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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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As Meat Loaf Said…

…two out of three ain't bad.

Once upon a time you could count

on A.J. Burnett to beat himself, but some wise man has taught him that

strikeouts are fascist and he oughta throw ground balls, seeing how

they're more democratic. Funny, he never struck me as the listening

sort in years past.

Anyway, between his still hitting 97 in the

ninth and Glavine being determined to spit the bit, it was all too

apparent our recent 4 o'clock lightning wasn't going to materialize. So

it goes; complaining about getting muzzled

after a six-game winning streak would be so Steinbrenneresque. (I loved

Big Stein's poor publicist having to issue a transcript of Pissy

Tantrum #9,312 after the Yanks got swept by the Orioles. This one was

good even for Steinbrenner: He noted that his team has the highest

payroll in the game and accused them of not playing “like true

Yankees,” both of which would be tailor-made to make me gag under

less-happy circumstances. How's that Kevin Brown trade looking, George?)


the Yankees are about to get one thing we really need, and I'm not

referring to another old, surly veteran. They're near a deal for a new

park, with the Daily News offering the details.

Much as it pains me to write it, they've behaved astonishingly well for

a modern sports franchise: The Yankees are paying for the park and

assuming all maintenance and operations costs, with the city chipping

in the land and some transportation infrastructure. The city even keeps

all the parking revenue.

So where does that leave us?

According to unnamed city officials, the Wilpons are focusing on the

new network and improving Shea.

Improving Shea?

Um, Earth to Planet Wilpon: Shea can only be improved by repeated,

enthusiastic application of the wrecking ball. Rehabilitating Shea is

like rehabilitating Mo Vaughn, and we all know how that turned out. If

the Yankees' deal goes through, what the Mets will have to do to get a

new park will be crystal-clear, and waiting will only make things cost

more. And frankly, we've waited long enough. TV is great and all (I

particularly appreciate it now that the Mets are weekend-only

programming for me), but when I get up for a Dr Pepper — strangely, it

never occurs to me to get a soggy pretzel or a soda without a cap —

Fred and Jeff don't make any money. C'mon, fellas. The New Mets deserve

a New Park.

Some miscellaneous items of note:

* Heath

Bell has retired the first 20 batters he's faced at Norfolk. Meanwhile,

we have three lefties in the bullpen, one of whom is Felix Heredia.

Felix hasn't been seen in some time; stadium employees whisper that

he's living somewhere in the darkness beneath the stands, attended by

his retinue of feral cats. Curiously, Willie Randolph refuses to let

anybody go look for him.

* Fans of the Holy Books

(currently there are two of us) may be interested to know that the New

Mets certainly live up to their name in terms of turnover: The

season-opening slate of 25 includes no less than 13 Met newcomers.

(Fourteen if you count the mysterious arrival of Aaron Heilman 2.0.)


already more than or as many new Mets as we got to meet, meet, step

right up and greet in 16 previous campaigns. Sanity indicates we're

unlikely to rack up 35 new arrivals, as we did in 1967 — a figure of

dubious distinction approached in 2002 and again last year, when there

were 29 new Mets.* (The low is just four new Mets, back in 1988.)

Ah, hell with it. Here's the whole shebang.

1962-69: 45, 22, 19, 20, 17, 35, 8, 9
1970-79: 10, 8, 13, 13, 9, 17, 9, 14, 16, 14
1980-89: 13, 15, 13, 12, 15, 12, 10, 13, 4, 14
1990-99: 20, 13, 24, 20, 19, 25, 19, 24, 26, 20

2000-05: 22, 17, 29, 21, 29, 13 and counting

Oh, and bring on those Phillies.

* Not 28 in 2004, as originally written. E: Jason (9th, counting)

1 comment to As Meat Loaf Said…

  • Anonymous

    Jason, if only the pretzels were soggy. My front bottom teeth would still be 100% intact. Since 1995, I've had a lisp thanks to those pretzels.
    But I can't say I agree with the rest. Structurally there's nothing wrong with Shea. It's a beautiful thing as it is. The problems with Shea CAN be rehabilitated, but you have to start at the bottom, which means RECOGNIZING and CARING ABOUT what the problems are to begin with. The powers-that-be patently don't. They think luxury boxes are what it takes to “improve” Shea, meaning catering to the non-baseball fans in the house. Their other idea of improving things included adding padded seats to the fancy sections by home plate and having waiter service there so the rich people can pay even more inflated prices for crap food, plus tip someone to bring it to them even though they're roughly 20 feet away from a huge concession stand. Thanks, Wilpons. You are really, truly in touch with the fans. Now how about leaving Le Cirque for a few minutes and seeing what's REALLY in need of improvement?
    It's very possible to lower the prices a tad, improve the food, hire faster and friendlier staff, beef up security, enforce the smoking, drinking and offensive behavior rules, put both relevant and correct information on the scoreboard and DiamondVision… all these things are what's really wrong with Shea. You can wreck the place if you want, but these problems will just pack their tattered bags and shift a bit to the right. Shea will be exactly the same, only shinier for a while.
    Shea itself is just fine as it is. It's what goes on there that really needs to be fixed. But until someone asks us and listens to us, it will always be the same. Turning it into a 45,000 seat theme park won't change a thing.