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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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This Date in Mets Alternate History

A while back, I found myself musing about a time machine, one that would let this Met fan engineer a place in the Holy Books for Terrell Hansen and Billy Cotton. Inevitably, this got me thinking of other, more substantial ways the Mets might have been nudged into a better course of action.

Specifically, I got to thinking of things that should have been said in some front-office meeting or at a quiet moment in the manager's office, the clubhouse or the dugout. Because contrary to my original post, a time machine wouldn't be enough to lift Jose Reyes's drive in Game 7 of the NLCS over Jim Edmonds' glove. (Throw in a guywire and an invisibility potion and perhaps you've got something.) But maybe, just maybe, someone claiming to be from the future and explaining the doom that lay ahead might get a GM or manager or player to reconsider, and create a better future.

If you've read us for a while, you won't be surprised to find out even imagining time travel comes with some arbitrary, fussed-over restrictions. Therefore, the ground rules:

1. No trying to escape physical accidents and ill luck. You can't tell Kong and Straw not to break their thumbs, urge Cleon to play in against Qualls, or send in Dotel instead of Kenny Rogers.

2. Some bad fortune led to better fortune, so this power must be used sparingly. We needed to trade Kazmir to reach a moment of dramatic clarity, and I'd rather have Oliver than Duaner.

3. Some things just were never gonna work. Nolan Ryan, for example.

So, here we go. Funny and not, big and small, bitter and wistful. Clip and save in case a time machine ever does materialize in your garage. Because you never know when those things will go on the fritz.

“Chilcott looks good and all, but I really like this kid Jackson's bat.”

“Gil, don't take this the wrong way, but we want you to go see the cardiologist. He'll check you out, maybe ask you for some changes in your life. It may be tough, but please do it — you're vital to the New York Mets, and we want you around for a long, long time.”

“Shouldn't Whitey get a chance as GM? He could hold a grudge and come back to haunt us.”

'Get in there, Cotton!”

“I really think Stone should get a start in the series.”

“Tug? He's still got plenty in the tank. And he's the soul of this franchise. Let's table this one.”

“That's bullshit. Cleon deserves better. Anyone deserves better.”

“Let's add a little something to Vail's contract. No basketball. Oh, call him to make sure he abides by that.”

“We're sending a free agent a telegraph? Isn't this kind of a new world? Maybe we should pick up the phone.”

“Mickey Lolich? But he makes Rusty look thin!”

“Whoever's been calling Dick Young needs to stop right now. Tom Seaver is this franchise. Period. You don't understand that, clean out your desk.”

“No, M. Donald, you are not the face of the Mets. In fact, you're not the face of anything any more. Take a hike.”

“I'm not sure Hebner's gonna like it here. And isn't he kind of a dick?”

“A MULE? Let's not.”

“I think we might have something with this Reardon kid, actually.”

“Maybe we ought to protect Seaver from the draft. He could be valuable with these young arms we've got coming up.”

“I know Doc and Darryl have had some issues, but I'm not sure Mitch is the problem. He can really hit.”

“I know he's like No. 9 on the depth chart, but tell that kid Cone to get his pinkies back when bunting. Because you never know.”

“Ojeda, we hired a guy to help you with the gardening. At least through October.”

“I don't care how well you get along with Klapisch, we're reviewing what that column's gonna say first.”

“Yeah, the guys are a little out of control. But it's not like they're throwing explosives at children. And they win.”

“But what if Juan Samuel is washed up and hates New York?”

“Torve! Get back here! That's the wrong uniform number.”

“Do we really want to start Julio Valera in this game?”

“Vince Coleman? Isn't he kind of a dick?”

“Jeez, maybe we should stop asking infielders to play center.”

“You know what, Bobby? On second thought, the New York media probably will be able to wipe the smile from your face.”

“Get in there, Hansen!”

“I don't care if it was on the original uniform design — that tail looks fricking stupid.”

“I don't care what marketing wants — these white hats look fricking stupid.”

“Avery just crippled Vizcaino, Bobby. I expect you to fuckin' hit him right in the fuckin' knee.”

“Mel Rojas? But he sucks!”

“Jason Bay? We're sure he doesn't have a higher ceiling than that?”

“I don't care what the commissioner's office says — these Mercury Mets uniforms look fricking stupid.”

“Is renting Mike Bordick really worth giving up Mora?”

“When I tell you to run, Timo, you fucking run. Don't look at the ball. Don't clap your hands. You fucking run.

“If that douchetard so much as looks at you funny, Mike, you go out there and beat his ass.”

“Robbie Alomar? Isn't he kind of a dick?”

“Rey Sanchez? Isn't he kind of a dick?”

“I know you think it's just pot, Bobby, but let's take this press conference seriously. Because we already look like idiots.”

“Wait, didn't A-Rod grow up as a Met fan? Is the 24+1 thing really fair?”

“You wanna chase skirts, Skill Set? You can do it on somebody else's dime.”

“Pratt doesn't look finished to me, actually.”

“Yes, I do think Olerud's worth some extra dough.”

“I dunno, Fred. He didn't light up the room for me.”

“You know, Kaz, maybe New York's not the right place for you.”

“Maybe we should stop picking on Reyes and just let the kid play shortstop.”

“Is it really Lima Time?”

“Tell Pedro to be careful — it's slippery back there.”

“Let's emphasize one thing to the fellas — Spiezio can't hit a changeup with an oar, no matter how many times he sees one.”

“Remind Beltran to look for the hook.”

8 comments to This Date in Mets Alternate History

  • Anonymous

    A chuckle for the morning. I like.

  • Anonymous

    And if we could somehow go back to Harry Frazee's office in 1920 and talk him out of trading away that chunky pitcher named Ruth, then maybe that twenty-six story casino with the Vertical Swastika in neon lights on top wouldn't be looming over the Major Deegan like it is right now.
    You mean it's not?
    Great Scott!

  • Anonymous

    Please take a moment or two to step up for Mr. Met: voting closes soon.

  • Anonymous

    On the other hand…
    “Houston, sure. But New York already has a team. They don't need two.”
    “A lottery? What a waste of time. Even if we win it's gonna cost us like 50 grand to sign him. The whole process is undignified. Pass.”
    “There must be a reason Herzog wouldn't want to keep him. Let's not get involved with a player like that.”
    “No way we're giving up both Goetz and Yarnall in the same deal, not after our other young pitchers went down with injuries. Besides, we have our own All-Star catcher coming back in two months.”
    “Why would anybody want to read what we have to say when Wally Matthews and his ilk are doing such a fine job? We're just fans. He's a pro!”
    Moral: It could always be worse.

  • Anonymous

    “Hm, I don't know, what if it really was the steroids?”
    “Didn't we just let a relief pitcher go to Baltimore because three years was too long?”

  • Anonymous

    “C'mon Cliffy, you're dreamin'. Why on God's green earth would he want you to bunt now? Get up there and hit the snot out of the ball!”
    “Yeah, I know it's just Yadier F-in Molina but just keep the ball down a little, ok, Aaron?”

  • Anonymous

    “I'm not so sure Kenny Rogers should pitch in this series…”
    “I'm not sure Kenny Rogers should pitch another inning.”
    “I'm not sure Kenny Rogers should pitch to Andruw Jones.”

  • Anonymous

    “Let's send a car for Glavine. It's, like, two minutes away.”