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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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Where Have You Been All Our Lives?

Oliver Perez could have saved us a great deal of trouble had he been born maybe 10 years earlier and signed by the Joe McIlvaine regime in time to blossom for the opening of Turner Field in 1997. 'Cause, man, he would have been handy to have had around for most of the last decade.

A Braves killer. An honest-to-goodness Braves killer. We have one. That's one against many. Finally, a fair fight. Imagine Oliver Perez, this Oliver Perez, firing strike three past one of the Joneses during the September '99 meltdown…or marching in from the bullpen a month later and effortlessly hanging up a scoreless eleventh…or outdueling the irksome castoff likes of John Burkett and Andy Ashby…or tagging out Michael Tucker so clearly that the name Angel Hernandez wouldn't elicit as much as a shrug from any of us.

Let us forget all that for now. Instead, let us remember that the curse of Turner Field blew away with the wind last season. Dead, dead, dead, I tell you. Let us also not forget, however, that the mark of any horrible sequel is depending on the audience's willingness to conveniently dismiss what it saw in the last 15 minutes of the original. Never mind that the Mets swept the Braves in Atlanta in July 2006 or that we dethroned the hell out of them from April to September. God forbid facts get in the way of Revenge of Those Bastards 2.

I turned on Wednesday night's game and I thought there was something wrong with my TV, like it was stuck in the past. Gary Cohen was going on about the terrible things that happen on 755 Hank Aaron Drive, how they reared their ugly head in the person of Kyle Davies the night before, how when the Braves score first in this ballpark the Mets are 3-108 or something like that.

Gary! Stop it!

Yes, we lost the opener of this series. And yes, we lost two annoying games there in April. And…that's all. Everything before 2006, from Braden Looper's patchworthy unraveling in September 2005 clear back to Bobby Jones' gripping problems in September 1997, is immaterial to the current state of the union. I'm willing to concede that the Mets '06 ATL-kicking isn't all that relevant save for that it wiped the historical slate clean. There's nothing black-magical about Turner Field anymore, just a good team in residence. So everybody, especially esteemed flagship broadcasters, please stop quivering in fear that Brian Jordan circa 2001 is lurking in the on-deck circle just because we lose one pathetic game. Somehow we came back and won an exhilarating game one night later.

The intramural season tally to date is Braves 5 Perez 3. To that you might say, oh dear, no Met except Perez has beaten the Braves. To that I say good thing we've got Perez.

11 comments to Where Have You Been All Our Lives?

  • Anonymous

    i for one was certainly wrong about perez — i believe i said at the time of the trade that he was a throw-in who would have no immediate or longterm value. you are incorrect, sir!
    right now, he's the most exciting pitcher the mets have. i look forward to his starts, the way i did for pedro (and will again, i hasten to add).
    yes, there's the chance perez might stink out the joint — and i hold my breath almost every inning waiting to see if he might unravel — but that chance seems less and less likely. his delivery is electrifying: when he's throwing right, it's like he's cracking a bullwhip at the batters. and the idiosyncrasies that would irritate me coming from an opposing pitcher i find downright endearing from him. so jump over the foul line all you want, ollie. we're good to go.

  • Anonymous

    Would anybody be really surprised a couple of months from now if LaRussa taps Outstanding Ollie to start the All-Star game in San Francisco?

  • Anonymous

    Think what would have happened if Duane Sanchez had NOT been in that unfortuante accident last July and Omar did not have to obtain Roberto Hernandez out of desparation:
    1) We would not have Oliver Perez,
    2) We would still have Duaner, who was beginning to be hit hard,
    3) Joe Smith would still be in the minors,
    4) Chan Ho Parc might still be in the starting rotation,
    5) Xavier Nady would still be our rightfielder but we would not have brought up Gomez.
    The Lord sure works in strange ways.

  • Anonymous

    speaking of Duaner, is he coming back this year?
    I am starting to fall in love with Ollie. Actually, it started last year in Pittsburgh (during that ridiculous sweep – how did the Pirates win three straight from the Mets?!), when he was such a cutie to my sister and me. He kept smiling and waving while doing his stretches.
    Anyways, I just hope Delgado finds his stroke (maybe he lost it in ATL).

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking that, too, but since I already handed the ball to Maine a few weeks ago, I feel I am not to be trusted on this matter.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a spy movie from the '40's.
    Van Heflin (in a hushed tone): “Can this man be trusted?”

  • Anonymous

    That “Go Mets Die Braves” blog is a scream. Laurie, he must have been thinking of you when he put it together. (BTW, when did you finally decide you hated the Braves like the rest of us?)

  • Anonymous

    Go Anonymous!

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of which, how stupid do you think the San Diego GM feels for being unwilling to part with Scott Linebrink?
    God bless Omar Minaya… we have a GM who's not only smart, but lucky too!

  • Anonymous

    Almost as stupid as me in my hotel room in St. Louis last July 31 thinking, “damn, we're not getting Linebrink.”