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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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Normal Takes Another Holiday

Seth Lugo did not make his first start since 2018 on Thursday night. The Mets did not go for the four-game series sweep in Miami on Thursday night. Dom Smith did not take further aim at the National League RBI lead on Thursday night. Luis Guillorme did not get as much as one swing in toward raising his batting average even higher on Thursday night. The Mets did not move within a game of .500 or fall three below the break-even mark on Thursday night, the eve of their first Subway Series matchup of 2020 on Friday night.

Scratch whatever there might have been to say about that first Subway Series matchup on Friday night, too.

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into baseball, COVID-19 reminded us it signs off on the schedule last, and the virus decided, nope, no Mets game at Marlins Park and, nope, no next game at Citi Field. Two members of the Mets’ traveling party — a player and a staffer — tested positive and, for at least a couple of games, that’s all she wrote for our baseball team’s attempt at routine.

The identities of the player and the staff member haven’t been revealed as of this writing. All we can do is wish them very well. Same for anybody with whom they might have interacted in more than a passing way. We’re not experts. We’re just trying to be human.

It took not quite a month to get to a Mets postponement. They’re not the first team affected. The longer baseball soldiers on, the likelihood is they won’t be the last. For twenty-six games, the almost-nightly presence of the Mets on SNY and WCBS grew incrementally more normal. Come the twenty-sixth night, despite the abomination of the designated hitter (nothing personal, Met DHs), the complete lack of attendance and all the other abnormalities MLB accommodated to put their product forward, it had reached a point of normal enough. Not normal enough to meet one’s preferences, but normal enough to kvell from deGrom, plotz from Diaz and experience deliverance via Conforto. Normal enough to take seriously a baseball team in a time when so much else feels dire. It wasn’t perfect. Maybe it wasn’t even appropriate. But it was the Mets.

For the moment, it is not. Having postponed their Thursday and Friday games, they’re flying most of their personnel back to New York “with recommended safety precautions” and will “conduct testing with the entire traveling party”. The two people who tested positive, “along with those traced to be within close contact,” are remaining in Miami for now.

This is certainly different from announcements that this pitcher is experiencing nothing worse than shoulder inflammation and that catcher is moving to the 45-day IL, with surgery to remove a bone spur slated. We already knew basically everything about this season would vary wildly from what we consider standard. Why should baseball differ drastically from the world in which it’s attempting to play?

Being normal, however abnormal the normality, intermittently approached recognizable levels of fun for four weeks. The pitching when it was good. The hitting when it was timely. The kvetching when it was merited. The routine when it was humming along just about like always. You almost forgot how incredibly abnormal everything is.

UPDATE: Saturday’s and Sunday’s game have also been postponed.

5 comments to Normal Takes Another Holiday

  • Dave

    2020 champion is going to be whatever team is left intact.

  • open the gates

    Oh man oh man.

    There’s nothing really to say here. I had an early bout of Covid, and even though it was relatively mild and gave me a slew of antibodies, it was by far not the most fun two weeks of my life. And I know others who weren’t that fortunate.

    I just hope and pray that whoever is sick gets better quickly and that everyone else stays healthy. The baseball can wait.

  • Daniel Hall


    I will now have to embrace myself due to social distancing precautions and slowly rock back and forth.

  • […] in the second game of the sweeping shutout the Marlins inflicted on them. It was the makeup for last week’s postponement in Miami. Was it last week? Maybe it was last year. The Mets were on a three-game winning streak. […]