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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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Day in the Sun

It’s an odd feeling when you’re away from your team and they’re doing poorly. You’re a bit relieved, because in your normal life you’d have flushed three hours down the drain but instead you get the bad news via a glance at a phone, paper or distant TV and then get on with whatever it is you’re doing instead. But hot on the heels of that comes guilt: You’re AWOL, a member of the faithful not pulling your weight, and someday some yet-to-be-revealed law of physics may establish what that little voice in your head keeps saying, which is that what’s gone wrong is, in fact, your fault.

I left early Thursday for Star Wars Weekends down in Orlando. This isn’t always bad news for the Mets — I was in the same place when Johan Santana no-hit the Cardinals, a happening I took in via At Bat while on rollercoasters and ferries and finally in the ESPN Club on the boardwalk. Thursday Jacob deGrom was Johanesque in dismantling those same Cardinals (or, more properly, other Cardinals), but nothing else went right for the Mets: They got mauled in Pittsburgh and introduced to the condition “spinal stenosis,” crawling back home Sunday about the same time I did. But even down in the Happiest Place on Earth the Mets’ misery was inescapable: On Saturday night I had a drink in the Boardwalk Inn’s lounge before heading out to dinner with Joshua, and noticed one guy at the bar who was practically radiating depression. When I drew closer to grab the bartender’s attention, I heard him talking about spinal stenosis and Dilson Herrera‘s finger and Wilmer Flores‘s errors, and it all made sense. As a Met fan, he’d brought his own little black cloud.

Anyway, back to New York I came. My parents are visiting this week, helping with the usual mess of half-conceived household projects and newly discovered disasters we foist upon them every few months. For Memorial Day Emily and I had decreed an outing to Citi Field. It would be my folks’ first — long-overdue compensation for having made me a Mets fan.

Well, unless it turned out to be revenge for saddling me with this mostly doomed obsession. The current Mets aren’t good — perhaps you’ve noticed — but we decided to hope for the best. They were playing the Phillies, after all, and even if things went poorly we’d get a day at the ballpark and eat at El Verano Taqueria, which is pretty good even when nothing else is.

As it turned out, the day was splendid and so were the Mets. They handled the Memorial Day observances with aplomb — I’m a bit suspicious of military rah-rah in ballparks these days, but the parachute jumpers from West Point were admirably precise, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was superbly rendered and the moment of silence for the fallen was presented and received with somber dignity.

I was curious to see if my folks would like the park, and they did. It’s interesting seeing a regular haunt through someone else’s eyes: My parents keep up with the Mets and this blog while not being diehards (it’s tough to be one in central Virginia), and they thought Citi Field was well-constructed and pleasant, with nice architectural touches and good food. Would they have changed their minds if lectured about the imbalance between Dodgers’ and Giants’ touches, the problems of sight lines and the late arrival of Mets images? Perhaps, but it’s also possible that some of these things are agate-type problems blown up to banner headlines by those of us for whom there is no small matter connected to the Mets.

It was a nice day and the Mets won, powered by a laser-beam home run from Lucas Duda, a convincing blast from not-dead-after-all Michael Cuddyer and a decisive corner-finder from Flores. It was a nice day and the Mets won. That’s more than enough for any day.

4 comments to Day in the Sun

  • Dave

    I go back and forth about how good the team is too, but calling them “not good” is probably overkill. They are certainly not good on the road. However, right now they are home, are 25-21 and have a reasonable chance of improving that record further over the next five games. Lets not oversimplify.

  • Nick

    Good point, Dave. Marred an otherwise excellent post. These Mets… this team… they have a chance, a real chance, to be more than ‘good.’ With this pitching, if we can get into the playoffs, who knows?

    The problem, of course, will be getting there…

  • eric b

    With that kind of optimism, you guys can’t possibly be Mets fans.

  • Dave

    OK, different Dave here. I think there are too many things this team doesn’t do well to make it into Nick’s “more than good” category. The details are obvious and well documented enough that I don’t need to repeat them all, but those of us a certain age remember some very talented rotations pitching for .500 teams because they lost too many 2-1 games. And Harvey, deGrom and Syndergaard (whose promotion to the #3 spot is premature, but he is exciting, no denying that) are no Seaver, Koosman and Matlack, at least not yet.