In a way, this starts with Willie Randolph as long as he’s still managing our team. Willie Randolph commenced on the New York Mets adventure of a lifetime in the middle of February three years ago, as did Jason and I.
Watching Randolph’s Welcome Back press conference Friday, I felt an unusual kinship with Willie. Skip said something about starting his fourth season here. Has it really been that long? I know that it has, I know that he kicked off his first Spring Training in 2005 and I know that it is now Spring Training 2008, so it all adds up. But gosh, is this really his fourth year on the job, the fourth year of the Willie Randolph Era?
More to the point, are we really beginning the fourth year of Faith and Fear in Flushing? Given that our first day of posting was Willie’s first day of helming, February 16, 2005, I suppose we are.
Happy third anniversary, FAFIF family. I don’t know Willie except from TV but I’ve gotten to know many of you and can say that it is the friendships I have gained and had enhanced because of this blog that tastes — à la the mythical Champagne our manager suggested he and his players would sip last September — sweetest of all. Hence, our glass is raised to you who read us and you who write us and you who meet us at the game and you who wear our shirt  in your travels and you who tell two people so they tell two people…and you who prefer Yoo-hoo to Champagne for that matter. Here’s to you who have been with us to now and you who will be with us again.
If blogging at its best represents community, I suppose Faith and Fear, when the Mets were at their worst, was our communal crying, cursing, growling and gnashing towel. Hard to glance back at our third year without taking into account September 2007 (the subject that just happened to dominate Willie’s presser) and how we all died inside a little, maybe a lot. But as one whose self-appointed task it was to chronicle that which killed us as it was in the process of doing us in, I believe we came out of it stronger because we came out of it together. I’d rather die inside with all of you than die inside alone…if those are indeed my only Met options.
Maybe they won’t be in Willie Randolph’s and our fourth year. The Mets — we hope — will do what they can to right recent wrongs, while we continue to vigilantly keep company, share common ground and root that our rooting grants us the victory we celebrate so gleefully in this space that all the confetti Lower Broadway can bear will have nothing on the blizzard of words we will be not dreading, but dying to write. Can’t say for certain what the Mets will do next, but I can assert with assurance that however our team plays on the field or in my mind, I will be extremely happy to come home to Faith and Fear in Flushing and live it to the hilt alongside my partner and among every one of you.