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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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Surprise! Top Prospect Makes Team

Burgos, Sele, Smith…all in, all somewhat mild suprises if you think back to mid-February when they were just three more pitchers in a hurling jumble. It could have just as easily been some other combination of stray relievers and spot starters heading to St. Louis later today. But it's these three. So go get 'em Amby, Other Aaron and Bazooka Joe. The pitching mound is indeed your proving ground.
But no one's ascension to the 25-man roster is quite the surprise that Lastings Milledge's is, which is surprising in itself. Lastings Milledge was this organization's pick to click a year ago. He was instant savior when he came up in late May, bringing an arm and a bat and a religious symbol that got everybody's attention all at once. He was almost legendary before the middle of June.
Then he was hopeless and rude and trade bait before the season was over. Milledge was easy to dismiss…sort of the way Aaron Heilman was two years ago at this moment. One one-hitter and many seventh- and eighth-innings later, Heilman — also a first-round draft choice whose stock had sunk like a stone in the pond of impatience — became quite an after-the-fact find. As there is precedent in these matters, why do we keep assuming highly rated youngsters who don't take the world by storm immediately are never going to be worth a damn?
Milledge the outcast is making the band after all. Granted, it may be only a two-week stay of execution with Pelfrey placed in warm storage until a fifth starter is needed (man, that's gotta suck). Lastings' talent is supposed to direct him to playing every day in New Orleans instead of sitting in New York; nice reward for being skilled, eh? The kid (22 next week despite suddenly having been around the Met equivalent of forever) might find himself in the Green fields of right and if he connects a little and plays that position the way he did last year (remember, his defensive travails were in left), who knows? Willie may “challenge” him and it may take. Or he could be on his way down around April 15.
But for now, Lastings may be the nicest surprise of all from this spring.
(This Milledge-inspired blog is a pretty nice surprise, too.)

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