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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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Forget Harris

Turnabout is foul play.

Bleah, bleah, bleah…ptui! I spit out this horrible ending to what could have been a beautiful game.

Willie Harris pulling an Endy out of his grabhole — leaving ample room for the shoving up of any bats we haven’t already wished plunged high, far and deep up Chipper/Teixeira way — and robbing Carlos Delgado of a game-tying, Shea-boggling homer was the defensive equivalent of Brian Jordan ruining our 2001 season twice. It was also a rude response to our gorgeous ninth-inning dousing of their flickering hopes, a brilliant event not even 24 hours old, now consigned to back of the fridge with the expired half-brick of cream cheese you don’t even remember buying.

How can people stay mad at Barry Bonds when it’s clearly Willie Harris who has ruined baseball?

We make a hard stand Wednesday night and break their black little hearts. Then we stir up a next-afternoon comeback for the ages, like something out of May 17. No right or reason to expect it, but it’s getting delivered. We sent six batters to the plate in the ninth and they all reached base…or almost made it. Gotay, Reyes and Wright did their jobs. Castillo’s high chopper required only a bit of Tartan Turf to have injected him into the rally for real. Even Alou, having been lubricated with a generous dose of 3-In-One, nearly beat out a ground ball to short. Delgado you know about. Delgado you know probably had a homer taken away by this bedbug Willie Harris. Maybe it was just a long double, but it was probably four bases and a tie score. Instead, we registered three runs and three outs when four and two were the respective minimum and maximum permissible in today’s ninth.

Imagine the Braves blowing a 7-3 lead like that. Imagine a 7-7 tie and all the momentum shifting our way. Imagine actually taking a series from these bastards.

You’d better not. You’ll become violent.

Don’t imagine anything. Instead, realize the reality of the situation. Three-and-a-half-game lead and all, the key numbers are these: six games left against Atlanta and 42 against everybody else. The Mets are advised to kick the ever-lovin’ spit out of everybody else in those other 42 in order to secure their second consecutive Eastern Division title and another shot at the belt because I have no confidence, none, that they’ll handle the Braves in the other six. Not after four series comprised of one win and two losses every time. I thought we buried this bullshit last year. Apparently we have not.

24 comments to Forget Harris

  • Anonymous

    I hate to say I told y'all so…
    …but I did. Don't ever, ever, ever think the Braves are in the past. They live to torment us. Thumbing your nose at them because we outdid them one year only served to wake them up. Never wake up the Braves. Bad things happen. Willie Harris happens. Jeff Francoeur (capital) HAPPENS. Chipper still happens.
    Stay ever-vigilant.

  • Anonymous

    One three-game series. Can they win ONE stinkin' three-game series from the Braves this year?
    If not, how can they believe they deserve a playoff berth?
    I tell you, guys, for all of Tuesday's game, most of Wednesday's game, and half of today's game, my Faith and Fear black and white cookie had way more chocolate frosting (fear) on it than vanilla (faith). I don't mind having both, but, for goodness' sake, a little more balance, please…

  • Anonymous

    That's a good team with a fearsome line up and not to be taken lightly by any means.
    But this is one loss in August. The Mets are in first.
    The Mets made a statement last August and swept the Cardinals when they came to town, a series which included a comeback on a level with what we saw May 17. Last I heard the Cardinals got over it.
    Fuck the division, fuck statements in August, fuck style points.
    Make the post season by whatever means and then take care of business.

  • Anonymous

    We all knew… We just thought maybe we could fool the Braves with our bravado into thinking they were finished. Well, experimented concluded.
    Like Laurie says (and Mad-Eye Moody): CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

  • Anonymous

    Good points all. But the way the N.L. is going, there's no guarantee the Wild Card will be there as a fallback. So, in the spirit of my saying it meaning they will do it, let's kick the second-division asses that will be coming at us over the next nine games and the first-division asses that will follow them in the nine after those before the next Teddible trip down south. Let's kick their asses, too, if for nothing more than self-reassurance.
    I'm not worried about statements per se because I've seen the Braves not play like the Braves play against us (to say nothing of seeing the Cardinals last October). I'm not at all concerned with style points. I'm concerned with wins and losses. Wins for us, losses for those who would deprive us of a playoff berth. We could have had one of each today and we didn't. We could have had at least three more of each in the three previous series against these (said respectfully) chumps and we haven't.
    Wins and losses. That's our statement. That's our style.

  • Anonymous

    That is, I think, the right attitude. But with regards to the Cardinals and last year…clearly something was out of whack in the baseball world. I mean, we had no trouble with Atlanta and the blatantly mediocre Cardinals somehow couldn't lose.
    Things seemed to have returned more to the realm of normal, this year.
    (And the new normal involves us winning the division, as far as I'm concerned.)

  • Anonymous

    However, I reserve the right to live and die on a game-to-game basis. As a Mets fan, if I didn't blow the importance of certain games, particularly Mets-Braves games, out of proportion, I would feel somehow remiss, as if I had failed to live my baseball life to its fullest potential.
    Even if it seems amusingly neurotic or ironically chilling in retrospect.

  • Anonymous

    Here's a question. Would we rather the Mets use every ounce of Super Sauce they have left for beating the Braves five out of the next six, and screw the other 42 games? Because that's what the Braves are planning on doing with us, y'know. If planning can be said to be unconscious, that is.

  • Anonymous

    Who gives a flying fuck about beating the Braves?
    Wins are wins. The only goal of the regular season is to accumulate enough of them to reach the postseason, regardless of the opponent.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to playing the Braves, we know that Willie R and the Mets are chokemasters. They cannot beat Atlanta, period.
    Better hope for some Atlanta collapse against other teams, because they will always beat the Mets.
    Prediction: Mets come in third, 1 game behind Philly and 5 games behind Atlanta.
    And I am a Mets fan. I am just sick and tired of their losing to Atlanta.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not so sure I agree. Obviously, everyone wants to win every game, but is the post-season really the only goal behind that desire?
    I mean, if that were true, why bother with this 162-game foreplay? Surely we could get to the good stuff a little sooner, no? Likewise, if all we value is the post-season, there are a dozen or more teams right now who might as well forfeit the rest of their games because realistically they have no shot at that lofty goal. Are they just sticking it out so we have someone to beat in order to accumulate our necessary wins?
    No, the goal of the regular season for me is too see the Mets play good baseball. Lots of it. Making the post-season means a gaurantee of more (and more exciting) good baseball. And that's unquestionably awesome.
    And, of course, given a choice between beating the Braves and making the playoffs, I'm not exactly torn. We can never get enough post-season baseball in Flushing.
    But, if they suddenly decided to cancel the playoffs, for some idiotic reason, I'd be pissed, but I would still watch every game and Wins and Losses would still matter to me. As would the opponents.

  • Anonymous

    To clarify, beating a bitter rival is an essential part of good baseball in my mind.
    That is, I definitely take more satisfaction in beating, and, experience more pain in being beaten by, say, the Braves or the Yankees, regardless of the standings. If we played the Nationals 162 times a year, W's and L's would not carry the same weight.

  • Anonymous

    See, the thing is, we never properly BEAT the Braves. Sure, last year we were awesome and they sucked, but that was kind of a given from the first month. There was no appropriate drama to our ascent. They just abdicated the throne and we took power.
    But you don't beat Dracula by hoping he moves out of the castle. So what I think this is — this return to old-school they've-got-our-number Chipper-Jones-must-die TV-punching hatred — is our first real chance. We're good this year, and the Braves are good too. We've got a real pennant race, just like the old days, only better because we're winning.
    Meanwhile they're kicking our asses every time we meet. But this series — horrible, regrettable nightmare that it was — felt different, didn't it? There was life in us. Sort of. I think. The last two, at least, were truly terrific baseball games.
    I'm just really looking forward to taking on this team I once again dread with a playoff berth on the line. I just want us to demolish the hopes and the hubris of this club that's clearly relishing the insurgent's role. They wear the underdog's clothes with such off-handed, mugging irony… they think they'll be back in charge in no time, so they'll play the adorable David to our lumbering Goliath until then. They're feeling big, and when we let the air out of their sails (which I am irrationally convinced we will do) they're going to come crashing down hard.
    I want blood. I want the blood we were deprived of last year. The Braves aren't done with us, and I'm glad — we're not done with those assholes yet either.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.
    A different, very good take from Ian O'Connor, with comments from Willie Randolph, is here.

  • Anonymous

    To clarify, or perhaps to reframe, I'm not suggesting we've been losing two of three to the Braves per series because of something that happened in 1998 (though I'm not shy about invoking the past for effect). I'm suggesting we're not doing a very good job of finishing them, our closest and most persistent pursuers, off in any given situation this season. If we were having this kind of season series against another divisional rival, I'd be every bit as concerned. I'm concerned enough with the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals as it is. I'm concerned about everybody. I don't lick my chops (and have you ever actually seen anybody lick his or her chops?) over any opponent.
    The fucking thing about it being the Braves is so many of those games have been close and so many of them have gone the wrong way. OK, the 1998ness and the failure of Chipper Jones to turn into a pillar of salt may color my view a little, but this isn't jinx/hex talk. This is 4-8 after 12 games.

  • Anonymous

    Here's a piece of brilliance I've posted in various places on the internet:

    Actually, after the last 2 games, I'd be worried if I'm a Braves fan.
    You cannot feel good about your bullpen if you are. It took some unbelievable luck for the Braves to take today's game.
    Hell, they had 4 incredibly lucky plays in the 5th alone — Teixiera's diving stop of Castillo's ball, Johnson's play on Wright's for the 2nd out, Teixiera (again!) on a ball nearly thrown away by Escobar and Green not pulling a Mookie.
    Then there was the fact that it took a miracle, Endy-style catch in the 9th to keep the Mets from tying the game.
    No. I feel better about the Mets than I have in weeks.
    The Braves are in trouble.

  • Anonymous

    I call “bullshit!”

  • Anonymous

    I'm guessing it's safe to say that your earlier stated all-consuming sense of dread resulting from the Braves' signing of Julio Franco has diminished at least somewhat, no?

  • Anonymous

    Of course there is considerable beauty, well described over and over by our hosts in this space, in the rhythms and routines of the 162 game marathon. What I've said about the critical nature of making the post season could easily be construed as analgous to the cry of the empty-headed minions of the Satanic organization that plays on the other side of the Triboro (it includes the words “rings” and “baby”).
    This is an older, high payroll team built to win now. Coming off of last year I would derive no 1995 vintage satisfaction from beating Atlanta or even playing them tough.
    I'm over the Braves.
    Just win, get in, and then take care business from there.

  • Anonymous

    We came within one lucky, broken-bat blooper of getting swept. This would have sucked if it were the Reds or Rockies. It's especially painful when it's the team breathing down your neck. So what if they've manhandled us for 15 years? I'm worried about today, with our suddenly inconsistent starters and not-exactly-clutch lineup.

  • Anonymous

    Here, here on both accounts.
    To sort of mix the two, I think we have to start thinking like Atlanta used to, about us, that is. You know, even when we beat 'em good in August, as we occasionally did, they were just like, “eh…we're just setting you guys up so we can crush you later.” And then they stopped thinking about us until we made another ill-fated charge into Turner Field.
    Our team is flawed, no question, but so were many of those championship Atlanta teams. So, now we've got a real race on our hands, but we're on top and we have been for a while. Let's act like it.
    And let's let those Braves-bloggers (ha, as if they exist) make the bold predictions and then go through the agony we were once used to.

  • Anonymous

    No arguments here on that account.
    From now on, the Braves are just here to keep us honest. And provide a little side-plot drama on our quest to the Division Title (and beyond!) Any exorcism we achieve is a bonus.

  • Anonymous

    Why did they bother? They didn't waste too much time in dropping him again.

  • Anonymous

    yeah…they're in trouble because they made some great plays? makes sense to me