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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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2 For 2

Don’t send the Braves to do the Mets’ job.

They couldn’t win one lousy game from the Phillies to facilitate our clinching. But so what? Our continuous demoralization of the Fish — poor babies — is plenty for 2 nights. And watching Turner Field in September of 2006 resemble a very depressed Shea Stadium from September of 2002 (1 loss after another, plenty of good seats still available) was worth it.

All our timely hitting, heads-up running and massive advantage-taking is public record and happily familiar. A couple of things I noticed that seem worth mentioning:

Thumbs up for the Dolphin Stadium organist. This person played “Take The ‘A’ Train” for The Beltra(i)n and “Love Me Tender” for Valentin(e). Thumbs down for whoever at SNY operates the bases diagram, which is always about five pitches behind. Thumbs scratching my head when Keith said that given his cold, he was better off up in the booth than on the field. Uh, Keith…is playing technically an option for you anymore?

And Gary acknowledged the sacks of Soilmaster! I knew it wasn’t our imagination.

Now of course we count on nothing and we don’t care to choreograph anything, but is anybody here really sorry that a possible Phillies loss tomorrow (no sure thing, they are playing the Braves) won’t clinch for us? Who wants to grab the brass ring in absentia?

We play in Pittsburgh Friday night. An hour later Phillies throw down with another personal favorite, the Astros in Houston. Don’t know what the magic number will be then. For now, it’s a highly satisfying 2.

2.01: A Great Combination. Sometimes, Mary MacGregor would have us believe, you are torn between 2 loves (she actually said lovers, but that’s not something I’d know about). Jason said last month there were Gary people and Keith people in the ’80s much the way there were John people and Paul people in the ’60s (he actually said Mick people and Keef people, but I’m clearly a Beatles person). In this century, are there Jose people and David people? I have to confess that a small percentage of me, like .0000000000000002%, slightly resented the instant popularity of David Wright when he came along in 2004 and trumped the presence of the previous year’s savior, Jose Reyes. Reyes is the guy who zoomed up from the minors at not quite 20 and shook me from my brief but steep stupor in 2003 where the Mets were concerned. Reyes is the 1 who made me forgive the untimely, unfair, unclassy dispatch of now-minor league infielder Edgardo Alfonzo (who must be sticking pins in his Ricky Ledee doll every night). Reyes is the one who made me forget the disappeared balleticism of Rey Ordoñez, not much of a hitter, kind of a questionable person, but oh what a shortstop. Reyes is the one, more than any other Met in my estimation, who opened the door to the new and promising Met era that grew just a little up the road from his debut. When Wright came up, Reyes was either on the DL or heading back there from 2nd freaking base. When I attended the Home Opener in 2005, I couldn’t believe how many WRIGHT 5 jerseys confronted me. He had been here barely 2-1/2 months the year before and now he’s the idol of millions? Ah, but what Wright did for them, Wright did for me. He matured a little ahead of Reyes and in no time at all (remember, my so-called resentment was infinitesimal), I saw why everybody wanted to turn their backs into advertisements for David. I made mine into 1, too. Wright was the recipient of the M!-V!-P! chants right out of the gate this year. It was hard to not want to coronate. That support has since been inherited by Carlos Beltran, yet lately the “smart” talk says Jose Reyes is the real most valuable player on this club. And you know what I find myself thinking? That people are awfully quick to dismiss David Wright. So to answer my own question, I’m definitely a Jose-and-David (Josavid?) person. I plan to spend the next several years as such.

2.02: Love Him Tender. First time in 18 years. First time since 1988. No division title since then. In Octobers 1999 and 2000, I didn’t sweat such details. We were Wild Cards and proud of it because it put us into the tournament and that’s all that mattered. The man who guided us to that particular promised land was No. 2, Bobby Valentine. Color me aghast on the order of Keith Hernandez Tuesday night when an online poll was hyped during the Snighcast asking fans to vote for the greatest Met manager ever. Choices? Hodges, Berra, Johnson, Randolph. With apologies to the unfortunately omitted Casey Stengel, it should be illegal to have any such discussion without Bobby Valentine. Has it really been so long that the only manager to guide the Mets into two consecutive postseasons (and about a million amazin’ memories) is now a footnote? Or was this some sort of sanitization of history, like a few days earlier when the same survey asked which of four Mets should be considered for number-retirement and none of them was Doc Gooden? Whatever. As we edge into that elusive first divisional championship since the last year of the Reagan presidency, let us remember to toast the skipper who gave us a helluva lot to keep us occupied somewhere in between 1988 and 2006.

18 comments to 2 For 2

  • Anonymous

    can we stop hearing, at least for the moment, just how great a job girardi has done with his band of ladboys? because they sure looked, well, like rookies in the 11th, when it mattered.
    i'll say it again. the marlins are not making the playoffs. not this year, they're not.
    meanwhile, back on the inevitable march into the postseason (last lap), the chips have fallen quite pleasantly and with no small degree of symmetry. not only will the mets be on the field to win their division title, but they may be able to do it with petey on the mound. nothing could be finer.

  • Anonymous

    Keith had different sinus issues entirely when he was on the field. ;p

  • Anonymous

    Greg, you know they're doing this SLOOOWWWW, just for you, so we could all read your tribute to the number 2 this morning. And tomorrow, when we honor Mookie, Lance Johnson, Esix Snead, and all the other #1's.
    By the way, when the Mets finally wrap things up, will we get a paean to the numbers 0 and 00?

  • Anonymous

    Greg, I'm shocked…SHOCKED!
    A paen to the #2 and not single Marvelous Marv reference?
    For shame…

  • Anonymous

    This just hit me…
    Just how much fun do you think Bob Murphy would have been having this season?
    Thinking of you at this time of perpetually happy recaps, Murph…

  • Anonymous

    Dude, you really, really, really need to get over the Fonzie thing. I loved him as much as anyone, but not re-signing him was probably the single smartest non-move Steve Phillips ever made.
    Go to Dictionary.com and type in the word “shot.”
    It's linked to Alfonzo's player page.
    From 2003.
    It's over. It sucks, it hurts, it happens.
    Let it go, Greg.

  • Anonymous

    I'm wholeheartedly with Greg on this one.

  • Anonymous

    Show some respect for the Fonz, man. We've got plenty of goodwill to spread around at the moment.

  • Anonymous

    Last night's win was sweet, as much for our clutchness as for the Marlins' tell-tale signs of rookie-dom in the 11th. But as long as we're talking 2, there were 2 ABs that bothered me in that game. Two pitches in particular, actually.
    Both were Glavine v. Willingham, the first when the game was still scoreless, the other after we had just handed the Glavinator a 6th-inning lead. Now, for the most part, Glavine pitched a great game, but he mysteriously grooved 2 pitches to the same guy. The first one, down the middle, ok, mistake, RBI-double, it happens. What really troubled me was the 6th inning.
    We had just handed Glavine a 1-run lead in the 6th, a point, in the playoffs, where we'd want Tommy to muscle up a little. Instead, he falls behind 3-0 with the tying run on and then, on a full count, throws what looks on the replay like a change-up, inner-half and up….absolutely begging to be crushed. Willingham didn't get all of it, but it was still enough to drive it out of the ballpark and give the Marlins the lead. Now, we won anyway because we're so clutch (and because Olsen finally left the damn game), but Glavine has had all kinds of 6th-inning lead issues this year. I just really hope that's not gonna happen in the post season.

  • Anonymous

    CAN I GET AN AMEN FROM THE BOBBLEHEADS?

  • Anonymous

    My Rusty-for-Lolich grudge hasn't lightened much since December '75, so this one might take a while.

  • Anonymous

    OK, so it's Doomsday Scenario time.
    With this afternoon results in the books, if all these other things happen…
    * The Mets lose all of their remaining 17 games.
    * The Phillies win all of their remaining 17 games.
    * The Dodgers and Padres split their upcoming four game series.
    * The Dodgers win all of their remaining 12 games not agains the Padres.
    * The Padres win all of their remaining 13 games not against the Dodgers.
    … then the Mets will go home after the game on October 1 and miss the postseason.
    That's what it will take. I'd calculate the odds, but I don't know how to count that high.

  • Anonymous

    i have to ask:
    who wastes spends his/her time thinking of stuff like that?

  • Anonymous

    Chin(s) up, Rusty. I still hate Gary Carter for not being Mike Fitzgerald. And as for Matt Lawton…

  • Anonymous

    Quote:
    * The Phillies win all of their remaining 17 games.
    BZZZZZZZZT! Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts backstage, including the home version of our game…

  • Anonymous

    That's admirable. Some grudges should be nurtured.
    But no one did Fonzie wrong. He was done by age 30.
    Sort of a less tragic Brian Picolo.
    The Mets, in this case, were right.
    Curse the fates, not Steve Phillips (in this instance, anyway).

  • Anonymous

    Albie my dear friend and near neighbor,
    I am about to enter my happy zone. As of midnight and until 7:05 pm, there is nothing of a Mets nature that I will allow to disturb me on PCD (Potential Clinching Day). So let me use the remainder of my miff time on this subject that I have, as you correctly pointed out, never let go of.
    I am aware that his career went downhill after leaving New York.
    I am aware that the team that signed him paid a lot and only got a little bang for its buck.
    I am aware that by 2006, the third baseman from 2002 and second baseman from 1999-2001 would have made almost no tangible difference on the team he left.
    But he's Fonzie. He never should have been allowed to leave when he did. He should have been kept in a New York Mets uniform. He should have been treated better and given the respect he was due. He should have had the opportunity to set the team records to which he was en route. He should have been tapped to have been a positive influence on the young infielders who were on their way up (not that they exactly went astray otherwise). And if he was going to be signed to a minor league deal by a team a hundred games in first place, he should have been recalled if for nothing more than old times' sake.
    Tom Seaver should not have been traded to the Reds.
    Doc Gooden should not have been lost to cocaine.
    Edgardo Alfonzo should not have been allowed to walk away.
    We're not talking about just any Mets there. Those are my three favorites ever. It pains me that they weren't Mets forever.
    I probably haven't answered your points as logically as I like. Sometimes logic takes a holiday.
    Speaking of holidays, Happy PCD. I'll be in my happy zone until tonight in Pittsburgh.
    Greg