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ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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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Who're Your Influences?

Tom Glavine said Andres Galarraga will be a great influence on the Latin players. Does anybody say Mike Piazza or Mike Cameron will be a great influence on the U.S.-born players? That Tom Glavine will set a great example for the white pitchers who walk around like they’ve got a bat shoved up their asinine remarks?

Glavine was more a Brave than Galarraga ever was, and I’ve grudgingly, conditionally, almost accepted Tom Glavine as a Met as he approaches his third season of deteriorating in our laundry. Galarraga I’m still pissed at for hitting a game-winning home run off Randy Myers in 1988.

We assume The Big Cat (best nickname in baseball) will make the team, though he could go the way of Terry Puhl, Mariano Duncan and (shudder) Jim Leyritz in the long line of players who donned Mets uniforms only to undon them before the season actually began.

Their patron saint is Nelson Briles, who just passed away at age 61. Briles, as a favor to old teammate and Mets manager Joe Torre (whatever happened to that guy?), showed up in St. Pete trying to extend his career in 1979. The De Roulet administration balked at what would’ve been his $60,000 salary and decided to keep Neil Allen (’79 Minimum: $21K) and Briles retired. However, Nellie Briles did play a role in one of the more memorable episodes of that Mets era, certainly the most often-run episode.

On “Saturday Night Live,” it will be recalled, Weekend Update anchor Bill Murray “covered” the comeback attempt of fictional second baseman Chico Escuela (“baseball been berry, berry good to me”; talk about your positive Latin influences) at Mets camp. The conceit was Chico, portrayed by Garrett Morris, was trying to make the Mets at age 41 but was a clubhouse outcast because of the tell-all memoir he wrote, “Bad Stuff ‘Bout The Mets.”

Tom Seaver: “Always take up two parking places.”

Yogi Berra: “Berry, berry bad card player.”

Ed Kranepool: “Borrow Chico’s soap and never give it back.”

The first player Murray interviewed in his report regarding that “social leper” Escuela and his book was No. 59, Nelson Briles. He told Bill, “I can’t forgive him for that.”

Damn thing is NBC reruns uncut “SNLs” from the show’s golden age Sundays at 3 AM, and reran that one last weekend. Within 24 hours, it was announced that Nellie Briles had died. Weird.

Chico, by the way, actually appeared in the 1979 Mets Old-Timers game that July as a pinch-runner. It was the 10th anniversary of the ’69 Mets, but I think Garrett Morris got the biggest ovation.

Philosophical question: Who is more of a Met? The veteran spring-training invitee who doesn’t make the club or the on-paper Met (Jorge Orta, Joe Randa) who is trafficked as part of a three-way deal and is never issued blue and orange? I’d go with Chico Escuela.

Better question: Why didn’t Reyes ever finish his leg rehab with Shilstone? My friend Rob last August, right after Jose went down again, ran through a list of can’t-miss prospects who suffered as many injuries early as Reyes. He wasn’t able to come up with any who ever made it to the level of prominence projected for them. Rob knows his stuff. But boy Reyes looks good.

In terms of spring-training coverage, it’s odd how all the Cliff Floyd stories or all the Steve Trachsel profiles pop up the same day. There are like 70 players running around at any given moment early in a big-league camp and all the writers focus on the same player at the same time. Guess nobody wants to get beat on the “this year, I’m going to stay healthy” angle.

Steve Trachsel will be a great influence on the young mopey sad sacks who plan to exceed expectations by not sucking more than one out of every three starts.

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