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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Let a Dickey Be Your Umbrella

On Umbrella Day at Citi Field, R.A. Dickey shielded Mets fans everywhere from the elements.

Let the Phillies have Roy Oswalt (the big snot). No way he’s as perfect a righthanded addition to their rotation as R.A.’s been to ours. Kudos to Omar Minaya for making the under-the-radar acquisition of the century last December. Kudos to Jerry Manuel for not pulling him from today’s game until he absolutely had to. Just let R.A. Dickey do his thing and, more often than not, good things will happen.

God, I love this guy. God, don’t we all? For two months we’ve been invoking Terry Leach and Rick Reed to explain the element of delightful surprise R.A. Dickey has brought to Met pitching, how an emergency afterthought became a life preserver and then an every-fifth-day staple. Leach went 11-1 in 1987 when nobody was counting on him. Reed went 13-9 in 1997 and made himself a cornerstone of Met success for five seasons. In the future, I get the feeling that if we’re compelled to cite Leach or Reed, we’ll be able to say, “They came out of nowhere and to our rescue — you know, like R.A. Dickey in 2010.”

In the postgame interview on SNY, Dickey told Kevin Burkhardt there should be no doubt about hard this team works, citing the dirt on the uniforms of Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan after thirteen innings the night before. It was his way of saying “we never give up” without being banal about it. Typical R.A. Isn’t that something? We have enough of a sample to frame something as typical of the journeyman whose arrival in our organization we barely noticed when it occurred. I’d also say getting to one out in the ninth with a shutout the afternoon after a late night bullpenpalooza is Typical R.A.

And as if to back up Dickey’s thoughts on Met effort, Ike Davis said not being in the lineup yesterday allowed him to spend three hours in the batting cage and get some things worked out. Three hours yesterday led to a three runs on one swing today. Another great in-season pickup (of sorts) for those diligent Mets of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel.

I’m really glad we won this Thursday rubber game, just as I was really sorry we lost the Wednesday middle game and was happy we won the Tuesday opening game. I’m thrilled we won a series. But I have to confess I’ve almost thought not at all about the standings while we’ve been taking on the Cardinals. I’ve glanced at Brave and Phillie scores and just took a look at the daunting Wild Card alignment, but I’ve stopped actively thinking of us being in any kind of race. Maybe that’s why the Oswalt deal isn’t fazing me at the moment. Does it really have anything to do with us for 2010, at least? We’re just some .500 team trying to get back on track, I’ve kind of accepted.

Yet I haven’t accepted that every game doesn’t matter on its own merit. My own personal experience aside, last night sucked because last night sucked. The night before was great because the night before was great. This afternoon’s result fills me with jubilation because it’s a Mets win engineered by guys for whom I root very hard. Even if this Met August becomes as irrelevant to the National League playoff picture as last Met August, these Mets demand our support and our attention. Whatever you think of Minaya and Manuel, their players transcend their performance even in the wake of the horrid several weeks before this very nice bounceback set.

Mets baseball can always be better, but when you’ve got a Dickey and Davis making you happy, it can’t be beat.

11 comments to Let a Dickey Be Your Umbrella

  • LarryDC

    Man, if every painful, maddening, 13-inning, late-night attitude-wrecker could be followed by a daytime, rubber-game shutout by the good guys, life would be so much more pleasant. I almost feel bad for last night’s game, deprived as it was of a full 24-hour cycle of annoying the crap outta me.

  • Max

    He has been the one consistent pitcher for the Mets. Check out leave comments ask qs and follow me on Twitter at beatboston1995

  • I don’t know who I’m standing and cheering for, R.A. Dickey for his yeoman work with a spent pen–and getting every camp kid back in time for 4 o’clock snack–or G.W. Prince for 14 wins in a row. Both feats unexpected and impressive. And here’s hoping JA Happ becomes the next Jason Isringhausen.

  • Andee

    The Phillies trading for Oswalt makes me larf.

    THEY COULD HAVE KEPT CLIFF LEE. Lee did not have to be traded in order to get Halladay; those were two separate deals. So they coughed up a bunch of prospects, in effect, to swap Lee for Halladay, and then gave up Happ plus more prospects to get Oswalt. And Lee was only signed one more year, at a lot less money than Oswalt makes. And is younger and better than Oswalt.

    Oy vey.

    Besides, who needs Oswalt? We have Dickey! And at a fraction of the cost (although he’ll get more expensive to keep next year).

  • Dickey is an absolute hero, isn’t he?

    I think the key to me not going mad this season is to not let myself get too carried away. Hovering around .500,building a team for the future and playing entertaining baseball should be enough, considering how bad things looked prior to the start of the season (and how bad things were last year). Anything more should be a bonus, not an expectation. Underpromise and overdeliver and all that.

  • CharlieH

    In other good news, Jorge Cantu is now out of the NL!

    Now, if we can get the Fish to dump Hanley Ramirez…

  • oldtimebaseball

    Any trade is a crap shoot. Remember Roberto Alomar? If the price for Oswalt included Jonathon Niese, I wouldn’t have made that deal. Assuming Santana’s first inning on Wednesday night was a hiccup, and expecting Pelfrey to return to better form if not the dominance he showed first third of the season, the rotation looks pretty good with Niese and Dickey in the mix. A fifth starter may be found at Buffalo. Of more concern is the offense, which went into hiding on the west coast. But who would be a sure thing to add to this lineup? I think this team is fun to watch and may even have a pleasant surprise or two in store before the end of the season.

  • mikeski

    God, I love this guy. God, don’t we all?

    “We never had any pitchers later on like when we had R.A. Dickey. Jesus, does anyone?”

    I know that’s a reach, but that’s the line that came to my mind.

  • Thomas

    Does anyone else like the Pagan, Beltran, Francouer outfield? You have the enthusiasm and hitting in left, the steady numbers (I think Beltran will pick up soon) in center, and the defense in right. It’s a complete picture.