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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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Faith and Fear Remixed (First-Half Jam)

…another season of faith and fear in Flushing.

It has to mean something that up here in the grimopolis that is February in New York, a nasty afternoon shower has given way to a rainbow outside my office window.

Though it wouldn't be Port St. Lucie without some of the usual Met weirdness.

Why didn't Reyes ever finish his leg rehab with Shilstone?

The fairly anonymous Chris Woodward somehow already has a Met card. One wonders if that will be the highlight of Mr. Woodward's Met career.

We're all putting too much on Beltran probably.

There can't be a historically minded person in Metland who didn't at least cringe a little bit after reading Willie Randolph's rules for the team.

I'm counting on Zambrano making everybody forget a little about Scott Kazmir.

If Mike Cameron is human, he's going to be an unhappy camper.

We are at the first stir-crazy point of spring training, the first afternoon that 1:30 rolls around and you think, “Can't they televise a split-squad game or something?”

After months of seeing ballplayers as businessmen and bounty and celebrities and vessels for our unfulfilled, unreasonable dreams, we are now seeing them as ballplayers.

Yes, this is the time of year when every team's a contender, every rookie's a keeper, every McEwing's a McCovey.

Needless to say, I don't pencil in World Series appearances or angle eight months out for playoff tickets.

Diaz I'm looking forward to when the exhibitions start. A couple homers and it could start a Huskey-type tease and they'll have to take him north.

I can't find a smoking gun in Delgadogate, and I've looked.

To paraphrase Chris Rock at the Oscars, if Al Leiter got fired from The Gap, don't expect him to take a job at the Banana Republic across the mall and tell all the shoppers how great it is at The Gap.

Someday must teach Reyes to draw a walk — he's on pace for Bonds to outwalk him in a week, off-day included.

In case any other lunatic out there has spent years looking for a decent photo of Al Schmelz, this is probably as close as you can get.

I get the feeling that after a while, being Matt Hoey supercedes watching the game or following the team for Matt Hoey.

Of course, spring training being spring training, I know my anticipation will soon give way to somewhat-lackadaisical interest, and then to occasional glances.

Every exhibition should be covered to death.

The first day of spring training went pretty much as I thought it would: After an inning I paid almost no attention

When you get right down to it, baseball coverage and political coverage are pretty much on a par.

The actual Pedro Martinez pitches for the New York Mets. Son of a gun.

With Jeff Gannon gone, doesn't Talon News have a spot available for Fran? The man can spin anything.

Did I hear Ted Robinson right at the end of the cablecast, that in 2005, for the first time since 1964, the Mets will play no games on artificial turf?

But how much do you want to bet some retread like Roberto Hernandez (2004 INR -3.8) or Scott Stewart (-4.5) makes the team instead?

After I am elevated to the position of Maximum Leader Regarding All Things Baseball Or At Least Those That Interest Me, my first act will be to decree Gil Hodges inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Todd Van Poppel retired. Or at least the consensus is that he retired — he left camp, at any rate.

Split-squad games are unique to spring training. Too bad. Wouldn't it be great to keep an extra contingent of Mets on hand for those occasions when they could be helpful?

In some parallel universe we're arguing about whether or not the decision to let Doc and Darryl go after the '99 campaign was right.

It's always the season of the New Mets. Go through your Books and you should find there were 29 New Mets last year. That's more than a whole roster.

Not to ride this pony too hard or too often, but our Diamond Dave sparkles too brightly to be believed.

Y'know, every spring training is like past-life regression, if one had lived the same life over and over again.

After Opening Day, does anybody truly attribute anybody's performance to what happened in spring training?

Speaking of barely remembering, I confess I had completely forgotten our loathing of Manny Aybar.

I was disappointed to conclude that Eric Valent was not guaranteed a place on the 2005 Mets.

He's never been Glavo or Tommy or, God forbid, Tom since he's been here.

Chris Woodward probably just made the team. Time for the McEwings to start scouring the St. Louis real-estate listings.

I got a fortune cookie today, ate it and the fortune said this: HEY STUPID — IF YOU THOUGHT TRACHSEL WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PLAYOFFS AND NOTHING, YOU WEREN'T MAKING THE PLAYOFFS ANYWAY.

Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii? I like it and I don't like it.

If Piazza's [insert body part here] explodes on Memorial Day, Ramon Castro or Joe Hietpas are not names you want to see in the lineup for months at a stretch.

Only Mets fans would get a touch misty for a guy who had to rev it up in September to hit .218. But that's why we're Mets fans.

To my amazement, I've let myself get sucked back into fantasy baseball after 14 years on the wagon.

Cripes, the real thing is a week away and panic is simmering in this corner of Metsopotamia.

David Wright hit eighth. That seems insane to me.

After battering us as an Expo, a Cardinal, a Rockie, a Brave (if not a Pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king), I was looking forward to Andres blasting at least one into the visitors' bullpen, preferably on Home Opening Day. He'd tip his cap, take a bow and skedaddle. The man is 87.

The end of the Matt Ginter era proves, for the 44th year in a row, that figuring out rosters before the last hours of spring training is pointless.

I can't quibble with the bench: Cairo and Woodward in particular seem like very valuable hands.

It seems unnecessary and insecure to call attention in that fashion to how much one has immersed oneself in Mets history. Or as Tommy Moore told Lute Barnes after Bob Rauch ordered a particularly well-done steak one night in Pittsburgh, it's certainly something I would never do.

What makes somebody one of The One Hundred Greatest Mets Of The First Forty Years? Well first we take all the players who spent the defining balance of their careers in a Mets uniform and, while wearing those sacred garments, towered over the game like few others — men recognized by one and all as immortal in their time and for the ages. And then we find 99 more guys.

Every vodka gimlet Matt Franco ever craves, his money's no good here, pal.

By not being Kelvin Chapman, Tim Teufel achieved his purpose

John Stearns deserved better. No Met who played on so many bad teams — he showed up a bit too late for '73 and was forced to leave a little shy of '86 — ever looked like he ached to win so badly.

Do we have truly great players, not just Great Mets?

Here are primary picks, yet absolute portions really inspired legendary fact observation, outlining lengthy stats delved across years.

In the end, Frank Tanana was a portal to the perfection that was the 1993 New York Mets. Only a fool couldn't figure that out.

Today is the day we become who we are in earnest.

Today is the day we are Mets fans in our natural habitat, the baseball season.

Today is the day that past stays past and future runs far off because, at long last, we have a present with which to concern ourselves.

AUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

BRADEN LOOPER?

Who is he really?

BA! PEN DROOLER

All hail the unanticipated kingdom of Joe Randa — at least Howie's not around to point out once again that he was a paper Met. And hey, we got Juan LeBron for him.

“Wow, this is a really good sandwich. Who wants to ask me about it?”

Tonight I did the first thing I do when I panic — I listened to the FAN postgame.

Where does the AP get off invoking Jack Fisher and George Altman and the Class of '64? I thought that was our gig.

Oh, it ain't 1964. Dubya's no LBJ. 50 Cent's no Beatles. And Carlos Beltran could buy, sell and outhit the third-year Mets all by his lonesome.

To be right and technical about it, I am dead at the present time, a state I commenced to being in 1975 when I collected my final annuity from my job as a vice president of the New York Mets, the amazing, amazing, amazing Mets who brought me out of involuntary retirement in 1962 soon after the other ball club in New York saw fit to put me there.

Felix Heredia pitched a perfect inning. Didn't think we'd see that.

We're 0-5. Oh and five. I mean, for fuck's sake.

Wow, I'd forgotten how much I hated the Braves. Wow, I hate them.

Pedro? We'd need a whole lot of new words in a whole lot of languages to sum up Pedro today.

We're the best 1-5 team in baseball.

But I can't get past the idea that 190 days since the place was last needed for anything remotely public, the escalators weren't working.

The description of Shea I offer curious baseball fans who've never been there is that it's like a DMV with a ballgame somewhere inside it.

I'll freely admit I didn't think to diagram Reyes refusing to be walked and punching a little nubber up the middle, Manny Acta waving Diaz around third, and poor Chris Burke's throw home barely clearing the mound.

Was that vintage John Franco, or what?

I blame Clemens. Just out of habit.

They are a finely honed unit of sharpshooters that needs a nickname. Rando's Commandoes? Willie's Whipsaws? Desperation Dynamos? We're taking nominations.

“Something tells me it's going to take a bit more than this to beat Florida, particularly with Heilman vs. Beckett looming as the biggest mismatch since Bambi and Godzilla squared off. (If young Aaron cares to make me look like an idiot, I'm all for that.)”

Hi, my name is Jason, and I'm an idiot.

This was the fourth time that a Met pitcher has flirted with The Great Unmentionable while Stephanie and I have been off doing something classy. We should really get out more often.

HEY TRAIN!

WE WON AGAIN!

WE BEAT THE MARLINS!

WHAT A GAME!

“Enough is enough,” Steinbrenner declared in a statement delivered through publicist Howard Rubenstein. “I am bitterly disappointed, as I am sure all Met fans are, by the lack of performance by our team. It is unbelievable to me that the third-highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk.”

I'm not dead. My thumb hurts is all.

Don't sugar-coat it, doc, I know he's dead. I can take it.

King Felix, please come back to live with us under the stands. We will bring you the largest, most succulent rats and build a bed for you out of shredded old Alomar t-shirts.

RANDOLPH rummages in a medical cabinet and emerges with a body bag, into which he begins trying to shove HEREDIA, who flails his arms in protest.

Yes, let's get Heath Bell up here immediately. That will solve all our problems

You know the old saying: “There'll be another pope from Germany before the Mets hit seven home runs in one game.”

At my two well-attended games this year, my informal survey by sight of uniform tops and t-shirts bearing players' identities has revealed a seismic shift in loyalties. Most noticeably, PIAZZA 31 has taken a dive.

Pedro returned us to the back pages? I didn't care so much about that — the Mets occupy my personal front pages 365 days a year.

It's wrong that the Washington Nationals and not the Montreal Expos are coming to Shea Friday night.

Sometime this spring I had an unhappy realization: Every time something bad befalls Glavine on the mound, I feel ashamed, almost like I should be apologizing to him.

“METS!” they said. “METS!” I answered. We slapped palms. We knocked fists. We went public with our bliss. A Yankees fan standing nearby had nothing to say and nobody to knock. We won. They lost.

Mike's hitting .200. I hope I'm wrong, but he doesn't look like he's in a slump. He looks old.

One advantage of being head-ridden was the opportunity to recline on the couch and push the delightful LAST button on the remote, the one that sent me from Channel 11 to YES. Hey, the LAST button is appropriate for that network's house underachievers since that's where they are, all by their lonesome. LAST. My head still hurt, but I felt little pain.

I got the very strong sense that Carlos was saying to his cleanup hitter, “Yo, Mike: you got this…you the man.”

Funny thing: Early on, I found it odd that the usual Met-Brave nerves weren't firing.

Just like that, it's adios Matthews and hello, hello (¡hola!) Royce Ring.

The game wasn't lost on us and the irony wasn't lost on me. Like I said, maybe I'm not so crazy after all.

Grape. Valent doubles. Grape. Reyes doubles. Grape. Piazza singles. Grape. Beltran singles. Grape, just grape! Bobby Cox, however, turns the whole thing to sour grapes by doing something almost no other manager would have the “guts” to do in this day and age. He plucks his seedless closer from the mound and replaces him with somebody nobody's ever heard of (apologies to anybody who was previously familiar with the collected works of John Foster).

They are devils and we are dust. It has been ever thus.

Surely, you remember Jason Jacome. Jason Jacome was the Heath Bell of 1994.

“So how much do you want for the card?”

“Oh, it's not for sale,” the man says.

“What do you mean, it's not for sale?”

I'd love to tell you and all our friends among the academics and Pentagon types who are joining us here on the Arpanet that I saw the Mets beat the Pirates in eighteen innings Sunday afternoon.

The most-oft-heard sentence in our house during the last hour has been, “I hope to God poor Stephanie isn't out in this.”

Your good wishes for my wife's well-being (and your total lack of concern for mine) notwithstanding, RFK Stadium ain't much when it's dry either.

The Museum of American History had just put Victor Diaz's last hit on display. Tourists from all over the world oohed and aahed.

OK, I've officially had it with the cable blackout.

Speaking of Cristian Guzman, he plays this game like the drunk guy on the company softball team.

It's ninety feet between bases. All of you, pretend you're getting paid to run the full distance.

It barely took four minutes to check for doneness where Tom Glavine serving up meatballs was concerned.

In my baseball universe, all these zingers would be worth at least a game in the standings.

Seo sure has pitched well in spurts since 2003. He could be on the cover of Spurts Illustrated.

As a public service, we will present from time to time as schadenfreude permits the New York Yankee Collapse-O-Meter, tracking 2005 vis-à-vis two other Yankee campaigns that followed crushing post-season defeats.

We Yankee haters are like sleepaway-camp counselors in a slasher movie — we see the escaped lunatic plunge into the old well with a pitchfork bisecting him and we head back to our cabins for a night of hard-earned rest. And then…NOOOOOO!!!!!! Will we never learn?

Does Cliff Floyd have a nickname? A real one?

Reyes Walks/Willie show him the way/Because his hamstring's/Tryin' ta break him down.

Good day. And it is a good day. We are here to join Heather Ann Roettinger and Matthew Wren Enis in holy metrimony. I mean matrimony. Holy matrimony.

I wanted to be happy for him. But I wound up thinking, save it, Roberto. That goes for all of you closers, used-to-be closers and would-be closers.

He was considered one of the best infielders in Japan. Turns out infielder is a very unimportant position in Japan.

Tom Glavine is The Manchurian Brave.

Bloodless, aloof, subtly uninvolved.

I'm in the East School library with Jon Hymes, one of the first Yankee fans I ever knew. He was arrogant, argumentative and generally didn't know what he was talking about. Jon Hymes was the first of many to come.

Clearly, I knew more baseball at 9 years old than you know now. Since that day in May 1972, the Yanks have won 5 World Series, each more glorious and filled with heroics than the one that preceded it.

Jon Hymes

Washington, DC

The Cablevision/Time Warner war is over. At least until next year, when it's coming to your neck of the used-to-be-woods. (Sorry pal. Get a dish. Now.)

Barely believing the news, I flipped over to 26 and found Fran Healy. I've never, ever been so glad to see Fran Healy in my life, first spring-training telecasts included.

Mets fans hate losing to Greg Maddux. All of us, right?

It's Wrigley. It's part of the third of the season that's condemned to L. You're gonna lose one third of your games, and one of them was this one.

Opponent: St. Louis Cardinals

Annoyance Level: High

Gee. A bit of hostility here!

I get cranky when I have to go more than 48 hours without a game, especially if the last one was a loss; imagine what I'm like all winter.

We're 19 and 19. That's mediocre, buddy. That's .500 on the nose. That's winning some and losing some over and over and over again.

Thus the recurring theme of Bring Up Schmendrick! — or Keppinger or Bell or Wright or whoever the Norfolk flavor of the month is at any given moment.

Oh, and the Mike DiFelice era began.

Who pitched in the ninth?

Koo.

I'm asking you as nicely as I can.

Koo.

I'll whisper softly: Who pitched in the ninth?

And I'm telling you who!

Who?

Koo.

You sure?

Yeah. Koo.

OK, I'll try to be a little more breathy. Mmmmm, baby, who pitched in the ninth? Ooooh, you're so sexy.

What the hell are you talking about?

I once sat in my living room during a playoff game against the Braves telling my wife in extremely grave tones that Chipper Jones was a splendid humanitarian because I knew saying anything remotely unkind about him would just piss him off and result in a rain of extra bases.

Does it seem to you that every “innovation” baseball has come up with over the past decade or so has done us very little good?

Victor Zambrano is slower than slow death. In fact, the slow death store called to tell Victor Zambrano that they're out of him.

Watch faithfully and baseball will show you things you've never seen before fairly regularly, but I haven't ever seen anything like Koo vs. the Bombers.

With the ceremonial jacket on, it was not easy (and my experience at doing so is not all that practiced) but I kept running.

With the double-steal (Jeter on the back end, just where he likes it), H. Matsui's ugly single (everything about him is ugly) and ancient Bernie Williams coming out of retirement to further demythologize Roberto Hernandez's resurgence, Jim sank into a blue and orange funk

So after all that Sturm and Drang, we wind up with the same record as Those Guys.

TBS shows the replay. I feel my fury wither into grumpiness. Wright pretty clearly deserves an interference call. 7-5. 7-5 and I'm late. I slink out the door grumbling.

A's for Atlanta

Where Coke makes its Fanta

And the Mets gift the Braves

As if they were Santa

Tom Glavine was

_ his usual effective self in pinning another defeat on the Mets.

_ beaten badly yet again by his old team.

X pitching pretty well until his old team finally got to him.

Getting swept by the Braves was the wrong thing to do at this juncture.

For who appeared to my wondering Met fan eyes but Daniel Joseph Staub. Le Grand Orange, the King of New Orleans, Keith Hernandez's conscience, and my favorite player when I was a boy.

If the Mets need me to resort to a rally nap every night for the rest of the season, I'll start popping melatonin every afternoon.

I still feel vaguely like throwing up, but it's a good kind of nausea.

In other news, the Eric Valent Era is over.

The Mets beat the Marlins — the Fish — Saturday night. Yeah, the Mets did that all by themselves. Like they didn't have help in the substantial form of Bernie the Cat, at the end of his first full day Up There, messing around with the first school of Fish he saw.

By the way, how is it that neither the Mets nor the Yankees play a game on Memorial Day?

If there were a game today, I'd like to trot out the best team in Mets history.

So once again we're 26-26. Glass half-full? Glass half-empty?

So Mets, stop playing like you did against the Diamondbacks Tuesday. Because if you don't, we'll…we'll… Well, there'll be no repercussions, because we've just determined we can't root for anybody but you, thus limiting our options to one, but there's no telling what kind of clever, cutting remark we'll post at the expense of your self-esteem next time you do play like that. Consider yourselves on notice.

“I waited a long time, but I can wait no longer,” said self-confessed Deep Throat W. Mark Felt. “I have to say that Zambrano threw quite a game.”

It's enough to make a team want to take a break from the game to play in the sprinklers.

Amazin' Zeitgeist

1) We're Great!

2) We Suck!

3) We're Great!

4) We Suck!

5) We're .500.

Roberto got him. I pumped my fist, swallowed a bit — and apologized to Edgardo.

I already felt physically ill. Listening to Jeff Torborg, the phantom of the manager's office, made me physically iller.

The little-known Can't Hardly Sweep The Giants At Shea Curse began, of course, with perhaps the most famous doubleheader in Mets history. May 31, 1964.

Anyway, we're no longer a game behind Atlanta. Instead we're a game behind Washington. And we're no longer a half-game ahead of Philadelphia. We're a half-game ahead of Florida. And we're no longer tied for third with Florida. No, we're tied for third with Philadelphia.

I think I've got the baseball equivalent of an ice-cream headache.

That's what I was waiting for. That's what makes the YES Network a porn channel for Mets fans.

Sometimes I wonder why a pitcher winning a complete game in which he happens to allow nobody to record a base hit is such a big deal. Because it's a no-hitter, stupid. And we've never had one.

Sometimes it just ain't happening. It's not so much that you're playing badly, but you're certainly not playing well.

Over the last two nights, the Mets have scored four runs…and left 21 runners on base. That ain't right. That ain't pennant-contending baseball, either.

I am bright enough to grasp the essential, inescapable and unwelcome conclusion: Kaz is, well, bad.

Here comes the problem with Interleague play. We're going against a team I like.

Nice of Manny Aybar to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt which of our bad relief pitchers should turn into a shameful memory once the i's and t's get dotted and crossed on Danny Graves' contract.

After an evening in the presence of what had been my nominal favorite American League team, I can confidently state that I hate the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as much as any garden-variety National League or Interleague opponent.

It's Cliff Floyd's world. We're just living in it.

They could have shown that replay for two more hours and I would've still been on my bar stool waving my hands around like a goddamn fool.

I think for the generation of Mets fans coming of age now, this becomes The Marlon Anderson Game, the night and the moment that defines why they are such staunch Mets fans and will continue to be if they're worth their Aramark pretzel salt.

Half a dozen Mets rushed forward to help “Marlon” to his feet, to hammer him on the back, to bawl congratulations in his ears as he limped unsteadily, still panting furiously, to the bench where Willie L. Randolph, the chief of the Mets, relaxed his stern features to smile for the man who had tied the game.

A nice ovation for Marlon Anderson, Gary. Mets fans will always remember Marlon as the man who ran out that inside-the-park pinch-hit home run against the Angels on a Saturday night in 2005 that tied that incredible game in the ninth, later won in the tenth on an equally memorable, more conventional home run by Cliff Floyd, who we understand will be back later in the season to take down a number of his own.

2005? Was it that long ago already? Seems like yesterday, Howie.

A new stadium? For li'l ol' us? Can it really be?

Eric Cooper did not disappoint. Right from the start he made himself the story of the game.

Gentlemen, tonight I decided to watch the lot of you earn the gross national product of a Latin American country to play what I assumed would be baseball. Having made this error, I'd now like the last 135 minutes or so of my life back.

So seeing the Mets in the Oakland Coliseum — or whatever it's called now — is painful for you.

Can you imagine how great it would have been to have won the 1973 World Series? The Mets ended their 32-year winless drought in Oakland, to say nothing of a more pedestrian three-game losing streak, Thursday afternoon. I dared to confirm it on television, even.

This Internet thing you were raving to me about in 1995 as I scoffed that it would never last — it may turn out to be something after all.

Now what say we celebrate by beating the crap out of some Mariners?

Hard drive titled NEW YORK METS is unable to access offense at this time.

Are we too injured? Too old? Too young? Too old and too young? Too unlucky?

Julio Franco retirement rumors, though eventually proven false, spur fleeting visions of unseating Braves.

There's one member, I won't say who, who makes a face when I pull out my earbuds to catch a score. It can be for the briefest moment, but I wind up on the receiving end of what in Yiddish is called the punim. It refers to a certain kind of face that one makes to reflect a certain kind of mood. I will leave it to your deductive powers to ascertain what kind of mood is involved and the effect the face has on one's ability to endure an evening of it.

Good one about the Mets recalling Gerald Williams. You're funny. I almost believed it, too.

Ack, David, stop thinking!

I'll let you in on a little secret: I haven't given up on this team.

What on earth was David Wright doing with that one-hopper he sorta fielded?

What is it about playing the Mets that brings out the worst in our Phillies? We're 3-6 against New York this year and almost every game we've lost I was sure we were going to win.

MSG has been showing “classic” Subway Series games all afternoon to get us pumped for tonight. I don't know if it'll work, but I'm pretty excited about what I already know happened.

Dear Tom: I hope the Mets do trade you and that it's to the Bora Bora Bores while they're on the first leg of a South Asian road trip that lasts three months, you pompous, disproportionately overcompensated ass.

And I thought, just give up a two-run homer here. You'll be up 6-4 but the bases will be clear and you won't have one of those horrendous Yankee carousels spinning all around you.

I'd feel sorry for them … if they weren't Yankees and therefore didn't deserve it through and through. (Hee hee hee!)

So that's what it feels like to win a series at Yankee Stadium. Took us long enough.

When the last out was recorded, I let loose a Floydian raft of feline-frightening screams. Hozzie took the first round in stride, but the triumphant closet door-banging sent him seeking solitude under a dining room chair. Once again, my apologies to the cat.

The assistant manager slinked off to wherever assistant managers who have to work Saturday nights slink off to. Me and Stephanie and Sydra and the other cashier had a good laugh. Moments later, I walked the Waldbaum's parking lot with my head held high.

Dammit, I wanted this one.

A fan has a right to believe his team's closer can get three outs without giving up a run. Let alone two. I really didn't believe that Sunday night.

Somebody find me some good in Pratt for Bennett. I dare ya.

Goodness does Victor Zambrano drive you insane. Man could he be good.

If it's Cameron and Cairo for Sheffield and some money back, I say do it.

Ishii will fool you with the occasional decent outing, but when he blows up it's so spectacular he tends to take the whole bullpen with him.

As I watched Wednesday night's contest become no contest — recurrent rain, empty citrus seats, yawning run gap, stifling opposing pitching (Lidle hands were the devil's playthings), space between us and first place growing large enough to drive a fleet of Mr. Softee trucks through — I wondered how many nights like this Shea Stadium has seen.

“Todd Pratt,” judged Fran Healy, “must've said the magic words.” Shoot, take the magic words out of Todd Pratt's vocabulary and he has nothing to say.

Hey, Braden Looper isn't permanently damaged by his world-ending implosion Sunday night.

Nor do I see a summer malaise. Not when I look at a team that's won three series in a row — if we do that through the finish line, I'll keep my October schedule clear.

Charlon Woonderson is the best darn IF/OF/PH we've had since I don't know when.

Dae-Sung Koo got a card in Upper Deck Series 2. I'm sure it will be the most-cherished possession of every schoolboy in America.

Yeah, definitely eight men out. So I'll be the eighth. What'll I do? Obviously you'se guys don't know me very well yet. I already got Willie ta start me at first today. Believe you'se me, I'll take it from there.

“Joshua, do you know you saw Dontrelle Willis pitch back before you even knew you loved baseball?”

Upon closer inspection, the Times Piazza pin is a little blurry.

“That Ishii,” the woman said in disgust before swiftly moving on to Looper, who was “no good.” They should have stuck with Benitez, and look how we used to complain about him?

I was no longer charmed by Bang or taken with Zoom.

Come October, what the hell: Go Nats!

It's not going to happen, and that's OK.

Hey, I just found a towel lying around in here like somebody threw it.

Empty the freaking linen closet.

A 9-2-6-2 double play. Usually when you see one of those, there's a keg at second base.

You're a star, Pedro! And for one beautiful night, Detroit's the town, baby! If you're ever gonna twinkle, twinkle where the lights are brightest, right there in the heart of that Motor City!

Braden Looper entered with the bases loaded and two outs. He had a four-run lead and needed to retire just a single batter, a simple task for such an accomplished closer.

Braden Looper couldn't get one fucking out.

Get your ass back to New York immediately. You're killin' us here.

The New York Cubans called. They want their uniforms back.

We are winding down the first of 99 consecutive hours without a Mets game. I can feel the withdrawal pangs coming on. Chills…sweats…the need to see somebody caught off second or nailed at home. I think I'll go lie down and lose track of how many outs there are.

“Yes, New has mentioned some problems with Atlanta. He's come home a couple of times looking like he got into a fight. We'll ask him what's wrong and he'll mutter something about Braves taking his lunch money but then he clams up.”

Naturally, that led me to ponder our Mr. Piazza as he nears the finale of his long run as a New York cultural institution.

To me, Kenny is dead.

Put me in, coach. I'm ready for the second half.

1 comment to Faith and Fear Remixed (First-Half Jam)

  • Anonymous

    If you didn't take ctrl-c/ctrl-v notes on these sentences throughout the season, I don't want to know how you compiled them here – or how long it took you to do so; I think it's something that is best left to everyone's imagination.