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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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My Head Held Hung

We could all use our own Ricky Ledee. We could all use a caddy to go in and play for us the day after we’ve had a big time the night before. We could all use a guy who might go 0-for-4 in our stead but nobody would notice and few would complain.

I wasn’t technically hung over Tuesday. I mean half a metallic Budweiser and 187 milliliters of Pommery Pop? Get a good look — that’s not a lightweight anchoring the right side of your picture.

Emotionally was another story. There was no way my head was leaving Monday night behind so easily. Nor was it hitting a pillow ’til dawn’s early light. I recorded Mets Fast Forward at 5 A.M. but decided to sit up and watch it as it aired. Can’t see Josh Willingham fly out to Cliff Floyd enough. Kind of defeated the purpose of setting the DVR, but I’ll sleep when we’re last.

While waiting for the rebroadcast, I read a very funny thread on a very busy Mets message board about what the back pages might look like Tuesday. The running joke was that the New York tabloids are so obsessed with the doings of another team that…well, read it yourself. I especially like #13.

It turned out the local papers did themselves proud. The News abandoned Cap’n Cock…y for one morning and gave us our poster boys, David and Jose, drenching themselves silly in the clubhouse. That was good. But Newsday devoting A1 to Our Fellas out on the field as the Toast of the Town? That’s New York Long Island Honda Dealers Good!

Young David looks awfully comfortable with a bottle of champagne in one hand and a cigar in the other. Let’s make sure we see some variation on that theme a few more times this year and regularly for the next 15 or 20.

Hey, you know what never happened? The Pirate series. It’s a typical soap opera convention, one I recognize from my decade as on occasional (OK, mostly constant) viewer of The Young & The Restless. You have a very intense storyline on which everybody’s lives are focused for a time and then, after it doesn’t catch on, you just write the next episode like it never happened.

Pirate series? What Pirate series? Everybody in Genoa City knows the Mets romped to their clinching unimpeded and undefeated.

Adult beverage consumption did not end in Section 4 Monday night. Last Friday, when the air was thick with nonsense about the necessity of clinching in Pittsburgh, I visited my local liquorium and spent 14 big ones on a bottle of Korbel Extra Dry. (In 1999, I celebrated the Wild Card with a more inexpensive bottle of Rheingold Extra Dry…it was a very good year.) The California champagne — some would claim that its geographic origin makes it merely sparkling wine, but some also claim you can overcelebrate a division title, so some are morons — grew icy cold in the fridge over the clinchless weekend. This was not a bottle that had a chance of sneaking under the nose of Inspector Cloushea, so in the fridge it sat as the last out was made and the fifth title was earned.

Hung over or not Tuesday, the Korbel needed to come out and play. Mrs. Prince earned her taste, and not just in the Met abstract. When I called her on the way home post-clinching, I asked her if she watched. No, she said. Before I could ask what the hell is wrong with you, you just sat and watched three dreadful losses with me and now that we win, you don’t even peek, she volunteered, “I was afraid if I did, they’d lose.”

Wow. Nineteen-plus years of me and this have really done a number on her.

Anyway, we popped our cork in advance of the pregame show and, discovering we don’t own champagne glasses, filled a couple of Mets beer mugs given me by Jim Haines a couple of birthdays ago. I felt compelled to compose a toast on the spot, telling Stephanie that I had never thought in terms of a divisional title per se, but I would have been surprised when we got married in 1991 if I’d been told it would take this long before we would see one together, and that it’s all a lot more fun sharing it with her. Then we raised our mugs and swigged. We’re not a drinking couple, but we are capable of gettin’ swiggy wit’ it once or twice a year.

Stephanie grew flush after three sips, but I began gaining momentum, refilling my mug and telling Avery, whose first anniversary as our kitty was Saturday, what a great cat he is…get your face out of that Iams and give Daddy a big kiss! It was shaping up as quite an evening, but at 6:32, half the power went out in our building and on our block. Very strange. The kitchen was light, the living room was dark, the TV was blank, the radio worked. It wasn’t much of a power outage, yet it was powerful enough to put a damper on my drinking. How am I supposed to develop a taste for this stuff when I have to call LIPA and complain coherently?

I wasn’t really paying attention as the Mets lineup stepped in DiFelices. When the lights came back on at 7:36, there was still a little Korbel left, but it was getting warm and my divisional buzz didn’t need any more enhancement. The dregs went down the drain…the champagne, I mean, not Ledee.

Aw, no reason to be hard on this instant trivia classic of a batting order. They won, right? Of course they did. It is traditional; furthermore, it is historic. In the five seasons when the Mets have played games after clinching playoff spots (including 2000, but not 1973 and 1999), the Mets are 28-8 for the remainder of their schedule, including last night. No power outage or momentum stop for our fellas, even when the guys playing out the string are barely Our Fellas.

Avery, did I ever tell you what a beautiful cat you really are? Gimme another kiss!

7 comments to My Head Held Hung

  • Anonymous

    a-hern's shot made this game from bizarro metsworld memorable all by itself. got me wondering about hojo-crafted corked bats all over again.
    by the way, i have a special beverage waiting to be opened in final celebration for this post-season. it's in a small red-and-white can from a set distributed at bobby valentine's restaurant at the end of a certain blogger's bday party.

  • Anonymous

    Ou champagne was imbibed form paper cups….neither one of felt like washing the”ggod glasses”.

  • Anonymous

    oops….”good glasses”

  • Anonymous

    “…a more inexpensive bottle of Rheingold Extra Dry…it was a very good year.”
    If that's the reference I think it is, it's absolutely brilliant. Even better, in 1999 I was 17. My most intense year as a Met fan. You, know, until now.

  • Anonymous

    Have another drink, Metlady.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone noticed and everyone complained about Ricky Ledee last night. If Willie has an ounce of human compassion whatsoever in that Yankee Android body of his, he will not send Ledee out there again in any capacity until we go on the road. I mean, this is a crowd who was, sadly predictably, already booing every display of non-perfection (you gave up a hit? BOOOOOOO! You made an out? BOOOOOOO!) a night after clinching the title. Little Ricky's bases-loaded performance last night pretty much cemented his place in the already overcrowded “we will boo you no matter what” pantheon.
    Note to Willie: They booed Tom Glavine last night. What fate do you imagine awaits your little Yankee pet next time he shows his face? Do you really want to huuuurt him? Just pat him on the head, give him a Pup-Peroni and send him home before any more damage is done. Please.

  • Anonymous

    We were drinking Freixenet. Same as the Mets :)
    And it's not champagne unless it's from the Champagne region of France. But domestic wine can still be celebratory :)