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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.

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In Omar We Trust

Sheesh, we went through the ringer today and didn't even play a game.

First Duaner Sanchez — fearless, fist-pumping, goggle-wearing Duaner Sanchez — was out for the year. Now he may not be. 50-50 he'll need surgery, Omar says. Regardless of the outcome, word of the injury forced the front office into a hurry-up offense on the trading front. When a last-minute deal fell through, the final tally was Xavier Nady departing, Oliver Perez arriving (and immediately heading for Norfolk), Roberto Hernandez returning, and Lastings Milledge reappearing.

You have to assume Sanchez won't be back until 2007, but let's not panic. Bert was awfully good for us last year and has decent numbers this year — and he's the kind of player one would expect to find another gear now that he's been airlifted off the roof of the Pirate embassy. And if Bert can't handle the eighth-inning role? Well, Aaron Heilman's looked better of late, and Pedro Feliciano and Chad Bradford have been trustworthy. Who says they can't step it up a notch? And if they can't, there are intriguing players a phone call away — a revitalized Royce Ring, Heath Bell and his always-tantalizing peripherals, Henry Owens having had a taste of the Show, maybe Perez if he can find his 2004 form. If that doesn't work? Come October we're not going to need five starters. Steve Trachsel's too much a creature of habit for pen work, but Orlando Hernandez has shown he can handle it. You're telling me there's no way John Maine could prove valuable in October? Or Mike Pelfrey? Even the forgotten Brian Bannister may have something to add to this equation before it's completed — Bannister turned in a glittering rehab start in St. Lucie tonight.

None of this is on a level with seeing Jason Schmidt in orange and blue (or Dontrelle or Zito, if you were really thinking big), but that dream was dashed when Duaner Sanchez's taxi crashed. Fortunately, we're not exactly in a dogfight here. We have a 14-game lead over the Phillies, who just raised the white flag; 14.5 over the up-and-coming but still-too-young Marlins, and 15 over the stiffening corpse of the Braves. We have far-from-bad options internally, and time to find answers.

And if there is no answer in-house? Again, no need to panic: After today I trust Omar even more.

Dontrelle Willis and Barry Zito probably weren't ever in the cards. But according to various reports, Sunday night Omar was working on a three-way deal that would have gotten us Roy Oswalt — not Cliff Floyd's best pal, but 29, an All-Star and signed through '07 –for Milledge. Then Omar was forced to scramble, so he moved quickly and creatively, swapping Nady for Bert and Perez with an eye toward turning around and trading Perez and Bell to the Padres for hard-throwing lefty specialist Scott Linebrink.

That deal fell apart, apparently when the Padres blinked, but even so, it's pretty impressive for an audible. I doubt the San Diego trade can be resurrected — it's hard to imagine Linebrink, Bell or Perez getting through waivers — but considering how close he came, I have faith Omar will find a way if a way needs to be found. And if there is no way, if the current roster is what we head into October with? After Jose Valentin and Darren Oliver, I trust Omar's eye. Besides, remember how we got Sanchez. Anybody miss Jae Seo?

7 comments to In Omar We Trust

  • Anonymous

    Here's what bugs me, though, Jason.
    I now have to hope Sanchez is done for the year: if he comes back to pitch in October, Omar will have traded Nady for no reason at all.
    As far as the rumored 3-way with Balt. is concerned, Peter Angelos is a putz…
    He goes right up there with the de Roulet girls, Howard Lincoln & George Steinbrenner on my personal ownership shit list.

  • Anonymous

    True, but nothing to be done about that: Too dangerous to assume Duaner will be back.
    I'm sad to see Nady go, but he wasn't a great outfielder, and I was never convinced he wasn't a bit over his head as an everyday player. We can go to war with Chavez and Milledge.
    Peter Angelos, sigh. A lot of fans have given him way too much of a pass for refusing to buy in to the replacement-player charade during the strike. The Orioles' rot pretty clearly starts from the top.

  • Anonymous

    I think it will be interesting to see how Milledge responds to the unexpected situation of him being an important member of this team. As Kurt Russell said in an excellent movie about another sport, “Great moments are born from great opportunity.” If Lastings keeps his head on straight and plays his best, this could be something special.

  • Anonymous

    …or it could damage unnecessarily a promising career. sorry, but the last 10 days of milledge's first stay up in the show suggested someone who was really overmatched, both at bat and in the field.
    (i should say here i'm not of the belief that milledge will ever have a career to match those of reyes or wright. that doesn't mean i don't like him, just that i see this move through slightly les rose-colored lenses.)

  • Anonymous

    I don't disagree at all. But I'm not thinking in terms of anyone's career. I'm thinking more along the lines of Gregg Jefferies, August through October 1988.

  • Anonymous

    Duaner's out for the year. Not unexpected, but still disappointing after seeing that little sliver of hope….

  • Anonymous

    Dear Billy,
    Please take a cab back to the hotel tonight.
    Thanks.