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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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Ishii Really Going Out With Us?

Calling Dr. Peterson, calling Dr. Peterson. New project possibly arriving at the emergency entrance…

Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii? I like it and I don't like it. I like

that, if it's true, the Mets aren't settling for the Ginteriffic

choices in their midst. I don't like it because:

* Apparently Ishii's been walking the West Coast while the civilized world sleeps;

* A correspondent suggested Thursday that “there are only two kinds of

starters you can obtain in trades at this time of year: (a) injured

ones and (b) bad ones.” I don't know if he's right, but that sure

sounds like us;

* Jason Phillips is teasing us in with his monumental spring and I've been buying it;

* Next to Reyes, Jason Phillips emerged out of the muck of 2003 as my

favorite Met of the moment. That wore off last September when during

the Victor Diaz game (before it was the Victor Diaz game), the most

glacial man in the bigs — Magadan 3.0, if you will — was on third in

a bases-loaded situation. With one out, Gerald Williams lifted a deep

fly to left, the kind of ball on which even Jason Phillips can score.

Except Jason Phillips had gone halfway and was in no position to tag

up. Mets left the bags drunk. Oh, and the night before? He was tagged

out on a throw 10 feet to the right of home. I swore off Jason Phillips

once and for all after those feats of baseball inertia. But I can't

stay mad at the guy for long. Still, an established starter for a

backup catcher? Shoot, do it.

As for filling the backstop caddy void, crap, Vance Wilson's looking

pretty good right now. No, I take that back. I also take back the

thought that flashed through my head when I saw Al Leiter threw four

scoreless innings Friday. “Man, that wouldn't be too bad to have now.”

No, it would be. “Hey,

Yusmeiro! We don't listen to that stuff in The Show. Gimme that iPod

and I'll download some Ray Conniff Singers for you. Then I'll take you

to get your hair cut just like mine.” No thank you.

Not many loose ends dangling from Nos. 80-61. The moment I typed in the name Ed Charles I thought of that picture, too. In the summer of '89, Newsweek

found cause to run it. Stephanie sent it to me and it hung over my desk

for several years. And I'll bet  I know the shot of Seaver and Gentry.

They're surveying the damage done to Shea after The Big One, right? I

know a guy who was living in Arizona six years ago and was working at a

discount cigarettes outlet. One of his steadiest customers was the very

same Gary Gentry. He had a standing order for cartons of Marlboros. I hope nobody winds up surveying the damage done to Gary Gentry's lungs.

Your wife has filed an official and reasonable protest over the inclusion of Bobby Bonilla in

any list using the words “Greatest” and “Mets”. I'll tell you what I

told her: Take 668 Mets (the number of 'Ropolitans through the first

forty years) and start whittling it down to a hundred. What should

happen is that it's agonizing to pare and trim and make life-or-death

decisions. That's not what happened at all. This franchise has been

larded with Bautas and Bucheks and Boitanos. You get through crossing

those off and even a charitable reading of Mets history leaves you with

like 125 guys. From there, it was really a matter of symbolism versus

accomplishment, and as much as I liked Shinjo's wristbands and the

Stork's nickname, I couldn't really pass on a two-time All-Star even if

he was an all-time jerk.

Tsuyoshi and Theodore and everybody else whose claim to Met greatness

is they had that certain something that resonated in our tribe will

continue to be represented by M.E.T., Marvin Eugene Throneberry, the patron saint of the fairly futile but lavishly lovable.

“Think about baseball” is what they tell you you should do when your thoughts are where they shouldn't be. In those situations, Dave Magadan

leaps to mind. It may be the only leaping he's ever done. I don't mean

to downgrade his appeal off the field to others, but the only thing

about him that struck me as steamy was his bat that June.

Jason Phillips may replace him in this role if Mo Vaughn hasn't already.

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