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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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Thrown for a Looper

I won't claim that this is an original sentiment in Met Land tonight, but here it is anyway: Should we ever again hold a lead in the 9th inning, I want to see Roberto Hernandez coming out of the bullpen.

I don't care what it does to the 8th inning. I don't care if it exposes Aaron Heilman, or forces Juan Padilla into a setup role he's not ready for, or ruins the feng shui of Flushing dim sum shops, or causes hermaphroditism in frogs. I don't care.

Because I cannot stand watching Braden Looper blow ballgames anymore.

Braden Looper can't get lefties out on any night, and on many nights he can't get anyone out. His 9th inning of work tonight now only doesn't look disgustingly incompetent because it was instantly followed by his more disgustingly incompetent 10th inning of work. (Gee Willie, that stove wasn't much cooler the second time you touched it, was it?) The difference between Braden Looper and Armando Benitez? Braden Looper's name is sillier.

Now, Braden Looper is far from the only thing wrong with this team. I'm not claiming it's all on him. Heck, score one, two, or three runs a night and you're going nowhere even if you, say, get great starting pitching consistently. But Braden Looper is clearly one of the things consistently wrong with this team, and his era needs to end starting right now. Bert for the rest of the year, now once again recast as a dispiriting quest to stay over .500. And then?

Well, let's put it this way: All I want for Christmas is Billy Wagner.

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