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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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Rejecting Item No. 12551066

It comes in my size, but it wouldn't have fit.

A confession: since the first week of December, I’ve been window-shopping at marlins.com. I’ve eyed, ogled and contemplated Item No. 12551066: Miami Marlins Jose Reyes Name and Number T-Shirt by Majestic Athletic. Out of curiosity after Reyes made his free agent decision, I looked to see if such a garment existed. It did, and it was back-ordered, so I forgot about it. Then in the depths of winter, I checked again. It was in stock and promised to ship within one to two business days, which gave me pause but then I rejected what I was thinking. Yet I kept checking back, never making a move, but never completely deciding against it. Then, today, I received an MLB e-mail alerting me there was a discount on just about everything they sell, including Item No. 12551066. The 25% Off brought it down to a reasonable-sounding price. All I had to do to was order it by four o’clock this afternoon.

That and lose my mind…which I almost did.

I came close. My browser was already in Secure Shopping Cart mode and my wallet was on my desk. Enter my info and it would be mine. I would own my seventh variation a REYES 7 t-shirt.

But I entered nothing. I couldn’t do it. No matter how much I wish Jose Reyes was still a Met. No matter how much I resent Mets ownership for finding a way to not have the resources to re-sign him or at least truly pursue him. No matter how I saw the shirt mainly as a statement of protest that one of the two or three best position players the Mets have ever developed was allowed to dash to sunnier, more lucrative climes. No matter that in this season celebrating the Mets’ 50th birthday, their all-time shortstop will be conspicuously absent from all festivities and montages as if he never existed.

I wanted REYES 7 on my back once more, but there was no way I could handle MIAMI on my front. Wrong affiliation for him, wrong affiliation for me. This despite deciding I had precedent in the potential purchase’s favor since I once owned a CINCINNATI 41 t-shirt (discovered at Shea Stadium, no less) and my deep-seated hope that Jose stays healthy and succeeds wildly, albeit in a vacuum of team non-competitiveness, for the next six years.

I will root against his employers and colleagues but I will not root against him.

I’m already permanently disgusted a hated division rival was suddenly so well-positioned to lure away my favorite player of the past decade. My giving them an additional $18.76, or whatever cut Jeffrey Loria would grab of the discounted t-shirt price, wouldn’t make me feel any better about the turn of events that leaves me Reyesless except in memory. It was too logical to not realize before I clicked off marlins.com once and for all. It was even emotionally resonant. My hatred for the franchise that pulled the rug out from under the last two final weekends that absolutely mattered in Mets history burns a bright teal…or orange…or black…or yellow…or whatever colors they now feature.

So I wound up making a pro-Mets statement, which is what I usually make, by not making an implied anti-Mets ownership statement, which was never intended to have been a pro-Marlins statement but couldn’t help but be perceived that way if I actually wore something bearing their stupid crest.

This, I suppose, is how the Wilpons get ya every time.

15 comments to Rejecting Item No. 12551066

  • March'62

    Wait!! Reyes is no longer on the Mets? NOW you tell me?

  • Brian Lennon

    I purchased a women’s REYES 7 t-shirt for my wife 3 or 4 years ago. Like the Tom Petty live CD I gave her that Christmas, it still has the tags on it. Let me know if you’d be interested in buying either.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    You just gave me an upset stomach with those two photos! :)

    Seeing him on MLB Network the other night was just too painful to watch – especially because both the Mets and Marlins use black jerseys and at first glance it seemed Jose was where he actually belonged. Almost as painful when seeing the Franchise wearing the uniform of the Reds – which I never got used to.

    MJ still her Mets Reyes #7 shirt but

  • Good choice. I was so infuriated by a trade six or so years ago that I was really close to buying a Kazmir t-shirt, but I’m glad I forgot about it. And that Marlins shirt is u-gly.

  • Lou

    I could see owning the Cincinnati #41 t-shirt. But you cannot put Reyes in that same class. Seaver was the “Franchise”. He gave us a World Championship and two pennants. That cannot be said for Jose as much as I liked him. Also it’s completely unfair to compare this current ownership with M.Donald Grant and co. who sent Seaver packing on “principle”. Seaver went on to glory with Cincinnati, a brief stop home then with the White and Red Sox. He pitched a no-hitter, got to the playoffs again, won 300 games and was a first ballot Hall of Fame entrant. Can we predict the same for Reyes? I am doubting it for two reasons–his fragile hamstrings and his somewhat lack of baseball instincts despite his great natural ability. Are the Mets better without Reyes? Of course not but their road back to respectability is a lot shorter than it was the day Seaver was traded.

  • Jim LaFemina

    I made my final Reyes purchase as the 2011 season was winding down. A colleague was at Citi Field for a work sponsored night at the park and told me about all the cool stuff she saw at the Team Store. I’m in DC now, so I had to go online, but sure enough, for a pretty reasonable price, given the cost of so many baseball related doo-dads (not to be confused with Du-das) I was soon the proud owner of a genune piece of NY Mets history. A baseball. But it was more than that. It was hit by Jose Reyes, for a single, all the way back in April, against the Padres. How they thought to save this ball is a tad questionable for sure, but it’s MLB holograph equipped so who am I to argue? On his way to the FIRST and ONLY Mets batting title, Jose stroked 186 hits, and hit number 25 now sits proudly on my desk. And I don’t care one little bit that hit number 186 – Jose’s final as a Met – was a bunt. In many ways, in fact, I’m glad it was a bunt. Take that Ryan Braun.

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Wise choice. I faced a similar dilemma going through my drawers the other day as I pulled out my 2009 WBC Team Japan Yu Darvish shirt. I decided against donating it, but it’s been taken out of contention and moved to the back of my closet. I loved that shirt. Not nearly as painful of a situation as Reyes, but it still hurt to see the Mets pay him no mind this winter. I’ve wanted him since 2008.

    And if you’re looking for an anti-ownership shirt, the7line’s got a handful of them to go along with their wonderfully unique pro-Mets garb.

  • Will in Central NJ

    When Pelfrey had that terrific start in 2010, I seriously thought about customizing a blank 2006 BP jersey I bought off the clearance rack (black sleeves & shoulders, royal blue body) with his name and #34. I got distracted by other, more pressing responsibilities, and never got around to it. I’m glad the more pressing responsibilities intervened.

    If, however, Big Doofus pulls, oh, say, a Johnny Vander Meer out of his hat, I might seriously have to rethink this…

  • Dennis

    I think once you hit a certain age, a grown man wearing a jersey or shirt with a player’s name that could possibly be half his age is kind of embarrassing.

    From a pretty funny Rick Reilly column:

    Jersey Rule No. 1: You may not wear a jersey past age 29.
    Exceptions:
    a) You are immediately related to the person whose name is on the back.
    b) You are the person whose name is on the back. (Team photo required.)

    That said, I wouldn’t have purchased the Reyes shirt just for the fact that the Marlins went from ugly uniforms/colors to maybe the worst in baseball history.