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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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Overheard Outside the Last Chance Cafe

“You again?”

“C'mon, let me in.”

“You're not on the list.”

“I can't get on the list unless you let me in.”

“Then you're not getting in.”

“Check it again.”

“I've checked it every day for weeks. You're not on it.”

“Take a closer look…toward the bottom.”

Sigh, all right…name again?”

“I told you: Mets. New York Mets.”

“Is that with an 'N' or an 'M'?”

“Last name Mets. M-E-…”

“No. Not here.”

“Look all the way down. I should be there. I really should.”

“Buddy, there are seven lines here on this page, your name isn't on any of them.”

“Is there a second page?”

“Why would we need a second page? This is a very exclusive establishment.”

“Could ya check? Would it really hurt to check?”

“There's never a second page.”

“Maybe there is now.”

Sigh, will you go away and leave me alone if there isn't?”

“Yes, I swear.”

“All right, but it's useless, we never have…hey!”

“What?”

“I'll be damned. There is a second page. What's your name again?”

“I told you: Mets. New York Mets.”

“You're the New York Mets?”

“Yes! I've been trying to tell you I'm on there. I'm supposed to be inside.”

“Inside? You?”

“That's right. Why do you sound so surprised?”

“No offense, pal, but you?”

“What do you mean 'you?' Are you this rude to all your clientele?”

“Well excuse me, but it's hard to think of you as someone who belongs in this club. I mean look at ya. You've obviously been through hell.”

“You're pretty judgmental for a bouncer.”

“You bounced yourself. Your second baseman dropped that pop fly, didn't he?”

“Old news. He's batting over .300 and on base almost .400.”

“That rightfielder of yours loses balls in the lights.”

“He's also got 14 RBI in 12 games for us.”

“Your first baseman's got zero power and he's batting cleanup.”

“And with him there we're talking 9 runs a game.”

“Two games!”

“Our last two games!”

“And that starting pitcher you used yesterday. He can barely get out of the first inning.”

“But he does. And then he keeps going.”

“You ain't much to look at, chief.”

“Says you.”

“Says me? Says the standings! It took me to the second page to find your name on here, and I'm not even sure why it's on here.”

“Whaddaya mean?”

“C'mon. I know you're trying to impress somebody, but 7½ back?”

“With 66 to play…”

“You're not that close.”

“I've been farther back. I could tell you some tales that would make your hair stand up.”

“I've heard it all before.”

“Mine are doozies. I was way back a couple of times and you wouldn't believe what I did.”

“I don't need to hear your whole life story. All I know is you got a whole page of Wild Card contenders in front of you.”

“Lemme see that page!”

“Hey! Mitts off the clipboard! Only I can touch the clipboard!”

“Well, you touch your clipboard and go back to that first page and tell me who's better? I mean really better?”

“They're all better than you. That's what the standings are for: to tell everybody who's better than everybody else. And I got a sheet of paper that says seven teams are ahead of you — substantially.”

“They're not so great. Not one of 'em's a worldbeater. Not one of 'em I can't take if I put my mind to it.”

“But seven of 'em?”

“That's today. What about next week?”

“What about it?”

“I got time. I'm just getting my act together. I'm gonna be big soon. You'll be sorry if you don't let me in. I've got people in there.”

“People? What people?”

“Top line on your first page. The Colorado Rockies.”

“What about 'em?”

“I've got an appointment to see 'em.”

“You? What business do you have with the Wild Card-leading Colorado Rockies?”

“Me and them, we're playing four games, starting tonight.”

“So?”

“So I put it in a good showing, I ain't 7½ back no more. I'm closer.”

“Not that much closer.”

“How do you know?”

“If you were gonna get that close, wouldn't you already be closer?”

“I got time.”

“Not that much.”

“I'm tellin' ya, I do. This one time, I was 10 back, and it was even later than it is now. Nobody thought I had a chance. And this other time, they had me buried. You gotta believe me.”

“And ya came back…”

“Damn straight I came back! Over five teams! If there'd been more in my way, I'da come back over them, too!”

“Uh-huh.”

“It's true. I did it before. I can do it again.”

“There's nothing about you these days except for two good games to tell me that's true.”

“Ah ha! You admit it!”

“Admit what?”

“That I just played two good games. I played a good one Saturday and another one Sunday.”

“It's only two good games.”

“Yeah, but it means I'm hot. I'm hot at just the right time. And I'm hot just when the guy I gotta take down is here. I can take him down.”

“Listen to you. You're pathetic. You think you're gonna take down the Rockies just 'cause you beat the Astros twice? You're still not ahead of the Astros. You're not gonna be ahead of the Rockies no matter what ya do these next four.”

“I'll be closer. That's the important thing. I just gotta get a chance in there.”

“Somebody else'll be ahead of you. Somebody else'll always be ahead of you.”

“Now, maybe, but not next week. Or the week after. I gotta start somewhere.”

“You shoulda started earlier.”

“I know. I know I made some mistakes.”

“You made some whoppers. You had plenty of chances.”

“That was before. This is now. I'm hot, I'm tellin' ya. I'm ready. I got people in there. I got the Rockies. I can take 'em, but ya got let me in.”

“I don't know…”

“C'mon pal, one more shot. One more chance. That's all I ask. Let me in there. Let me in and I get on that first page on your clipboard. I can make my move. I can feel it.”

“I could get in trouble…”

“No trouble. Nothin' wrong here. I'm supposed to be in there, I swear it. C'mon buddy, give a guy a break. Just unhook that velvet rope for me. Lemme get in there so I can play the Rockies like it matters. Lemme in and there and maybe I can make it matter. I'm not ready to turn around and call it a year. I'm just not.”

Sigh. All right, pal, I'll let ya in. I like your persistence, and that stuff about being buried before and coming back.”

“Thanks pal! Thanks!”

“But this is your last chance, you got me? You and the Rockies, for four. But I'm warning you, you better not blow these the way you blew whatever chance you had before.”

“I won't! I won't! You won't be sorry you let me in.”

“No, I'm almost positive I will. But I'm a sucker for a happy ending.”

Endings, happy and otherwise, fill the pages of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

16 comments to Overheard Outside the Last Chance Cafe

  • Anonymous

    Well played Greg :)

  • Anonymous

    I'll be sneaking through those ropes myself tonight.
    Anybody else?

  • Anonymous

    Eh, that bouncer's a pushover and a poor judge of character. He let the Phillies sneak in twice right before last call, and each time the Mets exited through the plate glass window.

  • Anonymous

    Of all the two-game winning streaks this team has had in July (three) this one has been comprised of the best ingredients. They made the plays, got big outs, tacked on runs, executed properly etc
    I think all teams, even lousy ones, will have a 9 of 12 kinda hot streak at some point and this one hasn't really had one of those yet. If they can do so as to time it for the Reyes/Delgado return… who knows?

  • Anonymous

    BRILLIANT

  • Anonymous

    This series reeks of, “only 6 games out, we still feel like we're in the division race–and Victor Zambrano and Kris Benson will be great additions to this ballclub to help us along the way.”
    At least this series comes right before the deadline, instead of right after.

  • Anonymous

    If the Mets can go 3-2 the rest of the way in July, they will be around 6 games out of the wildcard. Then if they go 20-11 in August, the Mets record will be something like 69-64. If Colorado plays .500 ball between now and the end of August, they will be around 9 games over .500 at the end of August. Which means…
    going into the last month of the season, the Mets would be 2 games out of the wildcard. With a whole month to play. With all of their starters coming back.
    Suddenly, it doesn't look so bad.

  • Anonymous

    An Omar presser is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon.
    I have a feeling Tony B. is gonna have a shoe print on his butt afterwards.
    Or it could be a trade, but I'm not hopeful.
    Hey! Maybe it's both? RAPTURE!

  • Anonymous

    I'm partyin' at the Citi tonight, yo!

  • Anonymous

    Well, that's assuming the Giants, Cardinals, Astros, Braves, Marlins and Brewers all play as bad or worse than Colorado and the Mets have a better record than all these teams. Colorado could lose 10 in a row, and it won't matter if any of those other teams play decent.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I'm feeling good about this organization all over again.

  • Anonymous

    Omar missed the kick and ended up with the foot squarely in his mouth. Greg and Jason, I'm sure, can come up with a suitable Luis Castillo-bottom-of-the-9th-dropped-fly-ball metaphor for the disgrace that happened this afternoon.

  • Anonymous

    I'm never returning from Maine. It's just too embarrassing rooting for a club run by liars and fools without a certain distance.
    Everyone is welcome to join me. We get the FAN via iPhone, there are turkeys and deer in the meadow, and my mom is making steak.

  • Anonymous

    Be careful with what you report, Greg, Omar might discredit you in a press conference.

  • Anonymous

    Those sonsa bitches… they just landed their hook in my mouth.