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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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Second Time's the Charm

Two summers ago the Human Fight, our friend Pete and I were all watching the Mets take on the Angels. Bottom of the 10th, Mets down 3-2, two on and two out, and Cliff Floyd slams a long drive into the right-field seats, just foul. Pete was thrilled — obviously Floyd would hit the next one several feet to the left, now that he had the range. The Human Fight and I were glum — as we gently lectured Pete, it never happens that a batter hits a home-run-distance foul ball and then manages to recalibrate for a long drive that stays fair. What invariably happens, we explained, is the batter strikes out. (Hell, Cliff said the same thing. You could look it up.)

Of course that night Floyd promptly did hit a home run. The Human Fight and I gaped at each other. Pete was sunnily convinced he'd been right all along.

Pete would have loved tonight's game.

First Carlos Gomez slams a ball into the left-field loge — and even tempts the baseball gods with an anticipatory strut. Then he hits a home run a few feet to the right of where his long foul went. (And struts again. He'd better learn to stop doing that.) Gomez is awfully raw, and besides his occasional rookie faux pas, he reminds me of a puppy the way he constantly seems in danger of falling down, the way puppies do when they're still growing into their feet. But he sure looks like he'll grow up to be a champ — watching Gomez race Reyes across the infield or pair off with Jose on one of the Mets' five-dimensional celebratory handshakes is nearly as fun as watching him grow almost visibly in confidence with every at-bat. And get rid of his unfortunate Diamondvision mug shot, in which he looks like a spooked colt, and we just might have another Mets matinee idol. (While we're at it, could someone please reshoot Ricky Ledee's picture? He looks like a psychotic drifter, which isn't helping me put aside his Yankee past.)

After Gomez's recalibrated shot, hours and hours and hours passed, during which Emily and I watched Mike Maroth coolly dispatch Met after Met with wouldn't-break-glass stuff, Met pitchers wriggle out of confrontations with Albert Pujols (and with Juan Encarnacion, whom I was sure would get us eventually, being Juan Encarnacion) and a single sky-blue balloon drop down from the upper deck every four to five minutes. I never bothered to find out what the exact nature of the balloon-generating process above us was, because the truth couldn't have been good as our imaginings — a birthday clown whose party hadn't materialized, a balloon factory, a rip in the fabric of spacetime, etc.

When Green lofted a ball towards the right-field corner, I didn't think it was a game-winner. It was tailing out of our sight, blocked by the mezzanine. A sneaky one around the foul pole? Maybe, but I doubted it — after all these years I've got a pretty good sense of Shea trajectories. The next ball he hit? In Chicago, I bet Cliff Floyd suddenly found himself smiling. In San Francisco, I bet Pete was suddenly convinced he was right about something. I looked at the arc it made against the sky, saw Encarnacion slow down, and threw my arms into the air.

21 comments to Second Time's the Charm

  • Anonymous

    Not to rain on a good-face myth, but Carl Everett hit a foul grand slam several pitches before hitting a real grand slam on September 13, 1997, the capping shot in the six-run ninth inning in which the Mets knotted the Expos 6-6 (won 9-6 in 11 via Gilkey). And Floyd. And Gomez. And Green.
    Nice reality.

  • Anonymous

    Green is a beautiful ballplayer. You need a guy like him to off-set the hot doggers. You win pennants with the likes of him..

  • Anonymous

    my kids and i have always liked green — my son's backup national league team is the dbacks, because of green's stay there. we were at the mets-cards game last august that was green's first game as a met, and he obligingly singled in a run.
    fwiw, last night, i knew he was gonna hit that shot — the signs were there. not only was it the cards, not only had he made a nice catch earlier, not only had he hit the foul-ball home run, but gary cohen noted that he had been 1-for-10 off russ springer “but that one hit was a home run.”
    also, little known fact: while bonds is making his way past aaron, green is closing in on hank greenberg's record as career homerun leader member of the tribe. hallowed hank greenberg had 331; with last night's dinger, the good mr. green has 7 on the year and 325 for his career.
    we now return you to your regularly scheduled mets programming.

  • Anonymous

    A PSYCHOTIC DRIFTER!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Good Lord, Jace, you nailed it!!!
    Funny, Greg remarked on Carlos the Third's mugshot last night.

  • Anonymous

    What the hell? Something's different about your site…

  • Anonymous

    Well, wellwellwellwell…
    I split for a couple of days & lokkit what happens.
    I'm taking full responsibility for this turnaround:
    1- I was scheduled to leve for a course in LA on Friday afternoon.
    2- I arrived at Newark/Liberty 2 hours before boarding time.
    3- I needed reading material for the wait/flight.
    4- In the Borders at EWR, I found exactly what I needed: Pedro, Carlos & Carlos and Omar! by Adam Rubin (who — according to the back cover — lives in Long Beach! Did you know this, Greg?)
    5- Reading this recapping of the dawn of the era of good feeling, reawakened the era of good feeling for me.
    SO…
    Get me out of town & give me a good book and BINGO! The Good Guys return…

  • Anonymous

    PS — Not particularly fond of the new graphics, FWIW

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, if only they'd had him last year against the Cardinals.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I hope the Mets are back to their winning ways. I'd like to take full responsibility for the streak, since I was at Friday's game (with the Deadspin pants party, natch). But it's good to not see loss after loss after loss. Esp since I can't bear to read about them when they're losing so much – so I missed reading this site!
    Hopefully, they can continue tonight.
    Let's go, Mets!

  • Anonymous

    Charile – I didn't get the new graphics the first five times I looked at them. Then again, it's been over ten years since I've taken New York City mass transit on a regular basis. I think if the boys put a little graffitti under and around the sign, and perhaps a wad of chewing gum, it would look a bit more realistic.
    But I don't even know if there's graffitti in the subways anymore. Is there?

  • Anonymous

    A night of flashbacks.
    1-1 Top 9… I'm sick.
    Wagner facing Taguchi… I'm queasy.
    Heilman in a 1-1 game vs. Cards…. I'm wretching.
    Heilman in a 1-1 game with a man on and a guy barely hitting over .200 at the plate (Kennedy)… I'm quivering.
    Green… I'm raising my hands and screaming before the ball hits Angel Hernandez square in the numbers.
    Thank God for regular season Cardinals games.
    Oh, prophecy alert: 8/22 Beltran walk-off game. End of Jason's post:

    Before we go, a moment for a wonderful call from Howie Rose, one that'll be leading off a lot of WFAN broadcasts: “First pitch … fastball hit deep to right field! It's gonna win the ballgame! Home run!”
    Oh, and keep playing “The Curly Shuffle.” Just a hunch.

    I was there last night. They did the Curly Shuffle. Another Mets-Cardinals game ended on a fastball hit deep to right field that could've allowed Howie to use the same call. Wow.

  • Anonymous

    Not like there used to be. Then again I'm 24 and grew up in the suburbs so what the Hell do I know about “used to be”? Actually got a train the other day that was brand new and looked like it was from another city, maybe another planet. Clean, cool, more straps to hang onto, LCD screen displaying all the stops on the line, updating at each stop. Made 2 dollars seem like a bargain for the luxurious trip.
    The only problem with the new look, as I mentioned in another post, is that the new logo makes the left frame wider and thus shrinks the right one. But I know the IT staff at FAFIF is all over that one.

  • Anonymous

    Aside from Green's walk-off heroics, this game was interesting in two regards. One, I ran into Greg completely at random on our way into Shea (he recognized my FAFIF shirt and said hello). And I have to admit I was slightly star-struck. Blog made flesh and all. Pretty cool. (Incidentally, my brother was there also, Jason, although I failed to introduce him and Greg.)
    Two, Mike Maroth used what could only be called time warping abilities to make short work of Met after Met. From my seat in the Mezz I couldn't figure out what was so dominant about his 82 mph fastball.
    Oh, and Jason, I would definitely go with a rip in the fabric of space-time. Have you been out to Keyspan yet this year? I've got tickets Wednesday. I'm intrigued to see Endy's younger brother Ender…Mr. and Ms. Chavez certainly were creative with naming.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, the highly paid IT staff at FAFIF….
    We're getting used to the new logo, etc. I'm sure there'll be some tweaks. Any and all feedback enthusiastically accepted while we figure it out….

  • Anonymous

    Haven't been to Keyspan yet, alas. I gather Ender is being given a courtesy roster spot before being slid over into coaching/instructional work. (IIRC, he's 26.)
    Wore my Cyclones jersey last night. I like the way they're giving us more and more Cyclones updates this year.
    Speaking of which, a Shea/CitiField dream: If/when the Cyclones win a NY-Penn League title, have them take their positions the next night at Shea/Citi. Explain it to the crowd, introduce 'em, then have the Mets come out and take over. Why the heck not?

  • Anonymous

    Ohmygod, Dennis!
    I am so frikken dense sometimes, I'm surprised I'm able to make it out of bed some mornings.
    This warrants a long, loud, monumental…
    “DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!”

  • Anonymous

    Blog made flesh and all.
    And ample flesh there is!
    Ender Chavez was on the Cyclones in 2002, unless this is yet another Ender Chavez. I found it odd then that there was an Ender and an Endy. But George Foreman has multiple sons named George, so maybe it's a family thing.

  • Anonymous

    I'm working on the flesh-made-blog thing, myself. Then I can live entirely in cyberspace, ruining Sandra Bullock's life and occasionally launching a nuke at people who annoy me. (Because movies have shown me hackers can do that.)
    Oh, and I'll get to watch all the MLB.TV games for free. Nyaah-nyaah, MLB!

  • Anonymous

    Funny, when reading about the brothers Chavez the first thing that popped into my head was Edgardo Alfonzo and his brother Edgar.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, that's right! And Edgar is back managing the Cyclones this year. Man, we've got two brothers of Mets with nearly identical names in Brooklyn. Only in Coney Island.

  • Anonymous

    And to further compare our Mr Green w/ Mr Greenberg, Shawn has 1936 hits and Hank had 1628 . Shawn has 1051 RBIs – not bad , but Hank had 1276…………………………..