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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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The Bare Locker

The Academy would like to pause for a moment to remember those Mets who have left us in the past year…

Casey Fossum, 2009
Who says the Mets don’t honor their heritage? Tuesday night they went to St. Louis, where they played their first National League game just over 47 years ago, and paid homage to the 1962 Mets by dropping a game below .500 and appearing en route to 40-120. […] A feller named Casey was right in the middle of it…looking approximately 71 years old.
—April 22, 2009

Emil Brown, 2009
When you think back over the first third of this season and the way Mets have regularly fallen down in the outfield, stepped gingerly around third base and not slid into home, the only surprising part of Luis Castillo going this-a-way and Emil Brown going that-a-way in their “morning, Sam…morning Ralph” homage is that something like it hadn’t happened sooner…and perhaps that Daniel Murphy wasn’t involved.
—June 7, 2009

Lance Broadway, 2009
By entering in the sixth and pitching three meaningless and not particularly effective innings, Lance Broadway became the 51st different player to play for the New York Mets in 2009. This means we’re three players away from tying the record for most Mets in one season. For that you can thank whatever voodoo takes down three different shortstops, 60% of a rotation and…well, mostly everybody.
—August 30, 2009

Brandon Knight, 2008
I saw a pitcher I’d never heard of until like a week ago throw the kind of first inning generally reserved for Hall of Famers when their teams need them most: a horrible one. But Brandon Knight, unlike he who shall not be named, pulled himself together after throwing a number of pitches (39) higher than the number on his uniform (28).
—July 27, 2008

Jon Switzer, 2009
Jon Switzer made an instantly persuasive case that he is not the answer to the search for that other lefty in the pen.
—June 12, 2009

Angel Berroa, 2009
“Fellas, forget it. You can’t shut down an Angel Berroa in clutch situations.”
—July 30, 2009

Darren O’Day, 2009
Darren O’Day looked stunned; I was not. No, I was numb, waiting with the dull, sour expectation I imagine (though this is unconfirmable) is shared by veteran skydivers when the reserve chute doesn’t open either.
—April 10, 2009

Ken Takahashi, 2009
Ken Takahashi welcom[ed] himself to the big leagues with a custom-made 1-2-6 DP (FYI, Jerry Manuel thinks his name is Takahishi).
—May 2, 2009

Cory Sullivan, 2009
For posterity: Mike Pelfrey was bad. Cory Sullivan was briefly good. Mets lost in Florida. None of this matters.
—August 27, 2009

Tony Armas, 2008
Pitched OK in winning his first start against the Cardinals, threw a scoreless inning against the Phillies, then got bombed in the 10-9 win the Mets recorded against the Phils in homage to Bob Murphy’s “They win the damn thing” call. And that was his year. U&H card, God knows why.
—November 22, 2008

Wilson Valdez, 2009
Wilson Valdez seeks a new assignment, having been designated for exactly that.
—June 22, 2009

Robinson Cancel, 2008-2009
Most of our 2008 grace notes have been delivered by the likes of Nelson Figueroa and Nick Evans and Fernando Tatis. Why shouldn’t Robinson Cancel join the parade of Mets who will never adorn the cover of the pocket schedule but can at least claim to have attached themselves to one of its squares? Or in Robinson Cancel’s case, the unscheduled half of one.
—June 16, 2008

Ramon Martinez, 2008-2009
[T]he steady veteran hand of Ramon Martinez plugged the hole and wisely, calmly threw to first for the ballgame, while callow youths Jose Coronado, Ruben Tejada and Jonathan Malo each gained valuable experience on the farm.
—May 24, 2009

Jeremy Reed, 2009
Except the first baseman is a leftfielder whose literal lack of a glove has been a running storyline for days and he’s not terribly accustomed to his surroundings. Jeremy Reed makes like it’s stoopball except without a stoop. He throws the Spaldeen as hard as he can, well out of Ramon Castro’s range, Loretta scores, the night and the morning are over, the misery lingers. Whoa. What a tragicomic event.
—May 19, 2009

J.J. Putz, 2009
Intimidating AC/DC fanfare notwithstanding, J.J. Putz failed to leave the Marlins thunderstruck.
—April 29, 2009

Tim Redding, 2009
Could Tim Redding throw the Mets’ first no-hitter? No, I soon found out…
—September 20, 2009

Argenis Reyes, 2008-09
But here’s the thing you’ve got to know: Argenis Reyes’s team won the first ten games in which he played. I can find no evidence of any other Met in 48 seasons being able to say the same thing. I looked.
—January 12, 2010

Liván Hernandez, 2009
First, you gotta start with how it ended, which was with Liván Hernandez, the human petrol pump, dispensing every last pitch the Mets’ tank would require. How many? I heard 127. Did it matter? Not really. Honestly, what does Liván Hernandez have to do but pitch? Everybody else’s arm is always being saved for a next start. Liván’s not about conservation. Liván’s about mileage.
—May 27, 2009

Duaner Sanchez, 2006; 2008
[W]hat the fudge is up with Duaner Sanchez? Last year we discovered Duaner, Duaner discovered Queens and all was good with the world until Cecil Wiggins discovered his car keys. We enter these seasons taking several things for granted based on widely held assumptions. One of them was that Sanchez overcame the car wreck, the surgery, the winter and now he’d be ready for Opening Day. It appears very much that he won’t be. And that’s cool, because who the hell are we to tell a guy who’s been through that kind of trauma to get his body in gear exactly when we want it? But Duaner, you can get to camp on time every morning. That’s big with managers and coaches.
—March 10, 2007

Brian Stokes, 2008-2009
Brian Stokes [was recognized as] August Pitcher of the Month — and ponder, if you will, what kind of month rates as its flagship pitcher Brian Stokes…
—September 23, 2009

Gary Sheffield, 2009
Maybe Gary Sheffield isn’t a 2009 Met come the middle of 2009. Maybe. But on April 17, he was. His 500th homer as a Met in black felt fair. Maybe he should have been here all along. Maybe he and Doc should have played together as Mets; maybe, in the mythology we fans like to construct for our would-be heroes, they would have kept each other on their respective straights and narrows.
—April 18, 2009

Ryan Church, 2008-2009
Will Ryan Church be the Mets’ regular starting rightfielder in 2009? Jerry Manuel says yes. Recent and even distant history say absolutely not. He probably won’t even be here come 2010. Why so fatalistic where Churchy is concerned? Because after carefully studying the relevant pages of baseball-reference, I have concluded there is no such thing as a regular starting rightfielder on the New York Mets.
—February 24, 2009

Brian Schneider, 2008-2009
By dialing up his first dinger, BriSchnei killed my private statistical notation in which every individual Met’s home run total could be expressed as Schneider Plus, as in, “That was Gary Sheffield’s eighth home run of the year, or Schneider Plus Eight.” Oh well, I imagine I’ll find something else to carp about with him.
—June 20, 2009

Marlon Anderson, 2005; 2007-2009
Yet there’s the ball, not being picked up. And there’s Marlon, running hard every gosh darn step of the way. He easily has a triple. Easily. If he can get to third, he’ll be there with one out…and right, he better keep going. No way a Met brings a runner home from third. I sure hope Manny Acta is thinking the same thing. He is! Marlon has this look on his face that says “Really? Well, if you insist.” And his unremarkable body keeps chugging. Finley has the ball. He hits the cutoff man. Marlon’s run 340 feet…350 feet…357…358…he slides…another Molina awaits. Here’s the throw, there’s the play at the plate…Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!
—June 12, 2005

Ramon Castro, 2005-2009
Ramon Castro’s blast off Ugueth Urbina will surely stand the test of time as a touchstone in Mets history. It was a game-, season- and life-altering event. Unless we lose the next two.
—August 31, 2005

Billy Wagner, 2006-2009
In the top of the ninth, I realized the season could very well be over in a matter of seconds — and no wonder. We suck! We can’t get anybody out! Why didn’t we score more runs? Why did we sign this guy for…how many MORE years are we STUCK with him? COME ON BILLY!!! I never stood eight innings at Shea Stadium only to end the ninth slumped in my seat as a Met win was secured. I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t cheer. After spending the preceding 24 hours doing my Metsian best to Believe, I couldn’t believe we actually won.
—October 19, 2006

Carlos Delgado, 2006-2009
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.
—July 24, 2008

4 comments to The Bare Locker

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    When I saw the first entry on the list I got startled, thinking that Casey Fossum had left this world, until realizing you meant left this team. Whew.

  • If Anderson Hernandez somehow was added to this list, I’d be OK with that.

  • CharlieH

    I will miss Ramon (El Cabesa GRANDE!) Castro…

  • lenny65

    RE: Brian Schneider, thanks for dredging up THAT repressed 2009 memory. And I’d been doing so well since September. First, I see pics of Ollie Perez on a mound, now this. Sigh. The 2010 schedule came in the mail today. It won’t be long now!