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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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We're Just Living In It

Which do you like better? Johan Santana Field? Johan Santana Stadium? Johan Park at Santana Yards? The Joho Grounds? He can name it whatever he likes. He owns it.

Let's not wait. Let's not leave it to Mets ownership to properly honor Johan Santana. He is more than National League Pitcher of the Month. He is more than National League Pitcher of the Eon. He is more than The Franchise. At this moment, he is the entire Industry and several subsidiary interests. He is Johan Santana. When you've said Johan you've said it all. His is the one arm to have even if technically you need more than one.

Do you trust the Mets to remember that? It's bad enough trusting his teammates to score for him. That's why we mustn't wait for him to play out however many contracts he'd like to sign, however many Cy Johans he'd like for his mantel, however long he'll continue to toy with the abilities of mere mortals — even those who, by their gaudy sleeve patches, refer to themselves as world champions. If Johan Santana walks this earth, how is it possible for anyone else to presume to be championing it?

Tommie Agee was the last Met inducted into the team Hall of Fame seven long years ago. At this rate, the organization will still be dithering over Darryl, Doc, Keith and, for that matter, Ron Hunt by the time Johan is inducted by acclimation into Santanatown (an upstate hamlet closely associated with James Fenimore Santana, writer of great American pitching lines). We know they'll be giving the 2020s' version of Mister Koo No. 57 the second it's no longer actively graced by the Met body of all Met bodies, so let's stop them before they forget who brought them their greatest glory from 2008 on. Let's put 57 on the wall of Sanway Park immediately and have the Son of Jor-El simply rub his cape against it before each start. And yes, of course, rename Citi Field at once. What are they/we paying the Mets for naming rights? $20 mil per annum? Oh, Johan Santana is far more valuable than that.

Johan Santana completely stifled the Phillies Wednesday night, much as he completely stifles everybody. Somehow, almost accidentally, Fernando Tatis, Carlos Delgado and Jayson Werth combined to score an entire run for him, which is all a superman with an ERA of 0.91 requires for victory. Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez dared not untidy his work from there. And that was it. Santana wins, Mets win. It was a team effort. On those glitchy occasions when there is a Met loss and Santana pitches, I cannot fathom that he is part of that team. If Alex Rodriguez signified 24 + 1, Johan Santana is 1 who happens to be kind enough to not disavow his ties to 24. Johan has started six games thus far in 2009. The Mets have won four of them. The other two shouldn't count. A team playing behind Johan Santana can't possibly lose, therefore those two games simply must not have occurred.

Chan Ho Park picked the wrong night to stop being Chan Ho Park, for Johan Santana is always Johan Santana. Just by showing up, he has home field advantage. This is, after all, his world.

You don't have to spend the next 15 days on the Disabled List like Oliver Perez to enjoy Faith and Fear in Flushing, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

13 comments to We're Just Living In It

  • Anonymous

    Santana's a stud. As for the rest, they're catching with two hands and getting their unis dirty on offense.
    The fans have been heard.

  • Anonymous

    It is a wonderful thing when you have a guy like Santana to look forward to every 5 days or so..it brings me back to the day when I was a boy looking forward to a Seaver start. It was always treated as something special..
    The season is just getting warmed up!!
    Rich P

  • Anonymous

    Johan's performance this year is more than “putting the team on his back.” It's more like he's playing tug-of-war by himself against his 24 teammates, and he's still dragging them across the line.
    More, please and thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I've often wondered what it's like to watch a master at work…
    To be peering over Segnore M. Buonarote's shoulder as he carves out a “David…”
    To be in the front row on the Gettysburgh battlefield to hear the President…
    To be in the same room while Lennon & McCartney bang out a classic in a matter of minutes…
    To watch Bobby Fischer outsmart everybody…
    I'm grateful that I'm actually getting a second chance to witness something similar (I was too young to appreciate it the first time around until it was too late and the Master had been banished to the hinterlands: I had hitherto assumed I'd be witness to such greatness forever).
    On opening day 2008, I took to calling Mr. Santana “Johan, The Magnificent.” I now fear I was giving him short shrift.

  • Anonymous

    You don't mess with the Johan.

  • Anonymous

    If you put up the Johan we've seen thus far in 2009 against 1985 Doc, who wins?
    I guess, like last night, it'd be whichever team allows an unearned run.
    (yes, I did indeed just indirectly compare 1985 Doc with last night's Chan Ho Park)

  • Anonymous

    HI Greg,
    When Don Drysdale pitched for Dr. Alex Stone's team (the late Carl Betz on the old “Donna Reed Show”) the fielder's layed down at their positions and naped. At one point, Dr. Stone got up, trotted to the mound, patted Drysdale on the back, telling “Big D” not to worry, the team was behind him all the way.
    With Johann on the mound, the same BS applies (BS standing for “Big S”).

  • Anonymous

    Another throwback to my youth – I almost never have tickets to a Johan start. The luck of my draw these days always seems to run towards the Brandon Knights and Nelson Figueroas, just as in the old days instead of Seaver I seemed to always draw Randy Tate or Mike Torrez.
    If we're gonna name the stadium after Santana, how do you propose honoring Tom? Naming the team after him would be appropriate but would make half my wardobe obsolete. How about the borough? Queens has odd connotations, monarchical and otherwise. Seaver, NY sounds so cool, I'd sell my house and move there.

  • Anonymous

    Seaver-Santana Park? Kinda messes up the basis of the post but it sounds kinda cool.
    “Hey, Johan's pitching tonight; let's hit StubHub and head out to The Seav.”

  • Anonymous

    I have a ton of Queens pride, but I'd trade it in a heartbeat to be a resident in Seaver, NY. Particularly if they also renamed Flushing “Piazzaland” (when the ball he hit off Mendoza in '99 eventually came down, I think it was on the Flushing/Bayside border, so it makes sense to rename the town).

  • Anonymous

    “Live from Piazzaland in Seaver, New York, welcome to Santana Park…”
    Works for me.

  • Anonymous

    Goin' to the big Shea-ntana.

  • Anonymous

    There's a Seaver Ave on Staten Island; my parents resisted my childhood entreaties to move there. Years later I learned that it's pretty much impossible to swipe a NYC street sign.