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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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Jakey, Stay in the Buggy

About once a year, my mother would hand down to me a parable that her father handed down to her. It involved two brothers who agreed to go into business together and how they began dreaming of all the success they would experience and all the fine things, like a horse-drawn carriage, they would buy with their profits. The more they talked about it, the more they disagreed with each other over who would do what and who would get what from the partnership. Their argument boiled over until all their hypothetical riches came tumbling down on top of them before cent one was earned. The parable ended with one brother screaming at the other, “Jakey, get out of the buggy!”

The moral of the story is Mike Jacobs kicks ass, but so did Mike Vail and Gregg Jefferies and Benny Agbayani and Jason Phillips even…and in case you were wondering where I get my aversion to presumptuousness vis-à-vis winning, now you know.

OK, that necessary dollop of downer delivered, let's have a party. Better yet, let's move to Arizona, all of us. Our team is already at home there. I haven't seen the Mets smile this much in the dugout since they had the teamwork to make the dream work. Gotta be that dry heat. Cleared up their sinuses and whatnot.

Seriously, we'll just trade locales with the Diamondbacks. How does Faith and Fear in Flagstaff grab you?

Here's the difference between now and earlier in the season. In May, the Mets had a pitcher throw seven innings of one-hit ball and they demoted him immediately thereafter. In August, the Mets had a rookie hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat and resisted the urge to do the same. Fool them once, shame on them, fool them twice and sooner or later they'll get a clue. For a team whose three greatest players arrived by fluky circumstances (Seaver: drawn out of a hat; Hernandez: trapped via a White Rat snit; Piazza: Rupert Murdoch's budget bravado ran amok), it's only fitting that Mike Jacobs should have gotten here accidentally and been allowed to stay only most reluctantly.

In August, the Mets also recalled that one-hit pitcher, the fella who pitched Wednesday night. Met management sure is stupid-lucky sometimes.

On a night when there wasn't much to get upset by, I'm going to stand up for the base choice made by Victor Diaz. Yeah, yeah, I know, the code and not rubbing it in and letting sleeping Snakes lie. I don't buy it. I watched this team hold Dog Night for the better part of the last five years and I'm not talking terriers. Guys didn't run to first. Guys didn't move up. Guys didn't pay attention, not even in the World Bleeping Series. Look at what was going on tonight as the score was building to absurd and lovely proportions:

• Beltran ran hard on a grounder when he “didn't have to”

• Floyd ran hard on a grounder when he “didn't have to”

• Reyes ran hard on a squib when he “didn't have to”

It is so gosh darn refreshing to see players wearing Mets uniforms uniformly hustle. The ineptitude of the Diamondbacks had a great deal to do with the jumping ugly of the past two games but it takes two to blow out. The Mets are rolling (after waiting out an April-to-August roll delay) and that's a result of playing the game the right way. Playing the game the right way means that if you're a young player and you're on second with less than two out, it is your obligation to make a habit of tagging up when a fly ball is hit to deep center. It is Victor Diaz's obligation to hustle every moment he is on the field unless his manager or a designated lieutenant informs him it is not in the team's best interest to do so (for example, not flashing the steal sign when up 17 runs). If Victor Diaz is not yet so schooled or jaded in the so-called unwritten rules of the game, I applaud him. Hone that instinct, don't curb it. He'll figure out game situations eventually.

The Diamondbacks don't like it? They shouldn't let so many Mets get on base. But really, for our sake, they should continue to do just that. I don't particularly care if they like it or not. They deserve what they get for firing Wally Backman. Shoot, this is a team that lost 18-4 after Tony Clark called a clubhouse meeting that lasted 90 minutes. As motivational speakers go, Tony Clark is no Tony Robbins.

And oh yeah — BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

2 comments to Jakey, Stay in the Buggy

  • Anonymous

    1. I think it was neglectful of the various production teams of Mets telecasts through mid-August to not have had a “Roll Delay” graphic in the upper left hand corner.
    2. I don't believe in the unwritten rules of blowout baseball. I haven't since double digits became the norm. This isn't 1987. And I certainly haven't since I watched one of the greatest games I ever watched. That's right…14-2 through 6 1/2 innings. No extra bases? Bullshit. There's no clock and both teams have got to play to the end. The “unwritten rules of a blowout” can thus be reduced to their essence: don't cadillac trot when you hit a home run, don't stare at it, and if you're already on base for one, don't pump your fist like Jose Vizcaino. Because a baby like Steve Avery might get his widdle little feelings hurt.
    But those are really rules to be followed most of the time. Because a baby like Steve Avery or Brad Penny or Roy Oswalt will get his/her widdle little feelings hurt no matter what the score.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, if the Mets were getting pounded like that, and some rookie (or even some vet) tags and moves to third, it really wouldn't bother me. Why? Because I don't think it's showing anyone up.
    Stealing while up that much, probably. Bunting for base-hits at that point? Yep. But not this.
    The unwritten rules mostly stink anyway. When you get beaten badly, you shouldn't be mad at the other team for doing it. You should be mad at yourselves for playing that poorly.
    Baseball's funny. Tagging up in a blowout is a mortal sin, but it's OK to let position players pitch in blowouts. That's not considered disrespecting the sanctity of the game?