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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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The Earned Confidence

Until very recently I'd been hoping that Damion Easley, 1,658 games into a career that has stopped short of the business end of October for 16 consecutive seasons, would be traded or sold or waived to a contender on August 31, that a division leader that's 20 games in front would pick him up, that he somehow would make it into the postseason because he so seems to deserve it.

I've quit thinking like that. I hope he's with the Mets through the end of 2008, because for the first time in 2008, I believe there's a chance the 2008 Mets will be the team on which Damion Easley makes the playoffs.

It wasn't supposed to be a shock to think in those terms, but after three-plus months of dishwater doldrums, I've gone from moping to hoping. Sure it's all about the airtight pitching and the timely hitting and the fundamental soundness of a club on a seven-game winning streak, a club a whisper away from first place. If I were telling myself these Mets had a chance when clearly they played as if they did not, I wouldn't have believed it. Nowadays, to sound the most familiar theme in Metdom, I believe.

I believe in Damion Easley. I believe Damion Easley, active leader in games played without a playoff appearance, has the opportunity to grasp that which slipped through his hands twice since 1992. Easley and the '95 Angels were locks to win their division before Seattle turned them into smoked salmon. Easley and the '07 Mets weren't meant to be either, we know too well. Damion went down in a heap in August and the Easleyless Mets made life hard on themselves in September.

This July, opportunity knocks and it's Easley who knows exactly how to tap on that door. For a guy who didn't play all that much last year and hasn't played consistently until lately this year, boy does he have a knack for the knock. Colorado had to have been blinking and thinking back to early '07 when Easley, left to fend off the final strike of the tenth inning, took Brian Fuentes over the left field wall at Shea. That was the Endy bunt game, but it was just as much the Easley homer game. Damion did it again in Arizona a couple of weeks later, rescuing the Mets with a ninth-inning longball. And in the first triumph of the Jerry Manuel era, wasn't it Damion Easley who homered to break a tenth-inning tie in Anaheim?

I love when it's Damion Easley lifting the team on his shoulders because it means Damion Easley will be interviewed by Kevin Burkhardt after the game and Damion always tells Kevin something interesting. Friday night, in response to a question about how the team is feeling, he answered that the team feels confident. Boilerplate, I suppose, but he added, it's “the earned confidence,” earned through the hard work of a team that had been diddling around for too long, that woke up and got busy living. He didn't say that part quite that way; he didn't have to.

We've earned the confidence to believe in our team. The Mets have earned the confidence to believe in themselves. Damion Easley has earned every big swing he gets. May they lead him to a promised land.

6 comments to The Earned Confidence

  • Anonymous

    These Mets are a joy to watch, and not simply because they're winning (although that's obvs the big draw!). They're playing sound baseball, and that is all I want to see. Win or lose, you want to see good baseball, played with heart. I see that now.
    Can't wait till 4 pm!

  • Anonymous

    Easley and the '95 Angels were locks to win their division before Seattle turned them into smoked salmon.
    Very funny.
    Nice to see a bit of mirth returning to the Mets blogosphere.
    This season's been marked by way too much gravlax.
    Or gravitas, I'm not sure which.

  • Anonymous

    Today was probably the first time all year that I sat at Shea for 3+ hours and was actually relaxed. And not just by me, but everyone seemed to feel good, and finally It's possible to watch the 7th inning of a 3-0 lead and not wonder which way the Mets are going to find to lose, because whether they finally clicked, or they just flat out ran out of ways to lose, they're not trying out ways to win.

  • Anonymous

    (1) It's a good thing Damion Easley is a great interviewee, because Kevin Burkhardt is among the world's lamest interviewers. He loves the sound of his own voice so much that he won't shut up and let someone answer a question once he's asked it — he goes on and tries to stuff an answer in the person's mouth, too. And the questions he does ask almost always amount to nothing more than “how did it feel” — when it's perfectly obvious how it felt. He makes me nostalgic for Fran Healy, for pete's sake — Fram was a doofus but at least he talked about baseball and not vapid banalities.
    (2) How ABOUT that leaping catch to end the game? By rights, David Wright should be awarded the save. At a minimum, Billy Wagner ought to treat him to a big ol' slab of prime rib at Christo's on Astoria Boulevard. (The end cut, of course.)
    (3) But then again, that was all David did today — he had no other field chances and he contributed exactly zilch at the plate. Is it my imagination or does he strike out way too much these days?
    Anyway, ninth time's the charm — with a little help from Arizona the boys could actually be in first place going into the break. Let's Go Mets!

  • Anonymous

    The word from Cleveland Clinic is that Brian Church's infirmity is related to migraine rather than concussion. He'll be back after A.S. break.

  • Anonymous

    Disagree on Burkhardt. It's a lame assignment and I think he handles it with aplomb: affable, informed, doesn't overwhelm the interview with himself.