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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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Hugging Delgado

Amid the hand slaps, fist knocks and hip bumps the victorious first place Mets exchanged with one another after the final out of this afternoon's game, there was an embrace. David Wright hugged Carlos Delgado.

David was hugging Carlos for all of us. There isn't a Mets fan I know of who doesn't owe Delgado a hug. Hindsight being what it is, the time for the hug was a couple of months ago when Delgado was dragging and taking the team, we were sure, down with him.

We're not that pure of heart. We are, bottom line, results-oriented. We are often not as smart as we think we are. We saw a washed-up ex-power hitter who couldn't or wouldn't move around first and we were ready to trade him, release him, place him in the blue and orange bin that goes by the curb.

We sure like him now.

Were we wrong to declare our frustration with Carlos Delgado when he was batting in the low .200s, when he was leaving runners on as if abiding by a Do Not Disturb sign, when he was more likely to grunt or hide than take responsibility for his bad days? No more wrong than Carlos Delgado was washed up. We're human like he's human. He had a bad stretch, we reacted. He's having a great stretch, we react differently. If Delgado knew better — that he wasn't done, that he was busting his rear to correct what was awry, that he understands baseball more than all the fans and all the media combined — then let's be glad it's manifested itself in moments like the eighth inning today, the eighth inning when he conquered J.C. Romero, when he went down the left field line with authority, when he drove in the two runs that propelled the Mets into sole possession of first place.

Delgado isn't done and neither are we. I'm very happy we're still going together.

Ollie Perez…Aaron Heilman…Billy Wagner two games in a row…Jose Reyes last night…same deal. Their earlier 2008 shortcomings were obvious and expounded upon here and elsewhere. They all stepped up, manned up, moved up into first this series. They all overcame that Pendletonian nightmare of a ninth from Tuesday night. They all forgot how the Phillies haunt us. The Phillies don't haunt them. The Phillies, for now, trail them.

Mets in first, everybody else follows. It's an ideal alignment.

And for everyone who has scoffed and scoffed some more at the presence on this roster of Robinson Cancel, tell me that guy doesn't have a touch of the Mora in him. Cancel gets a chance and delivers three times now. Three times Cancel has literally rallied the Mets to a victory. Cancel seemed as preposterous when he arrived as Fernando Tatis did. There was a time when another manager trusted has-beens and never-weres named Rick Reed and Matt Franco and Benny Agbayani and Melvin Mora to make all the difference in the world. Those guys seemed preposterous or at best mysterious before they meshed with Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo and Al Leiter and Robin Ventura and Turk Wendell and indeed made all the difference in the world.

That was my team then. My team now leans on Fernando Tatis and Robinson Cancel and Argenis Reyes and Damion Easley and Jose Reyes and Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis and Ollie Perez and John Maine and Carlos Delgado and David Wright and Carlos Beltran. Some nights they let us down. This afternoon, they lifted us up. Way up.

First place Mets. Let's hug it out.

18 comments to Hugging Delgado

  • Anonymous

    All I keep thinking about — besides being alone at the top, Ollie's dominance against those who matter in the standings ('07 Braves, '08 Phillies) and the heart (Evil Empire), and our 1B's resurgence — is how we came into this season hearing about how the Phillies were “in the Mets' head.” Well, they've played 4 series so far. And the Phillies have won the first game of the series 3 times. And we all know that all 4 series have ended with the same team on top. Something else for Mr. Rollins to think about while sitting in traffic.

  • Anonymous

    You'd think Jimmy would have picked up on a few of those reminders to take public transportation to the game.

  • Anonymous

    Got the news via Google text message at Comic-Con. About 10 feet from me were two dudes in full armor bashing away at each other with swords. (Yes really.) I was briefly a lot louder than that. People looked at me like, “What's that guy's problem?”
    First place. No problem.

  • Anonymous

    Watching video of the big hit.
    Wright's fist pump gave me happy baseball chills.
    I gotta go watch it for the ninth time now.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of Delgado, his hit had so many layers. The slide into third, the racing for third on the throw to begin with, looking frustrated at being thrown out despite delivering one of the biggest hits this season. That he took it the other way.
    It's far from over, but it feels good. How about the Phillies continuing to roll over? To win the first game of every series and not get another one is just pathetic. They've only scored one run off of Perez all season, that's maddeningly awesome. That Rollins can't even be bothered to show up on time? “Traffic” come on! (Does it matter? I think Bruntlett is doing better against the Mets than Rollins)
    The Phililes, going back to last year, have typically played flat at least a game after the Mets series, let's hope it continues.

  • Anonymous

    Continuing the layers…
    That it was off a pitcher against whom lefties were previously 5-for-68. That he took two good swings for foul balls. That he did it with two strikes, putting aside his .178 average this season with two strikes. That he — as Keith has been saying for weeks now — stayed back on the ball. And, that he once again picked an enormous spot to deliver an enormous hit.

  • Anonymous

    It's not just that the Mets took the last two crucial series from the Phillies after losing the opener in each, it's that Philadelphia won each opener in dramatic come from behind fashion and had the opportunity to bury us right then and there but didn't.
    A few weeks back it seemed like it was going to be a very, very long season. Now, with just 60 games to go, it seems to be going by too darn fast.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously! Wright's display of emotion after he scored was awesome. Esp. since we were doing similar at home while watching the game.

  • Anonymous

    I guess it's good to see good things. I'm still impacted by how angry I was after going back to that place on Tuesday. It was only the most important game of the year.
    But it's probably a good thing that life stuff took priority these past couple of days. And it's good to hear Ollie was outstanding.

  • Anonymous

    Mets have won what, eight of the last night at Shea?
    nice..
    Actually, is that 9/10?

  • Anonymous

    “Wright's fist pump gave me happy baseball chills.”
    Yes! I have the picture from our local paper after he scored hanging up in my cubicle as I type this. Hopefully as a reminder of when we took first place and kept it for the rest of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Jason, be sure to post a link to your reporting on Comic Con (or are you there as a fan?). Some of us have more than one obsession. (Though my comic jones has subsided in the past decade to subscriptions to the various Spider-Man books).

  • Anonymous

    Don't forget about that third series opener that the Phillies won: Opening Day at Shea. That loss fucking sucked too.
    Good job, and good resiliency Metsies.

  • Anonymous

    (This was my comment on Mike Steffanos' July 20th post over at his site. It's truer than ever today)
    I'm not usually superstitious, but…
    Back on July 7th, during our pilgrimage to Noo Yawk, my daughter NostraDenise got me a gift from the gift shop at Dave & Buster's. It was a baseball card/mini-plaque of Carlos Delgado.
    While this wasn't quite so inappropriate as giving a Mets fan a Yankees cap, Delgado sure wasn't the Met I'd be prompted to put up on a plaque. At the time, he was hitting .237, and we Mets fans were scrambling to find his replacement in triple-A ball.
    Being the good dad I am, though, smiles, hugs and thank yous were exchanged, and I put the plaque up in a place of honor (currently the bulletin board in my office). Since I received that plaque, Carlos has hit a robust .462, and has regained the confidence of this Mets fan.
    I'm thinking of taking the plaque down off the wall for a few days, just to see if it stops working. Not until after the Phillies series, though. I may not be superstitious, but I'm not an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Plaque stays up, por favor.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, SIR! I may just have to use an automatic screwdriver to secure it into the wall.

  • Anonymous

    Faith and Fear: Dictating your nicknacks and keepsakes since 2005.