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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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The Cool of the Evening

Funny how quickly The Worst Loss Ever recedes when replaced by a perfectly good win, a two-out-of-three series triumph and the end to several irritating losing streaks. Though I didn't necessarily believe it when I groped for something constructive to say the day before yesterday, we got 'em tomorrow after all.

No longer am I unvictoried on the year (1-3 never felt so luxurious). No longer am I mired in a two-season slump (the last two of '05, the first three of '06). No longer do I have to reach back to the Matt Franco game for my last intracity win (five straight defeats, including one at the Bronx House of Detention, until Sunday). Far, far, FAR more importantly, the Mets are 1-0 since TWLE.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have never won anything meaningful while I wear my 1986 adjustable mesh California Angels cap. They lost twenty years ago this week on the day I bought it at (genuflection alert!) The Stadium. They lost the 2002 American League Division Series. They lost the 2005 American League Division Series. Despite wanting to show my colors in the cauldron, I eschewed Met cappery Sunday night because I really needed to shake things up and change lotsa luck; Flashbackers with nothing better to remember will recall I broke an endless eight-game losing streak eleven years ago by wearing a Cardinals cap to a game against the Rockies. Hence, the Halo and hence, the hell with losing. The Yankees lost Sunday night even though I put the Big A away after a couple of innings and one mighty gust that nearly sent it from the upper deck to the Grand Central. Like Tom Glavine, it did its job.

Saturday is still TWLE, but unlike the Jordans of September 2001 and the World Series of October 2000, this came in May and May is a forgiving month. So in that spirit…

• I forgive Billy Wagner because we need him, but I still think he should only pitch every other time he pitches. Meaning? Send him out into the parking lot for an innocent game of catch between saves. That takes care of the on-off quotient. (The security guard commotion that broke out between the eighth and the ninth kind of robbed us of our Sandman Entrance moment. Just as well. Windy as it was, all we would have gotten was a Sandstorm.)

• I forgive Willie Randolph because we need him, too. He's the only manager we've got.

• I forgive an offense that was relentlessly inept for seven of eight innings, but for one inning, the fourth, POW! And BAM!

• I forgive whoever botched the coronation of Alex Rodriguez, 21st Century Met. He turned out to be our secret weapon. My co-blogger boldly declared he wanted the defending American League Most Valuable Player up in the eighth and though I cringed at the dare, A-Rod DP'd. Good call, virtual roomie. A-Rod surely put the Suck in Yankees Suck.

• I forgive those who came to Shea Stadium in enemy garb for making such a misguided choice with their lives. I gave them many evil eyes on the way in but when it was over, I mostly pitied them. Still don't much care for them, but they didn't seem terribly threatening having slunk out of Our House with only one extraordinarily aberrational eked-out non-loss to show for a weekend of bad manners and disturbed natures. In the platinum cheap seats, the mood was indeed one of good-natured dislike rather than holy war hatred; bonus points to the Mets fan who intermittently waved a sign referring to their Mr. Damon as JOHNNYCAKES. Hey, it's just a game…just a game WE WON AND YOU LOST. Nothing personal, crosstown rivalistas. Now crawl back in your holes and stay out of Queens (and Long Island, for that matter).

• I forgive a wind that wouldn't benefit the home team more than maybe once and seemed to tip in favor of the visitors over and over again. Shouldn't the wind know better by now? C'mon wind, you're supposed to be ours. Infield popups going for doubles? C'mon! Don't treat us like we're Pat Leahy lining up for a chip shot.

• I forgive myself for deciding that on one of the coldest late spring nights in Flushing memory — surely the windiest — I didn't need to wear a sweatshirt under my Mets jacket and a parka over my Mets jacket. Like the Mets, I survived. Some nights, that's all you need to do.

12 comments to The Cool of the Evening

  • Anonymous

    I liked the JOHNNYCAKES sign (even if after last night's episode- the real one- that arc appears to be more gone than a David Wright home run), but I'm still even more proud of whoever came up with this greeting when Damon returned to his former Fenway home a couple of weeks ago:

  • Anonymous

    last thoughts on the weekend:
    i am working late on friday, so don't hear/watch play by play, though i leave the office having seen The David hit the game-winner. he's back, i think, another reason why we're for real. the game is the early frontrunner for best win of the year.
    wanting to see the game, on late night i can only find a yanks rebroadcast, and of course while kaz is up at the plate, kay is going on and on and ON about what a disappointment he's been for the mets. man he trotted out everything, including the yank-centric trash that after the yanks got their matsui the mets had to go out and get their own version. (i'm not making this up.)
    and then kaz, who doubtless has been hearing all this, gets his base hit, tying the game and i'm not hearing much of anything from that blubberhead on the tv cause i'm smiling too loudly.
    i watch the end of the game again early saturday morning, this time on sny. whistling, i leave a daily news sports section for my son to read, complete with the front and back pages hailing wright. and on my drive out to long island, listen to FAN and hear fat boy prattle on in just EXACTLY the way greg has mentioned on occasion — dissing the mets' response to the win by saying, “did i miss the season? is it october already? oh my goodness, it's only may?” and other hilarious riffs. predictoman strikes again, i laugh. then i turn him off.
    throughout the afternoon i'm checking in on the game on the radio — everything is in hand, pedro is masterly, no worries. i catch the top of the ninth and it's as slow-motionly catastrophically bad as anything i can remember. if willie won't do something i will. i turn off the radio after wagner hits williams in the hopes of stanching the blood loss.
    then i turn on the radio, tentatively an hour later. ah, the game's still on. that's good, i ….guess. wrong. last ups, and we're out. fade to unspeakable blackness. is it truly our lot that the closer who had nothing but lasers on friday, striking out the side, be unable to find the plate on saturday? in a marquee game where pedro has done everything and more? yes, i guess, it is. must we have less than a day to savor the season's best win by sliming it with easily the season's worst loss? why yes, i guess we must.
    on sunday, my son, who's only 9, starts to bring up the game. please, boy, i can't discuss it. i…just…can't.
    he understands.
    and then we have a perfectly good win, a little tighter than need be but more than serviceable, considering — down 2, come right back to slap a 4 on the scoreboard, punctuated by homers into the maelstorm by big daddy don carlos and of course, The David.
    so i can go to work today locked in an upright position.
    the mets, bipolar so we don't have to be.

  • Anonymous

    I was about to say that “A-Rod surely put the Suck in Yankees Suck.” was the line of the day, if not the week.
    Then I read the “Throws like Mary” line in the first comment.
    I tip my cap to both of you!

  • Anonymous

    That win was sweet, but the loss is still bitter. Pedro's gonna need to start reaching back and pitching complete games if he wants to get any wins, it seems. But still, beating the Yankees is wonderful tonic. I know it's presumptuous, but I hope we see those clones in October.
    PS I just noticed to my extreme irritation, that Kris “Luke Warm Bath” Bath Benson has six wins (more than Pedro!) already. What an asshole.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not sure why Kris Benson deserves that epithet, but you are right to apply it to him.

  • Anonymous

    I wrote that rather quickly at lunch and I see that it shows. 'Clones' should be 'clowns' (although clones might work in some strange way) and omit the second 'Bath'.
    I believe it was Jason who dubbed Mr. Benson a “lukewarm bath,” so I can't take the credit, but it is strikingly appropriate. I imagine he'll be tepid shortly.
    Speaking of pitchers who are hot, (I know: we're supposed to be long past pining for him, but) Scott Kazmir would sure be a nice plug to fit into that gaping black hole that calls itself the back of our rotation. Enjoying his success in Fantasy Baseball is bittersweet.

  • Anonymous

    A pal in my fantasy league sent me a trade proposal for Kazmir. I was like, “Dude, I'm a Mets fan. After all this, do you really think I'm going to trade Scott Kazmir?” :-)

  • Anonymous

    Lukewarm bath, I get. A-hole, I'm not sure. Maybe Mrs. Benson, but Kris?

  • Anonymous

    Although I should point out I laughed heartily when I read it.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, yes, it was certainly an irrational epithet, but it just seemed like a personal failing of Benson's to be pitching relatively well when our rotation is in such a state and Jorge Julio is of little use. Obviously he's doing it deliberately to spite us.

  • Anonymous

    Last night Emily and I were watching Yanks/Bosox and in the 9th, with the Yankees getting waxed, I started lighting up A-Rod, gleefully recounting how I'd wanted him up on Sunday night, how he's a monster when the Yankees are up 10 or down 10 and a mouse when the game's on the line.
    “It's 9-1,” I said. “He'll hit a home run here.”
    Emily laughed. I was extremely smug.
    I love A-Rod. He's a special player.

  • Anonymous

    I loved how the guys on Baseball Tonight kept openly mocking A-Rod for not being able to do a damn thing in the clutch and coming back to it every couple of minutes. The best was how at one point, they mentioned something about how A-Rod and Manny Ramirez were pretty close to one another on the all-time HR list and both homered in that game, and one of them says “well, Manny hit a home run in a 2-1 game. A-Rod hit his when it was a 9-1 game.” Brilliant.