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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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A Stranger Among Us

Mets fans hate losing to Greg Maddux. All of us, right?

Wait a second…is that a smile I see in the crowd? Why, there's a traitor to the ranks. There she is! String 'er up!

Wait another second, it's Laurie. I'll vouch for her. She's one of us, just a little more skewed in her priorities. While most of your orange & blue bleeders were shaking their heads and fists Tuesday night, Laurie was thrilled.

Because Laurie loves Greg Maddux. Loves him as a pitcher. Not respects. Not admires. Not appreciates an all-time great but still wishes an anvil would fall on his head when he faces the Mets (my default position). She thinks Mike Maddux's brother is the bee's knees.

When it comes to the scope of his long and distinguished career, she's right. We don't have enough living legends floating by, and we should be able to applaud them when they cross our radar screen. Then we should, you know, kick their ass.

But Laurie doesn't think this way about Greg Maddux. She doesn't mind when he paints his corners on nights when the other team is ours. She thinks it's swell that Mad Dog's stuff still has its bite. Needless to say, we've parted company on this matter a number of times over the years. But we remain friends somehow.

She's not a Cubs fan. Far from it. We still celebrate Brant Brown Humiliation Day every September 23. She used to be a Mets/Braves fan until that got sticky and she peeled away all the Atlantaness from her being. She's down to only one Brave now and that Brave happens to pitch for Chicago and happened to have pitched yet another gem against us.

Like you, I'm in no mood to relive this debacle. So I'll let somebody who found some value in all of this explain herself. (And no, I didn't lose a bet or my mind.)

Laurie, it's all yours tonight:

Greg Maddux is so far past the point of idolization now that you don't even want to know how far. Now it's like watching Michael Jordan at the end of his career…every time I watch him I try to sear every pitch into my brain because I know it won't be long before it's all just a memory. He just thrills me. I know he shouldn't because he was a Brave and now he's a (UGH) Cub…I know it's disloyal, and I know you get mad at me for it, but I can't help it. He's the classiest, most incredible pitcher ever. I get physically ill when he gets hit. Actually nauseous.

His first start this year (this is what I never told you), he got bombed…the Mets had been slaughtered the day before and I was fine. But then he gives up five runs (that's when I turned it off) and I'm a shaking, sobbing, nauseous mess. I sobbed for a good half-hour. It was unbearable to watch. Actually physically unbearable.

I think it's because I know I'm on the verge of losing him soon and I can't handle it. I think about it and I get ill. I really idolize this guy as a pitcher. He's just the best. Keep your stupid Clemens, that self-aggrandizing bully…he actually referred to HIMSELF as a future Hall of Famer last week!!! I can't IMAGINE Greg Maddux doing that, just like I couldn't imagine him demanding attention and accolades for his 300th win. Even though HE IS GOD.

Now, I doubt you'll want to print any of that… but it felt good to get it out.

10 comments to A Stranger Among Us

  • Anonymous

    Dude, I can't BELIEVE you printed that. But hey, every word is true. The guy is my baseball god. I think I've admitted it in these pages before (Jason, confirm?). But not the extent. Can't help it, folks. Greg Maddux knows no bounds with me. I booed Dusty Baker tonight too, but then held back as I imagined those bases not being loaded anymore and #31 (for it is he…) being responsible for it. Thank you, Dusty.
    I told Greg I spent the night alternating between “I love you” and “you're the best” through tear-filled eyes, which I'm sure even Mrs. Maddux doesn't even do anymore. But rest assured this is in a purely baseball sense. I love the man's skill, his intelligence, his quiet, unassuming class… the dignity with which he carries himself, no matter what. The way he never behaves like a primadonna when he's taken out, or criticizes his manager or teammates.
    I've never met him, although I've been near him several times and each time froze into a solid block of moron. Sorry, fellow Met fans… “it is what it is.” I can't root against Greg Maddux. Yeah, I'd prefer that he beat us 1-0 instead of 7-0. But Kris Benson had every opportunity to make that happen and chose to suck instead.
    Ah, Brant Brown Humiliation Day… I can still hear myself shrieking “HE DROPPED THE BALL!!!!” Believe me, I hate the freaking Cubs. They used to give me nightmares. Real, honest-to-God nightmares. I hate them so much.
    But Greg Maddux… I worship the water he walks on.

  • Anonymous

    And to further prove what a traitor I am, I'm watching the repeat. Thank you, Time Warner!!

  • Anonymous

    This is probably none of my business, but, errrr….you know how nauseous you get when Maddux gets hit? That's how I get when I read what you say about him. I shouldn't talk to you like I know you, Laurie…but that said, I did read your words with quiet admiration and respect (and disquieting dizziness), and I feel that that, if nothing else, gives me the right to reply.
    Maddux is a pitching genius, but that's all you'll ever hear me say about him (you really wouldn't want to hear the other stuff, L). And I do respect what he did to Butch Huskey in Spring Training one year. Meanwhile, I just hope you were in some sort of a coma for THIS.
    If you weren't, then I would dearly love to hear your recollections of it, in excruciatingly minute and obsessive detail. Well, a man can dream, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I remember that one well. It was horrible. I knew it had to be done, of course, but it was horrible. I was just as ill as you're no doubt happily imagining. You know, there are exceptions to this… I have rooted “against” him when a) we REALLY needed to win and b) Rick Reed was pitching. But I've always just wanted to win 1-0.
    As for my words, well… I didn't actually know they were going to be printed here. But once they were, I figured there was no point in denying them. I'm not ashamed. We all have our heroes, and they don't all wear orange and blue. That's reality… amazin' players sometimes ply their trade outside the confines of Shea Stadium. Go figure. Hey, it's not like I idolize a disgusting excuse for a so-called human being such as, I don't know…Roger Clemens? (OK, now I'm really ill.)
    You'll be happy to know that it's back to business as usual today, and I wish a quick but painful baseball death on anyone whose non-#31 shirt bears the likeness of a certain small furry animal at Wrigley Field. God, but I hate the @&#%$*! Cubs.

  • Anonymous

    It's Greg's fault I had to read all that…? Figures.
    Ahhh…Rick Reed…the poor man's…well, you know. You have nothing to be ashamed of, Laurie…it's not like he's a Brave anymore. And you make a good point about Clemens. And Chipper and Andruw Jones, even though you didn't mention them. Meanwhile, it pains me to my very core and tears at the fibers of my utter being, but even I have had to grudgingly admit that I…{aherm}…finally like one of them, because his beautiful swing and sweet glove kind of reminds me of Olerud. And I like Biggio, disgusting dirt and grass and tobacco and spit-ridden helmet and all.
    And finally, I'm with you on the Cubs. All but one. But I said I was moving on…

  • Anonymous

    JM, read my previous post that Greg referenced in his reply “you're nothing if not consistent.” I mention them. And then some.
    Die, Cubs.

  • Anonymous

    Nah, this one's much better:
    (I don't know how to do those fancy link thingies)

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah. I read that a week ago. I don't know how I had forgotten that image of you “dancing around the room”, but I had. Hilarious.
    Finally, I was going to cite “Chipper and Glavine” (instead of Chipper and Andruw) but I didn't want my points to cross. I don't know about any of you, but In ten years, I'm barely going to remember that this guy was a Met (well, played for them). And I'm glad he didn't throw the no-hitter.

  • Anonymous

    You and me both!!! First time I'd ever rooted against a potential Met no-no. Of all people, I whined, not HIM! Mad props to Braves fans for booing his a** on a daily basis before/during/after the strike madness. What a living, breathing, walking, talking sphincter he is. Anus personified.
    I remember when both he and God Maddux were up for grabs, I promised I'd write the Mets a blank check for season tickets if they managed to persuade the right one to come here. Name your price, I told them.
    Wish I'd offered more.