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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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Sleeping Dogs Briefly Stir

“Making an entrance after the president. That’s just not how we play bridge. It’s not how we say cricket.”
–Toby Ziegler, The West Wing, regarding breaches of protocol

Instead of veering wide of second base, Carlos Beltran directed his legs straight toward those of Chase Utley and Wilson Valdez. Instead of leaving three runners on base, Lucas Duda drove them all home. Instead of melting down after a poor first inning, Dillon Gee toughened up for the next six.

Instead of losing in Philadelphia, the Mets won. That was a nice change of pace.

It’s not like the Mets hadn’t won before at Citizens Bank Park in 2010; it only feels that way. We’re 3-5 there, which isn’t great, but it ain’t 0-8. The Phillies are a very good team, but they’re not unbeatable. Nobody is. Glad the Mets finally figured that out.

After the 5-2 victory that snapped the Mets’ six-game losing streak and the Phillies’ eleven-game winning streak — and kept the Phils from clinching a tie for the division title — Josh Thole told Kevin Burkhardt it was like the Mets got their “pride” back. Josh is 23 (and appears 14), so he may be given to wide-eyed overstatement. But he’s one of the Mets, so I’ll take his word for it: The Mets got their pride back by beating Philadelphia at Philadelphia and by one of the Mets making a harder slide than he usually does.

Two questions regarding the return of this “pride”:

1) That’s all it took?

2) Where the hell was it before?

Beltran’s slide was good fundamental baseball. It broke up a potential double play. It scattered Utley and Valdez and it allowed the Mets to build what became their winning rally. If there hadn’t been uncommon amounts of chit-chat about Utley’s hard slide the night before, I would not have noticed anything unusual about Carlos’s “retaliation”. Beltran’s slide looked like a thousand slides I’ve seen the Mets make in my life, if not that many lately.

If that’s what fills the Mets with pride, so be it. I’d like to think the paychecks, the uniforms and the fact that a couple of million people follow their every move would make a fella proud to be a Met, but at 75-79, we’ll take what we can get.

From a young Gee’s perspective, this was a big win. He’s only made four starts in the major leagues, so they should all be big. Gee’s postgame comments were in line with this weekend’s narrative about how great it is for the Mets to play in the Citizens Bank “atmosphere”. I don’t mean to get hung up on what is said after games as opposed to what happens during them (though the Mets are generally more interesting talking than playing), but again, why should this all seem like such a step up in class for the Mets? You’re all in the same league, even if you don’t all have similar records. Let’s not invest opponents with any more mystique than they need. The Boston Garden’s been torn down a long time — until another one’s built, make yourself at home wherever you play. The bases are 90 feet apart no matter which park you visit.

Fortunately, Gee pitched as if he doesn’t distinguish among the Nationals, the Phillies or the 1985-86 Celtics (50-1 at home, regular season and playoffs combined). Ryan Howard took him on a very long ride in the first, but after that, no Phillies went anywhere on Dillon’s watch. Hard to say what it means for his long-term chances, but there is no long term at the moment, there’s just September. Dillon Gee is here because it’s September, and he just pitched a wonderful game. Lucas Duda is here because it’s September, and he delivered the Mets’ first big hit in literally ten days. Gee, Duda, Thole, the rest of the kids…they can be proud of being Mets without somebody signing permission slips.

They’re young, but they’re not that young.

4 comments to Sleeping Dogs Briefly Stir

  • Joe

    Dogs-

    First time, long time. I’m a Mets fan…that means I carry the “heaviness” that Rodney Dangerfield talked about on my back every day I wake. The commotion over this slide baloney has left me in an apoplectic fit. I can’t even type what I wanted to, holy moly, to keep it clean…this team is gonna make me jump off the Verrazzano. How do the Mets come out looking worse in this situation? I gotta relax and hopefully write a reasonable response to your truly wonderful blog/site/manifestation of Met’s fans souls….Aaaaaaaaagggghhhhhh

  • Well-Meaning Phils Troll

    So does that count at “retaliation”? Has Wright called the meeting to order and voted that retribution has been had? Has this ridiculousness finally been put to bed? Please note I’m not singling out the Mets players,staff or the proprietors of this blog as Tejada aquited himself nicely as a big league 2nd bagger, Manuel was quite reasonable and you yourself said you hadn’t noticed anything worth making a stink over. But between this and the Jeter acting job, the media has been in full “SHOCKED to discover there is gambling at this establishment!” mode during the 2010 stretch run to the point that I’m seriously wondering if any of these beat writers and talking heads had ever SEEN a baseball game prior to landing their positions. Greg, with your baseball acumen, I’m assuming you’re probably of the same mindset as I am… Isn’t this how the game has ALWAYS been played? And by comparison, isn’t selling a hit-by-pitch-but-not-really & sliding hard into 2nd to break up a double play a paltry fraction of the type of “hard ball” as it used to be played and rather tame in comparison? Christ, DIRTY is sliding in spikes up. DIRTY is bowling over a catcher when there’s no play. DIRTY is intentionally aiming for a batter’s dome with some cheese. This is the Big Leagues… Year hear the media these days, it’s like both teams should meet at Pizza Hut after the game…

  • vertigone

    Carlos Beltran…out at second…rough and tumble…New York Life.