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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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Lagares in the Morning

Oh, hi. You’re still here. No, that’s great. I’m glad you stayed. I just wasn’t sure. I mean last night was so amazing…or should I say Amazin’…that it almost felt like a dream. I mean here we’ve been, hanging around the same team for what must be a couple of months now and yet it’s like I never really noticed just how beautiful you can be. Yeah, people talked: “You really oughta check out Lagares. Lagares can really go get ’em. You like defense, don’t you?”

Sure, I like defense. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed the glove on you. I mean, c’mon, I’d be blind not to. But until last night, you never really wore it like that. Three on, tie game, deep fly, I figured, “Well, it was fun while it lasted,” and got ready to go to bed disappointed. But you really knew what you were doing out there. I have to admit I began to look at you in a whole other light.

And maybe I’ve just had my head in the wrong place, but I didn’t know you could wield a bat the way you do.  Nobody told me you were into that! It was like, what, four hits? Three? Yeah, only three, I guess — but believe me, they felt like four. They were big ones, all right. The kind of hits that really make your night. Well, they made my night. Made me wanna have more nights exactly like that with you.

But now it’s the morning. I’m looking at you in this light and I realize it’s been practically forever since I felt this way about a center fielder…hell, since I felt this way about an outfielder at any position. I don’t want to spoil the moment, but I’ve been hurt before in these relationships. Good-looking young players like you come on like gangbusters, then they just disappear on me. Maybe I get one or two of those Amazin’ nights and then it just becomes emotionally draining when they either stick around too long or I don’t get to see enough of them to know if it’s real. Next thing I know, I’m left alone, on my couch, and I have to hear it through the grapevine that that outfielder I thought was really special moved on to Vegas or some crazy place like that without a word.

Will I even get to see you again? Will you be in the lineup every day? Will my desire for you go unrequited as you hide in the shadows at the end of the bench? And what if we’re actually moving too fast? What if I’m blowing up in my mind what might have been just one magical night into something much longer-lasting? There’s no guarantee I won’t get sick of you just like I got sick of too many of the rest. I have to warn you, I can be kind of a jerk that way.

I don’t know. I just wanna bask in this feeling I have right now and believe that maybe there’ll be more of it this weekend. And then we’ll see. But honestly and sincerely, I hope that what we shared doesn’t end up being just another Juan night stand.

11 comments to Lagares in the Morning

  • Steve D

    Even more important, Ike hit two more HRs for the second straight game. As his biggest critic for 2 years, I assailed his attitude and inability to at least try anything new. It got to the point where he did so many things wrong, he had the worst swing in Met history and the results proved it.

    I am going to now turn over a new leaf and give him a chance. Sending him down MIGHT have been the wake up call he needed and MIGHT be where he gets the coaching he needed. I am going to embrace him when he comes back. If he does in fact turn around his career, it will be a huge indictment on why they waited so long to send him down, why they let his swing get so screwed up and why no coach up here could help him. We might also find out Ike simply cannot handle playing in NY. Assuming he’s back around July 1, it would be encouraging to hit at least .250 the rest of the way with 15 HR and 40 RBI.

  • I’m enjoying last night’s win, but not counting on Ike ….. Ever.

  • Julian

    Ike can be a terrific fielding first baseman and he’s a proven power hitter. I would not be so fast to give up on him. How many 30 home run guys do the Mets have? I think his problem is everything came too easy for him and he thought he knew it all.

  • Dave

    Careful, Greg. Was only last spring that we had met Nieuwenhuis’s parents and had a ring picked out before we realized it wasn’t really love…in fact we hardly even wanted to be friends anymore.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    There are still a lot of Young, Jr.’s out there for Sandy to get hold on.

    Perhaps our GM feels Lagares needs more time studying the important statistical aspects of the game before he gets a chance to play regularly?

  • Lagares was not on my recognition radar until I saw him leading off for Las Vegas on AAA opening day in Sacramento. He was hitting .346 when called up and I like him the more I see him play with the Mets. Give him center field and see what happens.

    As for Ike … 7 for 10 with 2 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB and 1 K in 3 games swings my head his way for a moment but I still think he needs to stay in detention until he has proven he has learned from his mistakes, not just straightened up for a few games to look like he will behave.

  • 9th string catcher

    I agree we need to see what Lagares can do over 50 games or so. Like what i see so far. Is the Valedespin experiment over?

  • Jordany has his moments. But just that….moments.

  • Karol Dondero

    I would appreciate you opinion on the following idea: could the recent increase in success for the Mets be a result of addition by subtraction? Since Davis was sent down, it seems the team has had a more positive attitude. Yes, the team has said he was a “great guy in the clubhouse”. Yet we all have known people everyone”loved” but were in reality a poisoning influence on the group As a whole.

    • I get the feeling that sometimes any shakeup is a good shakeup. I can’t speak to whether Ike was bringing everybody down since I’m not in the clubhouse. Last year, supposedly, Terry didn’t want to send him down because he was so vital to the chemistry, and this was when they were playing well.

      Duda out. Niese out. We’ll see if things began to catch up with them or they can keep this nice little ride going. I’m enjoying the hell out of the Mets in a way I really haven’t in ages.

  • [...] leak as the ball never reached his right palm. It dropped to the grass, and Lagares — who really is beautiful when it comes to hustling — never stopped running. Juan landed on third with a three-run error [...]