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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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What It Means to Meet The Mets

Yesterday was the first game of the year in which the throw pillows on the couch lived up to their name. With that game-tying line drive intercepted just shy of the end zone (Georgia being SEC country), I threw a pillow clear across the living room.
With that, the 2007 season became real. The f-word that’s neither faith nor fear made its maiden appearance of the year. Welcome back frustration. (There may have been a fourth f-word flung toward the television as well…a lot.)
The moment that made it more unbearable than one L after four W’s should be was the penultimate out of the ninth inning. After Wright singles and Delgado trots to third, Alou comes up. Moises Alou seems like somebody I would want up here. He’s off to a warm start and he’s a proven RBI man. Then Joe Buck tells me Alou is a notorious first-ball hitter.
He is?
Moises Alou has been knocking around the National League since 1990, and knocking around the ball quite effectively. But all these years that he’s been a Pirate, an Expo, a Marlin, an Astro, a Cub and a Jint, I confess that I’d never watched him closely enough to know all his tendencies. He’s a notorious first-ball hitter? Does that mean he’s going to swing at Wickman’s first offering even though he went to 3-and-2 to Beltran before striking him out, 3-and-2 on Delgado before walking him and 3-and-1 on Wright before David’s single?
It does. Moises does Wickman the biggest favor imaginable and swings and pops meekly to center. Instead of working the count and pressuring the closer, there’s only a second pointless out cramping our style.
This was a game the Mets didn’t particularly deserve to win, not the way they fielded, not the way Glavine was pitching, not the way Smoltz outclassed our lineup. But great teams occasionally pocket games they have little business winning. This ninth inning, not unlike the ninth inning of the last Met loss of any consequence, shaped up as a ninth inning in which we could grab a couple runs off the shelf while the gods were out having a smoke.
Nothing doing. One distressing repositioned lineout later, I was left to ponder Alou the way I was forced to ponder Beltran last October 19. I reasoned then if Carlos got this far in his career by not swinging at curves breaking inside then it was ludicrous to demand he change his habits with a pennant on the line. I’d spend the winter reasoning the opposite, too, but that was winter and last year, so never mind that right now. Point is my, your, everybody’s rule is when a pitcher is playing footsie with the strike zone, don’t make it easier on him. When it’s first and third and you’re down by two runs with one out in the ninth, DON’T SWING AT THE FIRST PITCH!
But if this is how Moises Alou has become Moises Alou, maybe he sees something that I don’t and maybe he was right to swing when he did. Despite being aware of Moises Alou for 17 years, I realize I don’t really know him yet. And that you don’t really know a man until he becomes a Met.

6 comments to What It Means to Meet The Mets

  • Anonymous

    And I rest my case about Jeff F**king Francoeur. I HATE HIS GUTS. One day-spoiler after another. He and Chipper are probably toasting each other in the clubhouse… “well… we did it again!”

  • Anonymous

    each of these two losses is excruciating in its own way. i believe the favorite description of the mets in the first week was “crisp.” this weekend they look like lettuce left out overnight by the heater.
    between the lob's and the might have beens, am i supposed to take heart from the thought that the mets were in it until the last out was recorded? not so much. they outscored the braves, what, 16-9 and lost two of three? argggh.
    the (second-place) mets may be in a dog fight this year. now on a two-game losing streak coming home; ah well, at least it's the phillies.

  • Anonymous

    Let's Go Islanders!
    My homeisland team just won a shootout against the Devils and they're going to the playoffs!
    WHOO!
    (I need something blue and orange to prop up my spirits.)

  • Anonymous

    My goodness, tied with 9/10th's of a second on the clock.
    Is that even a unit of measurement?
    Good for Ted Nolan and good for the Isles.

  • Anonymous

    Laurie,
    Sorry to stray off-topic, but I believe there's been a mix-up. The pack of baseball cards in my Easter basket (I'm borderline diabetic, so my wife figured the less chocolate and the more non-chocolate in the basket, the happer I am; she's right) contained no Mets and TWO Twins. I got me a Torii Hunter and a “Fleer Crowning Achievement” card of Johan Santana striking out 13 Sawks last June.
    Can we trade?

  • Anonymous

    “The moment that made it more unbearable than one L after four W's should be was the penultimate out of the ninth inning.”
    I was thinking that exact thing all Easter Sunday, Greg…