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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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Watch Wake

At week's beginning, I questioned the efficacy of the Mets “watch parties” promoted by bars here and there. Well, I just came home from one and have to say they can be plenty of fun.

They give you something to do while the Mets aren't scoring.

The occasion was the launch of everybody's favorite book — surely it will be yours if you purchase a copyMets By The Numbers. Authors Jon Springer and Matt Silverman were there along with several members of the MBTN community who double as friends of FAFIF. A good time was had by all who weren't paying close attention to what was transpiring in Atlanta.

Which was absolutely nothing, save for the valiant, unsupported pitching of Johan Santana who must not have heard this is how we treat our aces.

Because I was deep into chicken wings and conversation, I didn't get a good look at John Smoltz, though after two decades, I think I've seen all I ever need to see of that mangy old goat. Baseball-Reference says Smoltz is a few games over .500 versus the Mets. I'm sure he's 500 games over and maybe we've won a few. It always looks worse when you're 2-3 in your bounceback season, but man did the Mets do anything today other than inspire us to order another round of Black & Tans?

The Braves aren't The Braves anymore, but they're still the Braves. I hope I've made myself clear. If I haven't, this is sort of what I mean: When the Mets go out and make a move, even a really good move, the Braves go out and match or trump it.

• In the winter of '02, as we're high-fiving over the imminent contributions of Robbie Alomar and Mo Vaughn, they get Gary Sheffield.

• Three years later, as we are ascending the ranks thanks to Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, they manage to come up with Tim Hudson.

• Last summer, moderately jubilant that we have secured the pennant drive aid of Luis Castillo, they go out and grab Mark Teixeira, who was re-signed in January for exactly one year (whereas, as my partner so accurately put it, we filled a firehose with money and blasted Luis green in the face).

This offseason, the offseason of Santana, the Braves didn't match Johan. You don't match Johan. It was all they could do to replace Andruw Jones with Mark Kotsay. But they keep reviving bleeping John Smoltz. John Smoltz won't age. John Smoltz won't fall to pieces. Every series you turn around, John Smoltz is waiting to face the Mets. This was his 69th appearance lifetime against us, his 41st start. Both are career highs. His first start was at Shea Stadium in 1988, back when Rick Astley was riding high and the Soviet Union was at least riding. He won then, he wins now. He will, nuts to the knots behind his shoulder, keep winning against the Mets at Turner Field, at Citi Field, at whatever succeeds Citi Field. The John Smoltz Memorial Classic they'll call it. Buy a brick before they're all gone.

When it comes to pitching, John Smoltz knows his onions.

On our side of the fence, the Mets clearly aren't clicking, save for Santana and Church. Let's hope they can resist the pull of their new teammates and their old karma. It's already begun to suck Schneider and Pagan into that stale and dismal vortex that seems unchanged from last September, the one that makes you forget we're only five games into 2008. Funny, I thought that's what the Black & Tans were for.

16 comments to Watch Wake

  • Anonymous

    It's early. No reason to panic. The Tigers don't even need to panic yet. But I sure hope this doesn't become an all-too-familiar pattern of leaving our ace hanging and letting the Braves walk all over us.
    It's a new season, Mets, wake up!

  • Anonymous

    I swear to Christ, John Smoltz must have a portrait of himself that's starting to look like hell tucked away somewhere in his attic …

  • Anonymous

    Man. That was '07 all over again. Did anybody else get a bad flashback during Beltran's third at bat (I think), where he never took the bat off his shoulders and then got frozen by a perfect curve at the knees? It's amazing how the new additions of Church and Santana seem like they've been uninfected so far.
    I agree with Jacobs that there's no reason to panic, the season's just begun. But Blech.
    And CharlieH, your comment is an example of what makes this site awesome. Metsblog has a real dearth of Wilde references.

  • Anonymous

    I once saw a comic strip with a cop standing next to a car he's just pulled over, a young, dashing guy in the drivers' seat. The cop's exclaiming, “Wow, this is a terrible picture of you!”
    The caption reads: The Driver's License of Dorian Gray.
    Pretty funny, I thought.

  • Anonymous

    I used to call the Braves the Hydra of baseball. You cut off a head, and two grow back in its place. The thing just won't die.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you…thank you…

  • Anonymous

    It's going to be a long season, isn't it? Not necessarily a bad season, just long. And annoying. Kinda like how 2007 was annoying from May through August.
    I hope I'm wrong, I really do.

  • Anonymous

    The annoyance that was last Sept leads me to not get too high or too low over April. I have lived and died with this team since 1972 and I can't, nay I REFUSE, to let them take over my life like they did last year (I'm 46).
    Having said that, I WILL be at Shea tomorrow, rooting like hell.

  • Anonymous

    I must've said it 8 times yeasterday: the Braves are gonna be abitch this year.

  • Anonymous

    What then, pray tell, makes this year different from any other year?
    They live to torment us. Pure, unadulterated evil.

  • Anonymous

    Last year and the year before, they were pretty much a non-factor. This year looks to be different.

  • Anonymous

    On a happier note, I get Johann start after all!

  • Anonymous

    A non-factor until they were beating us at the worst possible times, and we all resumed raging here after insisting they couldn't scare us anymore.
    Discount them at your peril.

  • Anonymous

    *sighhhhh…*
    Xavier Nady of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been named the National League Player of the Week for the opening week of the 2008 regular season.
    Nady paced the National League with nine RBI and his three home runs tied for the N.L. lead. The 29-year-old outfielder hit .385 (10-26), scored six runs and posted a .769 slugging percentage and a .448 on-base percentage. On Pittsburgh's Opening Day on March 31st, Nady went 4-for-7 and homered twice against the Braves in the Pirates' 12-11 victory, with his three-run blast in the 12th inning sealing it for Pittsburgh. Nady recorded three multi-hit and three multi-RBI games, and he hit safely in five of six games.

  • Anonymous

    “We” swept them at home and took 2-of-3 in Atlanta sandwiched around being swept by Philly. I'm not discounting them; just rmarking that they seem to be “back.”