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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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We Win

Attention citizens of the National League Eastern Division: You have a new champion.

There isn’t a combination of Phillie or Marlin or Brave or National wins that adds to a hill of beans now. They can’t touch us in 2006. We win.

It is fricking remarkable that we haven’t been able to say that since 1988. Back then, we lorded it over five teams, four of which don’t live here anymore. That was the same group we started with in 1969, the year we won our first, the year I watched my first. Then it was the Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies and Expos who couldn’t lay a glove on us. It’s 37 years, two expansions, one realignment and one franchise shift later, but it feels familiar. It feels right. It feels home. The Eastern Division of the National League: Our House.

I was watching Sports New York for all we missed while we were there and I’m seeing this Met and that Met talking about how great this is for them as individuals as well as a team and I believe them. I believe everything tonight when it comes to the Mets.

But I’m looking at that clubhouse footage and listening to those interviews and I’m thinking it can’t be any better for them than it is for us.

Oh sure, they’re the champs. They’re the ones who made it so. Becoming a division champion is a big deal for them. But them becoming a division champion New York Met…well, like I said back when we still had a magic number, this 1 was for us.

It’s huge for Delgado and Lo Duca because they’ve never seen the business end of October before. But Delgado and Lo Duca weren’t Mets last year. They’d be happy to earn this result wherever they were.

It’s a great accomplishment for Wright and Reyes. They’re two of the best young athletes we’ll ever see. But they’ve been at this professional baseball thing for just a few years. They weren’t alive when I had already put in 14 seasons on behalf of the club they now call theirs.

Much is to be said for Trachsel, a Met with nothing to show for it except a nice paycheck since 2001. Floyd and Glavine got here in 2003, a very, very inauspicious moment to start being Mets. Aaron Heilman was a Met when being a Met wasn’t cool — and when being Aaron Heilman was highly unfashionable. I don’t doubt they all feel they’ve been through the wars as Mets. They have…a few. It is we, however, who bear the scars of almost every battle this team has fought in the span of our sentient memories.

We love Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez and Chris Woodward and Shawn Green and Mike DiFelice and Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner and everybody who did this thing we toasted several hours ago. Of course we loved hundreds of guys who tried and failed to do this thing several years ago and several decades ago. We will love the next bunch that comes along, too. We are Mets fans. We love Mets. It’s the proportions of that affection that change, usually in sync with Met fortunes.

This bunch here is very special. Good players we know they are and good guys they seem to be. We wait all winter for a baseball season and boy have they given us one to luxuriate in and remember, I suspect, eternally. I will forever be grateful to every Met who won me a National League Eastern Division title in 2006. I will forever be happy for each and every one of them. They should be proud of their respective accomplishments in their chosen field.

But it can’t mean more to them than it does to me; does to Jason; does to Laurie who brought us her camera, her bubbly and her passion with three outs to go; to Jim who draws Mr. Met for us; to AlberstonMets who came by and introduced himself in the flesh; to jm with whom I just got off the phone; to CharlieH and to MetLady516 and to Inside Pitcher and to Mo and to Rusty and to Student of the Game and to Jacobs27 and to Kingman Fan and to Bicycle Mom and to Joshua and to NostraDennis and to dmg and to Joelster63…and forgive me if I don’t call the complete roll of commenters who make our blog whole and doubly forgive me if I’m missing you who should be terribly obvious to me, to say nothing of our blogging brothers and sisters whose collective efforts make us a part of something bigger than ourselves and, of course, you readers we don’t know except that we know that you’re out there.

Winning this National League Eastern Division championship means a lot to us, doesn’t it?

We look at the script Mets on those uniforms and that’s our name. That’s us. However it happened, we became Mets a forever ago. We don’t get paid. Doesn’t even occur to us how much being Mets costs us in dollar terms let alone man and woman hours devoted to this cause we’ve made our own across each and every one of our lifetimes. We bleed, we sweat, we cry because, c’mon — what else are we gonna do?

We can do everything for this team except hit, hit with power, run, throw, catch and pitch. So we do what we can. We wear them and we hope them and we yell them and we live them and we write them. We do it with only limited promise and no guarantee of success most years. We do it on the slightest chance that every now and then we can call ourselves the champion of something. It’s not a dealbreaker when we can’t, but it surely serves as a contract extension into perpetuity for us when we do.

We are the 2006 National League Eastern Division Champions. Congratulations everybody. We did it.

16 comments to We Win

  • Anonymous

    “Re: Re: Re: One, Three, Five, Seven
    “by dmg on Tue 18 Apr 2006 08:58 AM EDT | Profile | Permanent Link
    “i realize my post may have included a dissonant note of bravado — and i share the general mets-fan antipathy to such sentiments. but the fact is, this is the time to get this done. braves are down, mets are up, and it's really important to take advantage. we've talked before how the mets seem to lack the killer instinct: the time to upgrade is now.
    “to that end, how sweet was delgado's blast last night? a perfect response to the previous half-inning, sort of like one hold 'em player topping another's bid with an all in.
    “in the same way, how great is it that the mets won the first game? how many times have they gone into a crucial series and NOT gotten the essential first win, and us placating ourselves that they didn't really NEED that win, that they could accomplish the goal of the moment by winning the next two?
    this team is different. gloriously so.
    the above was written after the mets beat the brew crew 9-3 on a sunday game in mid-april, and followed that with pedro pitching a monday home win against the braves, 4-3. i was at the first game, and was offered tickets to the second, and didn't go because — get this — i didn't feel worthy. two games in a row? too much fun.
    this is not an i-tole-ya-so post, though it sure could be — we all are entitled to them now. this is a post to review the season as it was and is and might yet be. it's no small thing to say that watching the guys celebrate, on the field and in the locker room and listening to their comments (on the radio especially), it came back to realizing that their greatest triumph (and ours) was the total changing of the mindset around the club. these guys have given us a team, for this season and many others, that we can feel great about.
    i credit and thank:
    the wilpons for opening up the vault;
    omar for knowing better than all of us how best to use his cash and trading chips;
    willie for a skillful blending of vets and kids, regulars and benchers (and of all the shots last night as they celebrated on the field, i liked those of ol' stoneface breaking out his biggest, goofiest grins best);
    the coaches for making sure the fundamentals were covered (can't adequately measure how huge a difference this was, game in and game out, as few extra outs were granted, or extra bases shrugged away).
    who else, who am i forgetting? oh yeah, the players. i'll save odes to their individual strengths for some other time, but this is a well-meshed team that doesn't seem all that flappable, and doesn't avoid the responsibility of picking each other up. really, a mets team for the mets ages.
    it's a long season: for me and my kids, it began in winter, in the second day of full-team workouts at port st. lucie. we saw delgado hit some bp boomers, reyes bark out “i got it” to the rest of the infield taking pop-ups, the braintrust cluster around the batting cage while mike pelfrey gave us all a thrill of anticipation. woodward gave his autograph, and milledge took his first swings in front of us, and the bullpen coach guy conti, bless him, tossed my son a ball — three times before asher caught it.
    since then it's been spring, and summer, and now fall is all but here (and who among us in february would have thought the mets would clinch the division before it arrived?) and there's still so much to go. but now is the right moment to celebrate what has already been accomplished.
    this team. this time.
    thanks, dudes.

  • Anonymous

    I'd also like to thank Xavier Nady and Duaner Sanchez for helping to make the whole thing possible to begin with. Cheers, guys. We haven't forgotten you, not by a longshot.

  • Anonymous

    Awww – I feel honored to be included in the roll call
    And yes, this does mean a lot to us.
    BTW, there's a 5th grader at school today without nearly enough sleep. But I couldn't not let him watch the celebration on television – I didn't have the heart to send him to bed.

  • Anonymous

    Greg and Jason,
    Thanks so much for the gracious, and thoroughly undeserved, shout-out. I'm just one of the little rats in the bleachers waving my arms and going “Woo-woo-woo” (Futurama/Married with Children reference there), and throwing in an occasional side note to both of your daily pithy commentaries.
    My biggest asset as a Mets fan is longevity; I was there when Joe Torre grounded into four double plays (yes, he PLAYED for them, too), and thanked Felix Millan for making it all possible by getting on base four times ahead of him. There've been some bleak years in there, and that makes this so sweet.
    These next six weeks are gonna be fun. I can feel it. Let's Go Mets!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I'm not quite as worthy of recognition as some, as I spent last night… in Madison Square Garden! My friend Murray (who literally has never watched a baseball game in his life) and I bought WHO tickets months ago. I saw this conflict coming when we failed to clinch Friday night. It was really a tough call last night, I was considering ditching Murray and buying a Met ticket, but that wouldn't have been right. Townshend cooperated by leaning heavily on boring new songs throughout the setlist, so I (and dozens of others) could watch the Mets out in the beer vending areas, run in to watch Behind Blue Eyes, then back out for more Mets.
    Cheers to you guys for this fun venue, cheers to the Wilpons and Omar, and most of all, cheers to the NL East Division Champs!

  • Anonymous

    The good news is that my husband's boss gave him tickets for the Florida series. The bad news is that they are for tonight's game.
    Well, he'll have a good time anyway I suppose basking in the contentment of a meaningless game.
    Go Ricky Ledee! Go MIke DeFelice! Go Whatchamacallit…that other guy….Tucker! Break some Marlin hearts!

  • Anonymous

    An early Thanksgiving
    — For chronology's sake, I'll start off with the most unlikely thank you: thank you, Mike & the Mad Dog, for interviewing Fred Wilpon on Rosh Hashanah, 2004 and allowing the fans to vent on the air afterward. I was one of those fans. 1 week later, Omar Minaya was hired. I don't think it was a coincidence.
    — Thank you, Omar Minaya, for more things than I can say: for hiring Willie Randolph, for signing Pedro Martinez, for signing Carlos Beltran, for sticking with Jose Reyes & David Wright, for signing Billy Wagner…You know the rest.
    — Thank you, Jeffrey Loria, for dismantling the Marlins just in time for us to snag Carlos Delgado & Paul LoDuca.
    — Thank you, Willie Randolph, for showing us that X's & O's ain't everything.
    — Thank you, David Wright & Jose Reyes, for proving all of us (w)right when we crowed about your prowess.
    — Thank you, Pedro Martinez, for being Pedro Martinez.
    — Thank you, Carlos Beltran, for forgiving us all our indiscretions and impatience.
    — Thank you, Carlos Delgado, for your power and your friendship with the Carlos above: you deserve almost as much credit for his success as the man himself.
    — Thank you, Cliff Floyd, for hanging around until we all saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
    — Thank you, Paul LoDuca, for your fire and fine hitting. Can't wait to see you & A-Fraud get reacquainted at the plate.
    — Thank you, Jose Valentin, for embodying the never-say-die stuff of which this club is made.
    — Thank you, Shawn Green, for your experience, for that double-header against Atlanta, and for being a nice, Jewish boy.
    — Thank you, Endy Chavez, for choosing now

  • Anonymous

    PS — LoDuca gets extra points for dropping an F-bomb on SNY's air while being interviewed by Chris Cottter….

  • Anonymous

    And a teeny tiny thank you to the Philadelphia Phillies who stretched out their heroic, yet fruitless 4th inning just long enough to ensure that the Mets would get their win in first. Thanks for not letting us back in to our clinch! We'll leave that honor to the Yankees.

  • Anonymous

    Don't get fooled again.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks also to F&F in F , for making a super season (so far) even more so…………………Great reads all year!

  • Anonymous

    You are right….it does mean just as much to us…maybe more. If I am brutally honest with myself I can admit that my entire emotional barometer is built around this team. Thanks for including me on the list. It's all day every day for me and the rest of you all,too.

  • Anonymous

    The Mets are the National League East champions.
    I have been mentioned on the front page of my favorite website.
    Now I can die happy.
    Greg and Jason — you guys don't know what this blog has meant to me. I discovered it at the beginning of this season, having just moved from Newark to Philadelphia, feeling desperate for some Mets talk that didn't involve unfavorable comparisons to the Phillies. Just from the name I knew I liked this site, but I had no idea what a lifeline it would turn out to be. This isn't a place of sports talk and analysis — this is a place of poetry, of storytelling. In the wake of bad games, or boring games, I log on to find out what happened tonight. Because sometimes all I saw was a bunch of people playing baseball out there, and surely more was going on than that. Without fail, you guys find a story in there — and without fail, it makes me glad to bleed orange and blue. It lets me know that there are people out there who feel about baseball the way most people only feel about music. Without fail, it makes me glad to be alive.
    You guys are my favorite sportswriters.
    You guys are my favorite writers of any kind who aren't pretty famous.
    So this 1s for you, too.

  • Anonymous

    Wow – Joshua just said everything I wanted to, but much more eloquently than I ever could have.
    I'm flattered to be included in you roll of honor. I'm just an infrequent poster, but a several-times-a-day reader.
    I also discovered this site at the beginning of the season and you've been my daily companions and tourguides all the way.
    You guys have created a special niche in this vast online world. The title does say it all. In a way only we could understand, it captures that special relationship between this team and we few diehards that have been around since (before) the days when Craig Swan was our ace.
    Yes, this one's for us, and I'll savor it for a day or two, but the “Fear” lurks out there – to come close and miss. I can't help quoting Vin Scully from the '86 series: “Losing hurts more than winning feels good.” Sorry to be a downer, it's just the Mets fan in me.
    Pedro, Tom, Duque, Cliff, etc. etc. rest up and get healthy. I won't breathe easily until LoDuca squeezes that last Wagner pitch for strike three.
    The magic number is now 11.

  • Anonymous

    No offense to any other bloggers out there, many of whom do great jobs in their own right, including the worthiest of all honorable mentions, the Great “Metstradamus”, but how does it feel to have the best Mets blog on one of the best Mets days……?
    In early 2005, I wondered after I discovered this place, if we might all make it to the Promised Land together. We just may, fellas. We just may. Hang tight…

  • Anonymous

    We gotta play 'em one day at a time. We're just happy to be here and hope we can help the ballclub. We just wanta give it our best shot and, Good Lord willing, things'll work out.
    (And thanks.)