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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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The Game Really Is Everywhere

Your recapper began Sunday’s finale against the Rockies in an odd place: sitting inside a kayak in the East River. Well, more properly, the embayment between piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where I’m a safety boater for the park’s free kayaking program. This means I offer some basic paddling instruction, intervene when people have trouble, and tow people out of the pilings or other inconvenient places should things go truly wrong — I’m more tow-truck driver than state trooper.

Such double duty makes for an interesting perspective: You’re bobbing up and down in the waves, maybe dipping a foot in the water, and paddling towards potential trouble while somewhere not so far away, bats are cracking and mitts are thumping and Howie Rose and Wayne Randazzo are painting the word picture for you. (I don’t make fun of Randazzo’s rundown of uniform components because a) he should get to have his thing; and b) when I’ve got no visuals, I really do like assembling the picture in my head.)

That’s one of my favorite aspects of baseball: Given a little planning, technological preparedness and a bit of stealth, you can ensure the game accompanies you most anywhere. Sneaking a transistor radio into school in the mid-60s hasn’t really gone away — it’s just been replaced by a phone, an app, a single airpod and good concentration.

Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at “one-earing” it, which is what I was doing on the water in deference to my far more important responsibilities. Whatever the occasion, the game is there, low but present, as an undercurrent to what else you’re doing, happily proceeding and available for whatever moments arose when you can give it closer attention.

Alas, on Sunday the concept was more fun than the execution. The sounds of Citi Field and Howie and Wayne’s narration were welcome, but the story they told me needed a better ending. Max Scherzer was in fine form, and I happily imagined him securing that suddenly elusive 200th win with me in … well, let’s call it very semi-attendance. But the Rockies’ dented and dinged ace, German Marquez, seemed very much the rising star he’d always been against New York, sending Met after Met back to the dugout after a brief engagement at home plate.

In the fifth, it sure sounded like the Mets were writing the kind of ending I wanted: Jeff McNeil led off with a single and then tormented Marquez into a balk, only to be left stranded by a pop to third, strikeout and loud but ineffective liner to center. In the seventh Scherzer did impressive work when faced with bases loaded and nobody out, giving up just a lone run.

But that was one more run than the Mets had.

It couldn’t end that way, surely.

The bottom of the eighth, which came as I was finishing my shift on the water and preparing for a trip paddling down to Red Hook, suggested it wouldn’t: Brett Baty hit a one-out single and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. But Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo — whom I trust in whatever order they bat — struck out. Mychal Givens survived a tough top of the ninth while I silently fumed and exhorted him to get over whatever’s ailing him, but a few minutes later Pete Alonso‘s ninth-inning single also came to naught and the ballgame was over.

It was over and the Mets had lost — and by a 1-0 score, no less.

The day had many pleasures — a couple of hours later I was rowing towards the Statue of Liberty and the sunset, finding myself inside a postcard come to life. And I was glad I was able to squeeze the Mets into my aquatic adventures. But I can think of one way things could have been even better.

4 comments to The Game Really Is Everywhere

  • Seth

    I thought the same thing. Surely. Surely it could not end that way. Oy, it did.

  • Eric

    Scherzer deGrom’ed. I can live with that happening against the Rockies in the regular season. I’ll be upset if Scherzer is deGrom’ed in the post-season.

    The 2022 Mets consistently win series, but rarely sweep no matter the opponent, which makes us happy but keeps us grounded.

    Thank you, Cardinals for beating the Cardinals of the NL East Braves. Hopefully, it starts a trend of the Braves settling for winning series only instead of sweeping everyone besides the Mets.

    No matter how the Mets fare against the even-scarier-than-the-Braves Dodgers, the Mets will enter September in 1st place.

  • […] The Game Really Is Everywhere »    […]

  • Stan

    I’ll give you an everywhere. Sunday was a day for running errands. So the game bounced back and forth between my car radio and my phone.
    Most of the last part of the game was blasting out of my phone from my back pocket inside a Walmart in Indian Trail, North Carolina. It’s no sunset behind the Statue of Liberty, but at least this North Carolina Walmart had a box of Drake’s Coffee Cakes for me.