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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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Who Are You and What Have You Done With the 2008 Mets?

Hustle. Enthusiasm. Clutch hitting. Add-on runs. Big moments. Smart plays. Range at second base.

It was all there tonight — all those things that went from our delight in 2006 to our supposed birthright in 2007 to our casus belli in 2008. Whether it was Reyes keeping the horse of a Marlin rally from escaping the barn with a quick throw to Wright at third, or Castillo laying in the dirt on a shot up the middle, or the modern-day Bomb Squad of Easley, Tatis and Castro going 5 for 9, the Mets looked as advertised tonight.

Now let's see it for two nights in a row.

This isn't a Just When I Thought I Was Out moment — there's been too much anger, too many false starts and we're too many games back in the NL East for that. Where my partner has achieved the Zen of Shea Surrender, I'm still mired in alternating anger and despair about what will, barring some unlikely resurrection, go down as the most disappointing season I can remember as a Met fan.

Seriously. There have been Met teams that I knew would be bad or mediocre, and only a fantasist could have been mad at them — your Torborg and Howe teams fit the bill. There have been Met teams that succumbed to tragedy but still left happy memories for a lifetime — the '85, '99 and '06 teams will always be riding down my personal Canyon of Heroes, whatever the record books say. There have been Met teams I disliked anyway, and whose failures left little lasting harm — such as the ones constructed around the flawed centerpiece of Gregg Jefferies. But a team of players I loved two years ago (and so was grudgingly prepared to forgive for '07) playing way, way below their abilities? That's a new one on me, one that leaves me scrabbling around in the dark woods without a map.

Beating the Marlins for one night won't change that or solve anything. But it did offer Baseball Without Rage, and for the next 18 hours or so that'll do.

Johan Santana still looks mortal? Nick Evans looks overmatched? When you're a good team, you pick those nits. The Mets aren't that yet, not by any means, but at least for one night they're winners.

4 comments to Who Are You and What Have You Done With the 2008 Mets?

  • Anonymous

    I've thought of a new word to describe the 2008 New York Mets to this point; “sophomoric”, from the Greek sophos meaning 'wise', and moros meaning 'fool'. These Mets sure are a bunch of wise fools, in the way they play and the way they act. We can all thank my 12th grade English teacher for that gem.

  • Anonymous

    What a difference tonight's game will make. If the Mets win tonight (and that's a big 'IF'), you will hear something like this from the fans and media:
    “..this could be the start of the turnaround…they are only 4 1/2 games out of first place…etc.etc.”
    However, a Met loss tonight will bring remarks such as:
    “…it's over… 6 1/2 out is too far back for this sophmoric team…etc.etc.”
    So it all comes down to tonight's game…
    Also, I liked the the way most of the supersubs played last nignt – maybe they are just hungrier than some of the starters who have those bloated salaries.

  • Anonymous

    i honestly don't feel it's a lack of hustle. if anything, it's that guys have been (are/will continue to be) pressing, that they feel the urgency and try to do more than they should. was it darling who mentioned wright has taken some swings as if he could hit an eight-win homerun?
    i'm not giving up on '08. the season doesn't rest on one game, at least not in may (sept. 30? that's another issue). but sure, it's time to take the rubber game of this series. then maybe they could do well against the dodgers. get some traction, remember what it is to win consistently. it's been a while, after all.
    pedro's going to start on tuesday? sure hope they're not rushing him up out of panic. oh, who am i kidding? of course they are. so i sure hope he doesn't hurt himself. again.

  • Anonymous

    I find, that once you accept that this team isn't the team that it is on paper, things are easier. This isn't the team that with the addition of Johan Santana is going to win 162 games and the World Series in 2006, 2007 and 2008.(And why does it seem like some fans still look at this team like they have to win all three to be considered good?)
    No one knows where this team will go. They aren't the 'class of the NL', destined for the post season. They aren't in rebuilding, cut everyone and hope we can get someone good next year either. We have plenty of baseball left to play, and this team hasn't defined itself yet.
    I loved 2006 too, and it's time to treat this season like we treated 2006 at this point. But more importantly, the Mets need to treat this season like that one, in the sense that Carlos Beltran can't approach each at-bat like if he succeeds it'll get him that hit in game 7 of the NLCS. Stop letting the past color the present, and move forward.
    I don't need to hear the Mets are XX-XX over the last 162, all I want to hear is the Mets are going to go 70-40 over the next 110 or something.