The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

No Longer Weird

On July 23, 2005, Jose Reyes busted out at Shea. The kid we’d been told was gonna do great things did the greatest things he’d done to date: 4-for-5, including a triple; two RBIs; two steals; three runs scored. The Mets beat the Dodgers, 7-5. Mets starting pitcher Pedro Martinez — almost exactly a decade ahead of his induction into Cooperstown — announced in advance one of the plans he had for retirement. It involved Jose Reyes.

“When I’m finished,” Pedro said, “I’ll get the best seat to see him play. I’ll pay whatever price to see him play.”

Mr. Martinez is busy this weekend, reacquainting himself with his fellow Hall of Famers, but had he made good on his pledge of eleven years ago today last night in Miami, he would have gotten his money’s worth.

The veteran we’d been told might do good things busted out:

• A leadoff double, steal and run on a sacrifice fly in the first.

• Taking first on a strike three that got away in the third, then dashing to third on a one-out single (where two subsequent Met batters stranded him).

• An RBI single with a…how you say?…runner in scoring position in the fourth.

• A leadoff base hit, a first-to-third sprint on a single and another run in the seventh.

Jose, a natural shortstop shoehorning himself into a serviceable-plus third baseman, was charged with a throwing error in the bottom of the fourth, but made up for it pronto by starting a 5-4-3 double play on the very next batter.

The Mets wouldn’t have won on July 23, 2005, without young Jose Reyes, and they wouldn’t have won as they did — 5-3 — on July 22, 2016, without older Jose Reyes. As if to bookend the eleven-year trail of Reyes runs, we even got another nifty quote from his starting pitcher, this time Logan Verrett, who said, “He’s like a can of Red Bull balled up into a human being, and that’s something we were lacking.”

Jose is indeed energetic, but also a human being, and we know, through the circumstances under which he was available to re-emerge as a Met earlier this month, that human beings are capable of doing lousy things to their fellow human beings. Upon his return, it was hard to look at Jose, not see the domestic violence charge and instinctively not want to look at him at all. It was nearly impossible to look at Jose and see the Jose-Jose-Jose wunderkind to whom we took such a melodic shine a long time ago.

The vision is changing. I suppose it’s transactional. Now that he’s hitting and running and resembling the Reyes of yore, I’m less inclined to dwell on the legitimately negative (human beings will do that in exchange for a couple of runs sometimes). I’m seeing the Met again, the above-average baseball player. I’m hearing the kid we once embraced in pre- and postgame interviews and he sounds like Jose, except older and perhaps wiser. He is full of pep and positivity and, where the rest of his life is concerned, hopefully nothing else.

I’m rooting for my longtime favorite player again. I don’t know that he’s my favorite player anymore, but he’s here, he’s getting on base and I’m getting used to him.

8 comments to No Longer Weird

  • Dave

    Well said. I remain torn, for reasons that need no further discussion. So now that he’s here and is, I think much to the surprise of almost everyone, an everyday player, his job is to help the Mets win. Sometimes some of the people assigned that task are people you might not be friends with given the opportunity (as Davey Johnson once said about Lenny Dykstra, he’s an asshole kind of guy). So because I’m a Mets fan, I hope he does his job well. Last night he did.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Yesterday was the most quintessential Reyes games so far, but the signs have been there pretty much from the start. He’s just so far athletically beyond anything we’ve seen all year other than YC that he stands out like a sore thumb. On the bases, in the field, making throws. The rust was evident but so was the barely contained fire. It’s too early to judge the pickup an unqualified success, but it’s starting to look like another brilliant move by Sandy and TC. I know some people were mad about Wilmer losing ABs but hopefully they are starting to see why it was the right thing to do.

  • ljcmets

    My brother and I were at that July 2005 game. You could sense what kind of a season was about to erupt the following year. Pedro pitched much, much better (in my recollection) than the final score indicates. Wright was solid and so impressively mature and likeable; Reyes was transcendent that afternoon.

    On the way back into Manhattan on the 7 train, the entire car was chirping about the left side of our infield and how in a year or two it would surpass that of the Yankees. I had just acquired one of those newfangled “smart phones” (not yet its own word but simply an adjective and a noun) that allowed you to access the web on the go and communicate via email (if you were willing to work with a complicated series of keys). I was excited enough to write a few friends about the Mets’ new, dynamic, and most importantly, young shortstop, who was surely going to be an All-Star and probably lead the league in hitting one day with his speed and power, who played great defense and had a cannon for an arm, and whose smile and enthusiasm could light up the stadium.

    It was as thrilling a Mets game, in its own way, as I have ever seen, with its youth and promise, and between Jose and Pedro, wildly entertaining to watch. And it’s the game that permanently cemented for me the phrase “David and Jose” in my mind. It represents to me why I and so many Mets fans will forever link these two players, forever young and in our mind’s eye forever together at Shea (no matter what else has occurred over the ensuing decade) and why we harbor a secret desire, however unlikely it may be, that somehow that promise of a championship for them will be fulfilled. The two of them together were something special.

  • eric1973

    Quite possible a fulltime Flores would have been more productive than a fulltime Reyes, but in all honesty, we’ll never know.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Extremely unlikely considering the numbers Wilmer put up last year and the first half of this year. Then when you factor in the upgrade defensively with Reyes it approaches no brainier territory. I say that as a big Wilmer fan who hopes and expects him to get plenty of opportunities to continue down the stretch.

  • Steve D

    If there are things this team always seems to need, it is energy, speed and the ability to manufacture runs. I knew Reyes could still provide these things, so I am happy this might help get us to where we need to be.

  • eric1973

    The entirety of the debate was based solely on the future and was therefore based upon an unknown —— not the past. We wanted to see him step up and improve with regular playing time. He was not given the opportunity. So really we do not know. It is not based on last year or this year.

  • Matt in Richmond

    I take issue with the idea that he wasn’t given an opportunity. He had over 500 plate appearances last year and significant playing time this year. He essentially has been a .230-.260 hitter with decent pop and occasional hot streak ability. I’m not saying there couldn’t be more upside there, but he had a chance to cement the job as his and didn’t produce enough to warrant it. He’s young enough to still have more chances though.