The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Twinkle, Twinkle White-Hot Mets

Don’t know what’ll happen tonight in the stadium with the unfortunate name, but if recent form holds and the National League is getting its ass kicked, its clock cleaned and its bell rung, Clint Hurdle may think back to two nights earlier and wonder why he didn’t act on what he saw.

He saw Reyes. And he saw Beltran. And he saw Pelfrey. And he saw Delgado. And he saw Easley. Hell, he saw Castro and Evans and Tatis and Smith in addition to that humble third-chancer David Wright. The days before those guys he saw a whole slew of relievers who gave up nothing and assorted hitters and fielders who showed him something.

Clint Hurdle will wonder if he’s forfeiting, yet again, the N.L.’s home-field advantage by not having named Mets by the dozens to his temporary team. I saw stars Sunday night and Saturday afternoon and Friday night at Shea Stadium! Why didn’t I take them while I had the chance?

We know it doesn’t quite work that way, that it wasn’t all in the Rockies’ manager’s hands, that somebody voted somewhere that Miguel Tejada is a worthier shortstop than Jose Reyes, that Ryan Ludwick somehow surpasses Carlos Beltran, that anybody can pitch better as we speak than Mike Pelfrey. The rest of the Mets who just pounded the Rockies into pebbles? Let’s just keep them our little secret.

Shea’s enough of a galaxy right now. It’s the heavens — and oh my heavens, you should have seen it Sunday night, free of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller’s input. You should have seen how it sparkled and twinkled…literally. I don’t know if it’s the epidemic of smart cell phones or ever easier tiny digital cameras or the mass realization that you should take a picture, Shea will last longer, but everybody seemed to be clicking away all night. This was McGwire territory, a throwback to when every fan became a paparazzo. Big Mac would stand in and flashbulbs would go off. Big Mac would take and flashbulbs would go off. Big Mac would swing and tens of thousands of blurry prints would be ready at tens of thousands of CVSes the next day. See that? That’s McGwire’s 51st homer! No, right there! It’s kinda small and that guy’s head is kind of in the way…

I don’t think it was any individual among the Mets inspiring this kind of spontaneous memorializing, even if every one of them has contributed to a nine-game winning streak. It didn’t seem to be just for Wright, and it sure as hell wasn’t for Brad “Hippity” Hawpe. It could have been for the hell of it, as in “hey, look over here and let me take your picture.” But I think it was the impulse to capture Shea before Shea is no longer recordable and it was probably motivated not a little by the feeling saturating the old place at this moment in time. When the joint is jumping, you can’t help but be moved.

The summer of 2008, at least through July 13, has become the surprise gift of the decade. I didn’t see 9-0 coming. You can tell me how limp and gimp the Giants and Rockies are, but if it was all about lousy opponents, wouldn’t the other teams in the N.L. West be 50 games ahead of them by now? And didn’t we start this roll (it’s a roll, all right) against the Phillies?

We’re good. We’re very good. We may not be forever, not even starting Thursday, but I can’t look a gift roll in the mouth. What I got to partake in at Shea before the break, three of the six wins on the perfect homestand, was a present attached to a card signed by Jerry Manuel, Dan Warthen and 25 thoughtful players. I mightily appreciate the gesture.

I also appreciate my friend David inviting me to Sunday night’s game. With so much great pitching in the air, we had been talking early in the evening about Sandy Koufax finishing off the 1965 Fall Classic — David recently downloaded the three-hitter that defeated the Twins — and after Pelfrey left the mound to swelling cheers, I suggested eight scoreless innings was as close as we’re ever again going to come to seeing a complete game shutout.

Maybe not, David volunteered: “I’ve got Game Seven of the 1965 World Series on my iPod.”

One-hundred eighty degrees removed the wit of my host was the girl in the tube top who paraded through Mezzanine waving her Yankees cap in one hand and somehow not spilling her beer in the other (Yankees fans literally know how to hold their beer). A couple of times as the game progressed, we heard YANKEES SUCK! chants go up and they seemed more irrelevant than usual. Some dope in a Jeter jersey, I figured. We had given Bobby Murcer a moment of silence and a respectful round of applause and we were en route to as sure a win as we’re likely to see for the rest of the season. So why jeer those not here?

We jeer because of drunken girls in tube tops begging to be jeered at. That was her whole shtick. Waving the cap and telling us how her team is No. 1. “Check the standings, girlie,” I huffed to David, but it didn’t seem worth getting into a lather over. Still, you have to wonder about people who not so much go to another team’s ballpark when their own team isn’t playing in it (baseball’s baseball) but why they would actively elicit enmity. Like I said, I guess there’s some shtick involved.

But she, like every Rockie batter, was a pest easily brushed off our collective shoulders. The Mets won their ninth in a row. Shea Stadium was happy. That’s a picture I think I’ll keep.

6 comments to Twinkle, Twinkle White-Hot Mets

  • Anonymous

    Good thing they don't pick the all-star team based on a weeks performance prior to the game. The mets are not an all-star caliber team if they are streaky, losing games to the nationals then pounding the rockies and giants and expecting the world to stop for them. It's just not going to happen, need I bring back the memories of last year.

  • Anonymous

    Buzzkill…

  • Anonymous

    Sad news.
    Used to love the “Ask Red” column and if someone held a gun to my head and commanded “Name an official scorer!” Red's name would come immediately to mind.
    Well, him & Leonard Schechter…

  • Anonymous

    Ok seriously the Reyes thing is legitimate and probably the fact that Johan Santana isn't on team while being in the top 5 or 10 in huge categories like strikeouts, ERA and WHIP are big time snubs. But the other players, such as Beltran and Delgado and the like, have been doing well this week and though their overall number may be close to others chosen, they don't really deserve it. I believe it is Mets fans own fault that players from their favorite team didn't get voted in over say, Kosuke Fukudome and others. Shame on us.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, that was the one good thing about having Sunday's game on ESPN. Every time Reyes came up to bat, Morgan and Miller just couldn't stop talking about how crazy it was that he's not playing in the All Star Game. They were totally incredulous. Personally, I'm disappointed, too. Especially since he's been so awesome since early May.
    I think the problem this year was that the team made a big push for fans to vote for Ryan Church early on. Then, Church got seriously hurt. Then, we got swept by Atlanta. Then, we got swept by the Padres. Then, Willie got fired at 3:00 AM, and meanwhile, things were pretty mediocre on the field. Tough to get fans to cast 25 Internet ballots each with all of that drama going on.
    But seriously, Steve up there, why you got to pee in everyone's cornflakes, man? Nine is a strong streak, no matter who it's against. And our streak started with three wins against the Phillies. And, we won those nine with a constantly revolving cast of corner outfielders and second basemen and a couple of platooned catchers.
    I know we're not going to win the next 80 or anything, but it really seems like Manuel's management style is working to make these guys finally come together a bit. They're competing against each other for spots in the rotation, they're playing hard when they get the chance, and they're all contributing. Oh, and our pitching staff is excellent. They're looking good, man.

  • Anonymous

    HI Greg,
    And if you saw that game seven, you would have seen Jim Gilliam's unbelievable grab of a scorching grounder down third which saved Sandy's shutout. .Junior was the John Franco of his time – having been released by LA after the '64 season and becoming a Dodger coach only to be re-signed after injuries left LA with nobody else who could play third. BTW – with his return, Los Angeles fielded the first all switch-hitting infield in major league history.