Mets fan should be, I’m also a Jets fan, so, well, I don’t even have to complete this sentence, do I?

    • Dennis

      Nice! Might be one of the first times I’ve seen a Flipper reference in any baseball related blog/ article.

  • My late summer, late afternoon jam for all time, from Earth Wind & Fire.

  • […] Superman to be at the top of his game in every single panel on every single page. When he looked extraordinarily mortal against the Tigers, you figured something along the lines of “fatigue,” which is how Harvey identified it […]