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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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Redemption

Good night to be a Kaz. Ishii was good and Matsui was better, writing a storybook finish.

I shouldn't feel so confident so soon after losing five of seven, but I went about various household chores waiting more or less calmly for us to come back and grab this one. Maybe it was just not believing in Ramon Ortiz (who possibly had his Paul Wilson In Wrigley moment), or figuring the Reds would find a way to screw it up. I choose to believe it was remembering that among its quirks good bad and infuriating, our little team has a penchant for drama. But Matsui? In front of his tormentors? That's asking for a lot of drama.

(Additional tip of the cap to Looper, who came in looking PO'ed, threw bullets, and then offered Ed Coleman an uncharacteristically blunt and therefore interesting postgame interview. Yes, he hears fans boo and no, he wasn't too happy with Willie starting the inning with Nameless Koo. Him and several hundred thousand other Met fans.)

Oh, and the Mike DiFelice era began. This man has a ridiculous career, to which he can now add a one-assumes-brief tenure as a Met backup catcher. We've sure specialized in those over the last 10 years: Charlie Greene? Jorge Fabregas? Rick Wilkins? Gary Bennett? Joe DePastino? Tom Wilson? I'd half-suspect these guys are all the same guy, except that Gary Bennett did become a real catcher, Jorge Fabregas gave the most-irritating interview in the history of WFAN (he answered every question put to him with “No doubt about it…”), and Joe DePastino was tearing it up as a Long Island Duck before getting signed by the Blue Jays earlier this month. Amazingly enough, as a Duck he was a teammate of … Kevin Baez. Now that's love of the game.

17 comments to Redemption

  • Anonymous

    I still stand behind my Kaz. The real Kaz. They'll have to find a new name for the other one because there's only one Kaz. And as for the other Matsui… I can think of several new names for him, but this is a family site.
    I liked Rick Wilkins. But yeah, we have had a bunch of those. Don't forget the immortal Tim Spehr.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow I forgot the ultimate Catcher for a Moment — Joe Hietpas. Joe Hietpas, for whom I actually cheered Cardboard Art on his final day of quasi-useful employment last year. Joe Hietpas, who'll probably one day stand with Moonlight Graham in the ledger of guys who made the Show but never got an at-bat. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you … Joe Hietpas!

  • Anonymous

    Jason…I have an off-topic query. Would you pronounce more like “pen-chent” or more like “pen-shawnt”. I'm just trying to get to know a little more about who I'm reading, is all.

  • Anonymous

    “Pen-chent.” Though honestly, I can't actually pronounce any of the 50-cent SAT words I litter our lil blog with. In fact, I generally communicate only through grunts and foot stomps.

  • Anonymous

    On the post-game show last night, Gary (before taking calls and after being sorry he did) said 14 catchers including DeFelice had caught at least one game besides Mike since Mike came along. He named them at the end. The name that escaped me was, if you can believe it, Todd Zeile.
    Oh, you want all of them?
    DeFelice, Castro, Phillips, V. Wilson, T. Wilson, Zeile, Hietpas (how could you forget?), Pratt, Castillo, Hundley (a couple of cameos), DiPastino, Fabregas, Bennett and the one I was proudest of coming up with on the fly (geek not be proud), Mike Kinkade.

  • Anonymous

    Not a catcher per se, but he did catch twice in the renaissance year of 1997: Steve Bieser. Of course we remember the Beez as the essence of a Bobby V player: You never heard of him, you never of him again, he had no position, he played several of them and his manager found just the right moment to spring him on an unsuspecting opponent. Somewhere, he's still dancing off of third base goading David Cone into a game-tying balk.

  • Anonymous

    Ok…who goaded an otherwise nearly spotless Wakefield into the balk that won that game 1-0? I keep thinking Cede

  • Anonymous

    How funny, I was about to throw him in! Long live The Beez. Great, great moment in Mets history. I'm surprised he lived to tell the tale, Cone looked so livid.

  • Anonymous

    Gary and Howie are talking about this now. They just mentioned that they neglected to name Jim Tatum. And now (thankfully) they've given Hietpas his due.

  • Anonymous

    I thought Tatum's catching duties were behind him with the advent of Piazza, but Tatum did get into a game in Boston (sadly, I looked it up) that year, the weekend when Piazza was hit by Pedro.
    And all Bennett ever did for us was pinch-hit. He never caught, so subtract him from the list. Mea culpa.

  • Anonymous

    Right…”player I didn't really like at the time”. Thankyou. When I think of Brain, I always think of the Sunday Night Masato Yoshii game against the Yankees in SubwayII (1998). Ninth inning…game winning sac fly…and good ol' Brain…as asleep on the bases as Steve Lyons was…somehow…almost…blew it. On a play that nobody normal could blow.
    How do you almost get doubled off of first when the potential winning run is on third base and YOU DON'T MATTER…? And I just want to make it clear that not mattering goes for Mr. McRae not only on that play, but virtually all the time.
    Including now.
    And now.
    And…now.
    Honorable mention (when thinking of Brain) goes to the desk-clearing tirade his dad threw while managing the Royals in 1993. That poor defenseless telephone never stood a chance.

  • Anonymous

    *Oh, and…bonus points to McRae's bonehead play for confusing Joe Morgan – easily done, sure, but funny every single time.

  • Anonymous

    Jim Tatum! That's who I was trying to think of earlier. I kept seeing Rich Becker for some reason. I kind of liked Jim Tatum when he was here. Tough as nails.

  • Anonymous

    That entire play was surreal. Baerga didn't run all that hard to score the run. And Martinez was practically shoving McRae off the bag which somehow got translated in that miserable summer as “McRae was cheating” but interference wasn't called on either one of them. I remember ESPN putting the Mets run on the screen and calling it final, then taking it off making it 1-1 at the end of nine and then going to Sportscenter. If you were watching with the sound off, you'd think it was forever tied.
    I hate the Yankees.

  • Anonymous

    Tatum struck one great game-winning blow against the Astros and then, despite earning back-page honors, was denied a cell phone contract with his carrier of choice because he couldn't present proof of steady employment. He wound up suing the Mets for unfair labor practices or something like that because they put him on the DL and never took him off it. And like most Mets of that era, he wound up carrying a lifetime grudge against Bobby V for some perceived slight.

  • Anonymous

    How odd that you associate Tatum with Becker. Earlier I was trying to think of which role player I associated Tatum with (-Becker-), but I saw Bubba Trammell and promptly gave up.