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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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Bless You Rays!

Where are my manners? I've been so caught up in my own post-September 28 sorrow and self-pity that I've completely forgotten to thank the Tampa Bay Rays for ensuring that this October sucks just a tiny bit less than last October and every October in these parts since 1995. That tiny bit, however, cannot be understated, for that tiny bit is huge if you are a Mets fan living in the New York Metropolitan area and all you want, if you can't have your own team playing, is for your neighbor's team to be not playing.

THANK YOU TAMPA BAY RAYS!

Thank you for making the tenth month a less dark place. Thank you for all you've done to beautify the New York sports landscape. You are the cleansing rain that washed the trash off the fetid sidewalks.

I'd been waiting more than a decade for a savior to rise from those American League East streets, for someone to pair with the Boston Red Sox and create a playoff-proof barrier against chronic disgust. I always thought it would be the Blue Jays. Shows you what I knew.

It is the Rays, the Rays, the beautiful Rays. That much I do know, and that much I am thankful for.

Three of the National League teams competing in this postseason had a very recent and direct hand in ensuring my team's lack of participation (though my team pretty much did itself in). I can't root for any of them free and clear, as if I'd really want to. The fourth team will be vastly overhonored in my team's new park no matter what they do this October; the Dodgers require no further decoration. In the American League, there are three teams who have all slain their ghosts during this decade, sympathetic sorts I've always thought, but they don't too badly need my sympathies at the moment. That leaves the Rays, the Rays, the beautiful Tampa Bay Rays, the beautiful Tampa Bay Rays who, by winning the American League East, claimed what had always been, since divisional realignment, a legacy spot presumed to belong to somebody else. Those somebody elses don't have it anymore, and ain't October in these parts that much more slightly tolerable because of it?

That's the Rays' handiwork. The Red Sox', too, but that no longer seems remarkable. The Rays do. The Rays are. The Rays calmly cast aside the doubters in 2008 just as the Mets did in 1969. The Rays stood firm, just as the Mets did not in 2008. There is nobody left to root for in a way that uplifts us all besides the Rays, the Rays, the beautiful Rays of old Tampa Bay.

Go Rays!

19 comments to Bless You Rays!

  • Anonymous

    And cheers to Cornelius Clifford Floyd, who just might get another ring with an underrated Florida team. (Although let's hope he plays a more active role than his '97 benchwarming.)

  • Anonymous

    And let's hope the Rays don't revert a decade later to obnoxious twits who live only to torment the Mets on the final Sunday of every season.

  • Anonymous

    On the topic of the Rays, did I ever tell you about my son's reasoning that Joe Girardi is The Devil? The Rays dropped “Devil” this year, and they also dropped Girardi. Boom! They win the division? And the MFYs get Girardi, and don't make the postseason.
    By the kid's flawless logic, that makes Joe Girardi the Devil.

  • Anonymous

    I'll buy that…even if it was the Marlins who were the ones to drop Girardi (we've already established, via the Cliff Floyd connection, that the Marlins are the Rays' evil twin).

  • Anonymous

    Marlins…Devil Rays….It's all Florida.

  • Anonymous

    Just imagine how hard you'd be rooting for them if you'd been in Vegas in January and put money on them to win the World Series. They were a 150-1 shot.
    GO RAYS! GO! GO! GO! GO!

  • Anonymous

    What the hell did I do with that time machine?

  • Anonymous

    The WS will be Dodgers – Red Sox. Cubs are out. Curse of Merkle's boner. Phis are out cause they're from Philly. Rays are out cause their fans don't show. ChiSox are out but I can't think of a reason. OK – a Sox – Sox ALCS will create a Giant black hole that only the BoSox can pass through..

  • Anonymous

    Not to change the subject..
    Remember all those cubbie fans at Shea the last week of the season?..You know those people that acted as if all teams before them would tremble and fall at the feet of there cubbie mojo?
    Yes indeed “it's gonna happen”, but perhaps not this year!
    Rich..

  • Anonymous

    Can't say they helped us any on the last day of the season either, playing their B squad. But Guzman did go toe-to-toe with C.C. for a while.

  • Anonymous

    All the short-rest apparently caught up to CC yesterday, didn't it? Only 4 too late…

  • Anonymous

    I'm with you on the Red Sox, but unfortunately I don't see any possible way the Phillies wont win the pennant. Let's face it: the Brewers are not coming back. The Phillies will be in the NLCS. Their opponent?
    a) A Cub team coming off a miracle comeback. Also a Cub franchise that can't get to the World Series.
    b) A white-hot Dodger team coming off a huge upset. Also a Dodger team that has Don Mattingly on the bench.
    Hey, I'm all for the Dodgers, just to see Yankee fans squirm. Manny carries them. Torre leads them. And Mattingly finally get his ring–in a different uniform. I just don't think it will happen.
    Strictly as a baseball fan–strictly–I like the National League clubs because it means we'll have another team to win NL Title for the first time this decade. Hell, the first time in at least 15 years. Outside of the Cards in 04 and 06, we've had different champs every year so far. That's good for baseball. The odds of the AL remaining a struggle between elite teams is unfortunately strong, unless the Rays pull it out.
    I gotta say though, as much as I admire the Rays, I kind of want to keep the mystique of the 69 Mets to ourselves. That's not to say I'd be upset if they'd won, I just wish they'd wait at least another year. At this point if I were rooting for anyone, unfortunately, it'd be the Dodgers. If they can shut up the Cubs fans and the Phillies fans, they've earned my respect–regardless of the manager and coaching staff.
    Besides, how great would it be for Bowa to celebrate in front of Phillies fans?

  • Anonymous

    Greg,
    Tampa Bay should also thanks us for Chad Bradford, Cliff Floyd, Scott Kazmir and Dan Wheeler

  • Anonymous

    I know where we can find a DeLorean if you've got the Flux Capacitor blueprints.

  • Anonymous

    MY GOD! Can't we be the best at anything???
    The Cubs & their fans even piss & moan better than we do!

  • Anonymous

    I went to college in Tampa and lived there for a few years after that, before moving back up to NY. I was there for the miserable beginnings of this franchise and endured the Quinton McCracken-Wilson Alvarez years. It's been a nice consolation prize to this season just having them win the AL East. Would be amazing if they go all the way. Go Rays indeed!

  • Anonymous

    “Hey, I'm all for the Dodgers, just to see Yankee fans squirm.”
    That's my sentiment as well. Since 1988, I couldn't root for the Dodgers no matter what. But knowing that Yankee fans will be annoyed because Saint Joe is managing them make up for it a little. And seeing the Red Sox win another one to piss them off even more wouldn't be so bad either.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, only one of those players actually went directly to Tampa from the Mets.

    Regardless, I'm still rooting for Cliff. Go Cliff. Go Rays.

  • Anonymous

    Hey guys with LA you could have shades of 88'!