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.

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Launched from the Middle to You

Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the founding of Faith and Fear in Flushing, which puts our start date at February 16, 2005, which isn’t exactly news. It was news to Jason and me sixteen years ago today, but the outer world of Mets fans who liked to read wouldn’t instantaneously discover us. That took at least a week. Of course when you write something called a blog, you’re always being discovered by somebody for the first time…which is a nice way of saying most people out there who might enjoy what you’re doing have likely never heard of you, but you keep doing it for sixteen years and then some because you really enjoy doing it.

When the Mets fancied themselves as New and our brand of media did, too.

Like I said, no news there via a sixteen-year-old scoop, but I did recently notice something specific about the Metsian moment when we launched. It was right in the baseball-middle of the decade known popularly as the Aughts, though I never went for “the Aughts” as a name. I called them “the Ohs,” though I don’t think anybody else did. I’m willing to go with the 2000s, the caveat being that for Mets baseball purposes, they commenced at the beginning of the 2000 season and ended at the conclusion of the 2009 season. If you’re one of those “but there was no year zero” pedants who revels in pointing out decades and centuries can’t possibly begin in a year ending with an oh or an aught, please save that hardy decennial nitpick for January 1, 2030, when we’ll briefly entertain and reject it again.

February 16, 2005, meant five Met seasons of the 2000s had been played and five Met seasons of the 2000s had yet to occur. We were apparently taken enough by what we had experienced in the first five — 2000 through 2004 — to want to share with an audience larger than just us what we thought as the beginning of the next five crept into view. Not that the previous five seasons represented the best five-season span in Mets history. No five-season span in the past thirty years can be said to have constituted the best five-season span in Mets history. But for five seasons, those five seasons were ours. Jason and I went to a load of games together from 2000 to 2004, listened to or watched on radio or TV just about all the rest of them, and wrote to each other not a few words based on what we’d seen.

For the record, the 2000 Mets won a pennant and their next four successors did no such thing. Relatively few bursts of Met competence sustained themselves from 2001 to 2004, though there were some good days and nights in there, enough to keep us coming back long enough land here on 2/16/2005 and take it from there. In the latter half of the 2000s — 2005 through 2009 — there was some semblance of lasting Met success, certainly enough to make us want to keep going to games, listening to them, watching them and, without pause, writing about them. The Mets would fall apart as late as possible in a few of those years before dropping the pretense altogether and coming completely apart several dreadful months before the baseball decade ended.

Win or lose, it was all blogworthy for a couple of Mets fans who like to write, and so we have continued on, currently blogging inside of a third calendar decade. The 2020s have yet to really take shape (let’s hope). The 2010s we covered with due hindsight when the 2020s loomed as the immediate if incredibly unknowable future. That leaves us the 2000s.

Leaves the 2000s for what? Why, for a full-fledged Faith and Fear in Flushing retrospective of its birth decade: The Top 100 Mets of the 2000s, considering the 275 players who played as Mets between March 29, 2000, and October 4, 2009, and ordering what we shall refer to the “best” of them from 100 to 1, countdown (or countup) style.

The parameters follow what we did at the tail end of 2019. Rankings will be based on recollections and research, leaning on impressions and accomplishments more than stone statistical rigor. We’ll take into account what a player did and if it made us as Mets fans sit up and take notice for at least a spell, maybe no longer than a given day or night during the 2000s. Worth noting in this process: thirty Mets from that decade began their Met tenures prior to 2000, while 29 others continued as Mets after 2009, but we’re not allotting points based on anything anybody did before the decade in question kicked in or after the last of it was put in the books; apologies to my fellow 1999 aficionados.

Also, we’re not actually “allotting points”. Plenty of thought’s gone into this exercise, but there is no discernible formula at work. Take the rankings as seriously or as frivolously as you like. Just try to not be one of those sour sorts who insists everybody sucked then, sucks now and will suck forevermore. That sort of response is truly a bummer.

Happily, I can tell you with conviction that the 2000s crew brought more depth to the historical table than the Gang of 247 we reviewed from the 2010s. When I put together the 2010s series, I was continually disturbed at how high waves of mediocre Mets rated, gaining their given spot mainly because there was hardly anybody of substance to stick them behind. So while I can’t promise you a complete escape from obscurity nor immunity from unintended repressed-memory chills in the lower rungs of the forthcoming countdown, I do believe we have generally stronger Mets to look back on in something less than anger. They’re strong enough to have survived the test of time and wind up getting talked about in the preseason portion of 2021.

We’ll make space as well to talk about the state of the contemporary Mets; the Pitchers & Catchers scheduled to report imminently; the blur of Villars, Pillars and ILs; and who’s gonna make the however-many man roster in advance of Opening Day of the 60th (!) season of New York Mets baseball. Our heads remain, for a seventeenth consecutive Spring Training, mostly in the year at hand, even if our hearts steer us back to the many, many Mets who’ve driven us to the cusp of what’s next.

For FAFIF, the decade of the 2000s is what got us here and got us going. Starting tomorrow, we’ll visit with a hundred of the Mets from then and maybe recall what all the fuss was about.

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