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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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710 Ways to Please Your Listeners

WOR still hasn’t found a pregame host for Mets baseball, but that — in case the name doesn’t give it away — is only about what happens before the game starts. Before the game starts doesn’t count. Just like Spring Training. Just like all the talk that fires up the Hot Stove.

It doesn’t count that Clear Channel and the Mets dragged their corporate feet from the end of September to the middle of February before making official that Howie Rose and Josh Lewin would continue to do what they’ve done so well. It’s unfortunate that it took that long for internal machinations to play out, but the important thing is they played out to an agreeable result. When the Mets begin to play in search of the most agreeable results of all, it will be Howie and Josh maintaining their half of the best broadcasting tradition in baseball.

You know what I’m talking about. We’ve heard it uninterrupted since 1962. It’s why we were so sorry to lose Ralph Kiner and are so gratified that the Mets have announced steps to pay him the tribute he deserves this season. It’s why even the hardest-to-take Mets games have made for easy listening. Howie and Josh are strong links in the chain that extend back to the beginning, deeply resonant voices speaking on our behalf. They know what we’re thinking because they’re thinking it, too. They know what we want to know and they tell us.

We already knew they’d be happy to be certified for 2014 and hopefully many years beyond, but it’s nice to read it in their own words before they take to 710 AM to tell it to us personally. It seems appropriate that Howie would go through a solid sports media columnist like Newsday’s Neil Best to express his enthusiasm for continuity at a new Met frequency while Josh would start a blog in order to thank the fans from the bottom of his ever audible heart and offer to buy us a beverage in appreciation of our collective support. They are who they are individually and they’re something else together.

I don’t need a drink. I need a Mets game, even one that doesn’t count. Here’s to the fact that one is coming to a radio near us in just over a week. Here’s to the fact it’s those two who will be bringing us every pitch.

12 comments to 710 Ways to Please Your Listeners

  • Ed

    Yeah it was nice to read that the guys are bsck. The switch to WOR after 27 (?) years on WFAN will be a little strange but having Howie back will make it feel more like home real fast. I will make better effort to listen to more games on radio – and I imagine online feed so I can gain a better appredciation for JOsh.

  • 5w30

    Still gonna be weird hearing the Mets out of the WFAN cocoon … going to the radio station where the age of the average listener is around those who played in the movie COCOON! Mets-a-mucil for all!

  • lee

    I am a big fan of Howie and Josh. They seem to like each other very much and therefore makes the listening experience enjoyable, win or lose (winning more, of course). What does bother me is the affiliation with a station that promotes their big stars Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity so prominently. I am sure that the promos for their shows will air often during Met broadcasts and due to my political leanings will be a source of annoyance.

    • kjs

      I’ll never turn to that dial. And when I bump into Greg again in our nice new blue and orange latrines, I’m glad the radio feed will blackout the promos for those dangerous bozos.

      I have SNY at home for now, so I really feel for the people who can’t afford GKR.

  • I’m starting to hope that the Mets coming out of a station that otherwise largely features politically partisan programming is going to be less a bad thing for the Mets and more a bad thing for politically partisan programming.

  • argman

    With the Mets not on either WFAN or WEPN, will their players, manager, FO Staff and broadcasters be available to those outlets? When the team was on WFAN, there was a steady diet of interviews, at least in part because it was in the station’s interest to promote the team. Now I’m not so sure.
    Glad to hear Howie and Josh are back.

  • joenunz

    Well that’s a buzzkill…I actually thought you were going to list seven hundred and ten things.

    Welcome back Howie and Josh…(it’s as if they never left!)

  • Brian Krysz

    The Fan is bad enough already with all the Yankee fans who host shows, it will only get worse now that the Yankee’s games will be on. Great opportunity for ESPN to kick up it’s Mets coverage.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Joe Benigno made the comment on FAN the other day that for the first time, there will times when he will be on the air during Mets games. That might be almost as much fun to listen to as Howie and Josh. I can’t wait for the first blown save.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    It’s going to be strange for a lot of reasons but at least we’ve still got Howie and Josh.

    Leaving FAN is going to feel like it was for me with the short period of time the Mets were associated with WHN – I always took the two as one and though Bob Brown did a nice job on WJRZ, it just wasn’t the same until the game began and then Ralph, Lindsey and Bob – well, other than station identification, I forgot we were on JRZ except that the signal was so much weaker.

    But with WOR there is, of course, the station itself. The many personalities they air represent a despicable abuse of the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech because they are in the entertainment business and know that rude and contemptuous exploitation of the underlying hatred in this country serves their shared purpose – ratings for the station revenue and for the individual career. People please note that I did not refer to it being a “political” nature or that nature being specifically “conservative” simply because discussions can 1) be civil and 2) there is enough of the same type of garbage coming from the other end of the political spectrum as well.

    So who knows how many of us might catch the beginning of the pre-game show simply because the station would not have been tuned into beforehand. When the game begins, it’s Gary and Josh and that’s all that really matters.

  • Joe

    I love all the comments above from the presumably open-minded, non-judgmental, live-and-let-live liberal types whose contempt for any political views to the right of their own fairly screams off the screen. Heavens! By tuning in to a Mets game their pure hearts and minds just might — Lord have mercy — be sullied by hearing a promotional spot for a conservative talk show host. Sheesh! And I can just about guarantee you that these closed-minded, intolerant boors (the writers of the comments above, not the talk show hosts) walk around in a permanent state of self-congratulatory bliss for being such fair, sporting, open-minded types.

    • Joe D.

      Joe,

      One of those hosts went on the air to say that a sufferer of Parkinson’s disease like Michael J. Fox, was “shameless” in “moving all around and shaking” to purposely exaggerate the effects of his affliction in TV ads advocating for funding of stem cell research or that he had not been taking his medication. That is the “rude and contemptuous exploitation of the underlying hatred in this country” that was being referring to.

      I do not personally believe this is reflective of a closed-minded, intolerant boor when referring to a “rude and contemptuous exploitation of the underlying hatred in this country”, especially when being respectful of people’s political views by adding: “People please note that I did not refer to it being a “political” nature or that nature being specifically “conservative” simply because discussions can 1) be civil and 2) there is enough of the same type of garbage coming from the other end of the political spectrum as well.”?

      Out of respect for FAFIF, will not say anything more.