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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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Beauty and the Beast

Baseball, we all know, is beautiful down to its tiniest rituals and motions. The way the hitter steps out with just his front foot and blows out a long breath before swinging himself back all the way into the box. That pause, fraught with potential, when the pitcher looks down at the ball in his glove, his hands set, before his motion begins. The open mouth/closed mouth pantomime of the second baseman and shortstop with a runner on first. The umpire's hand on the catcher's back, a bit of courtesy demanded by close working conditions. That's four examples chosen at random out of a library of 40,000 or so. Baseball is beautiful, and come winter we'd give most anything to watch an inning or two of a slow summer game, the outcome be damned.

Well, remember tonight's game come January, because it'll be a test of whether or not you really mean it.

Baseball may be beautiful, but there are few things more maddening than watching your baseball team failing to get out of its own way. A misfiring team is a pathetic thing, all overeager swings and meaningless hits and very meaningful outs and bad body language and rotten luck. Tonight? That was a misfiring team, from Jorge Sosa's flat sliders and slumped shoulders (both of which have been far too much in evidence of late) to Ryan Zimmerman leaping to retire Reyes. By the time Carlos Delgado collapsed in the approximate vicinity of Brian Schneider's little bleeder, looking for all the world like a large piece of old, expensive furniture falling over, I wasn't even pissed anymore. I was just ready for it to be over.

Fortunately, baseball being baseball, there's a game tomorrow. Two games tomorrow, in fact. Now that is a beautiful thing.

2 comments to Beauty and the Beast

  • Anonymous

    This was a beauty, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    The Braves tied the score with a run in the ninth against closer Jose Valverde, who converted 10 consecutive saves and 31 of 34 before Friday. He blew this one because of his carelessness and [Yunel] Escobar's alertness.
    Escobar drew a two-out walk as a pinch-hitter, then stole second when Valverde took his eye off him and bent to adjust his cleats. Neither middle infielder covered the base in time when Valverde saw Escobar dashing toward it.

    I was watching when this happened. Or most of it. The Diamondbacks' telecast also took its eye off Escobar and picked him up in mid-steal. A replay showed Valverde trying to regain his concentration after surrendering the walk, unaware that he was holding a live ball. In the pantheon of things you've never seen before, this “nobody's home, I'm takin' off” dash was a beaut. Of course Willie Harris drove him home to tie matters at 7.
    It would have been ugly for us if Tony Clark hadn't hit a game-winning homer for the Diamondbacks in extra innings, of course. To watch the Braves lose a game that karma was practically stacking in a Pringles can for them…beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    I wound up watching that, too — and even caught myself smiling at Escobar's play. Quite something.
    I wasn't so happy when I learned they'd come back from a 7-0 deficit. Who says Tony Clark never did anything for us?