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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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Hands Across America

Last night: Ninth inning, two outs, two strikes, the Giants up 4-2 on the Padres. One more strike, and they'll sweep San Diego. They'll be only four out with Barry Bonds back in the lineup. Wheeee! Dare to dream, San Francisco!

Except the closer gave up a two-run double to Sean Burroughs. Fella by the name of Benitez. Pads won in 10.

With Giants fans feeling a bit raw today, we thought we'd pass along this handy letter. Fill it out and email it (or print it and snail-mail it, if you're feeling retro) to that Giants fan of your acquaintance who needs to know he or she isn't alone. Because around these parts we're as much about Helping and Healing as we are about Faith and Fear. Kumbaya, everybody!

Dear [name of Giants fan],

On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members, let me welcome you to the Armando Benitez Survivors Support Group. We have a host of services available to help you through this difficult period in your life.

Here at ABSS we understand what you're going through. Whether you're an avid fan of real-life baseball or just one of those chalk-white obsessives who tinkers endlessly with a fantasy roster, Armando Benitez can be a powerful, destructive force in one's life. We understand the anguish of watching triumph turn to tragedy with a single brainless heave of a ball. We know the false security one gets from seeing unimportant games saved and big ones go down the tubes, and how naked and alone one feels when this false security is stripped away. We understand the terror of knowing one's happiness and/or statistics are in the hands of a volatile man-child with an uncanny ability to hear every taunt from the crowd and a propensity for off-field problems, including shacking up with self-described witches who put hexes on him.

At ABSS we pride ourselves on being nonjudgmental. We too have been lulled by single, never-to-be-repeated seasons of glittery stats and saves piled up during garbage time. We too were once seduced by 98-mph fastballs and the whisperings of the bloated tempter. We feel your pain, and we're here to make it OK.

We understand that you may be crying out, “How could I have been so blind?” We know you are likely regretting your cavalier dismissal of our members' warnings. That's OK — this is the first day of the rest of your life, [name of Giants fan]. You'll find that as with so many things, acceptance is the first station on the path to recovery. So until you and some of our hundreds of thousands of other members can join hands at one of our nightly meetings, please consider our cyberhands joined with yours in fellowship and understanding. It's OK. You're among friends now. Let it out.

Yours in ulceration and eventual recovery,

[Your Name]

New York City Chapter, ABSS

Armando-free since July 16, 2003

P.S. Please note that ABSS has no Miami chapter. See “single, never-to-be-repeated seasons of glittery stats” above.

P.P.S. Want Looper?

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