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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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When We're '64

If it really is 1964 all over again — Texan in the White House, a single artist dominating the pop charts, Mets getting their suck on early — I have one question:

Where's our new stadium?

Oh, it ain't 1964. Dubya's no LBJ. 50 Cent's no Beatles. And Carlos Beltran could buy, sell and outhit the third-year Mets all by his lonesome. Even though I'm making cranky noises similar to those I was making 41 years ago, including “waaaaaah!” after this colicky three-game sweep, I'm thinking sometimes a three-game losing streak is just a three-game losing streak. Have this in June and there's only mild panic in the streets.

Not that it's not disturbing. Thursday afternoon's lineup felt empty without Mike (Piazza, not Cameron; who's Mike Cameron?). Not that Mike is the rock anymore. The opposite-field fly he ended the game on as a pinch-hitter would've gone out a few years ago. Instead of the Mets losing 6-1, they would've lost 6-5 but we would've been falsely encouraged.

Ishii was Ishii which is to say he was Sid Fernandez reincarnate. Though both he and Pedro dug 0-3 holes and then recovered admirably, there was a difference. It's been so long since we've had a great pitcher around that I'd forgotten the old saying that if you're going to get to a great pitcher, get to him early. That's what Ralph, Bob and Lindsey taught me about Seaver. That's what we saw with Randy Johnson in the first game of the '99 NLDS when, yes, he gave up homers to Fonzie and Oly and was down 4-1 in the fourth, but then pitched into the ninth, striking out eleven (before Fonzie slammed Bobby Chouinard; happy ending). It was like watching two different games. I thought of that Monday with Pedro.

I didn't get that feeling with Ishii. He settled down after Peña homered in the second and was even sort of overpowering for a while, but trouble seemed to be lurking around the bend. He made me think of Sid who could go on spurts of invincibility but was always one bad break from crumbling. On the other hand, Sid won a lot of games for the Mets. Ishii still seems like a better choice than Ginter to have filled Trachsel's slot. Whether Heilman or Seo or Santiago is a better choice than Ginter to take Benson's starts is another matter altogether.

Felix Heredia pitched a perfect inning. Didn't think we'd see that. He was the last of the new New Mets to appear, bringing the lifetime total to 760. Dig out his card.

While you're at it, check out the current SI for its profile of the No. 21 Met of the First Forty Years, Wally Backman. The story finds him in Oregon with his family, picking up the pieces that shattered his Diamondbacks managerial stint into painfully brief pieces. It left me thinking he wouldn't have gotten into any trouble if only he had had a game to play in or manage every single night of his life.

Didja see the Daily News story Thursday about the paucity of Mets bars in the city? The guy went all over town looking for a place to watch the Opener but couldn't find one that was truly Metsian. He wound up at the former Bobby V's across the Grand Central from our state-of-the-1964-art  ballpark. The game was on and the bartender was into it. Valentine's ultra-cool collection of Mets stuff, however, had been long packed up given that he sold his interest in the joint after his own nearby managerial stint ended. As much as it pained the writer to mention it, he had to acknowledge that Yankees fans have several bars to call their own.

Given their heroic levels of alcohol consumption (serving to simultaneously fuel their inflated sense of grandiosity and numb the pain of the past four post-seasons), it would figure Yankees fans have more bars. Shoot, most of 'em belong behind bars.

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