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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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Cures for Latos Intolerance

The bad news was as plain as the grin on Mat Latos' face after he laid down a successful sac bunt. Why shouldn't Mat with the missing 't' be grinning? He was beating the New York Mets. That and $2.25 qualifies him for a Metrocard if the fare hasn't gone up by the next time the Padres come to New York, so yeah, it was bad news per usual Saturday night in San Diego. But because we've drowned in bad news lately, let's divine a few happier tidbits.

Bobby Parnell was good news. Not his line, not even his pitching, but the mere fact he started was good. Why dredge up the modern-day equivalents of Jose Lima or Brian Lawrence? Why not take the kid who was a starter who became a reliever but who may really be a starter and give him a shot? He needs that secondary pitch, something that he might have perfected with a summer in Buffalo, but he's got plenty of minor league games ahead of him from now to the end of the season — and with major league meal money!

Nelson Figueroa and Tim Redding were good news. Figueroa walked in one of Parnell's runs but was sound otherwise. Redding has adopted to his non-role with aplomb. I never wanted to see either one of them in a Mets uniform after tasting a small sample of their fifth-starter work, but they're here, they're getting paid and they're earning it.

Mike Pelfrey will be good news. He had to miss his turn in the rotation to be on hand for the birth of his son. The good news is the son was born and he named him Chase, because Mike Pelfrey plans to go to Chase Field Monday night and own the Diamondbacks. Gotta love the confidence given it was the future dad who was slapped on the bottom the last time the Mets got to Phoenix. Chipper didn't name his progeny Shea until he had actually done something there.

Alex Cora was good news. Good to see the old pro break an ancient homerless streak. He was one of the four guys with the longest stretch of at-bats without a home run in baseball. Natch, Luis Castillo was one of the other four. He's still got his .500 beard, he's still out there making most of the plays (his Rey Ordoñez one-knee-down impression didn't work so well), he's still in there more than he ever should have been. Cora's dinger landed somewhere in Julio Franco territory, but if that's the way they wanted to build Pitco (I'm officially renaming it), let them suffer the consequences when old infielders remember old tricks.

Jeff Francouer was good news. He shaved his .500 beard (killjoy realist) but he walked unintentionally and tried to throw Latos out at first in the second — and despite Murphy being flummoxed by the trickish play, the ball didn't go into the dugout, or into the stands, or onto the beach. It was a good idea and it's a reminder of what fun it is to have a rightfielder capable, theoretically, of executing a 9-2 putout.

Luis Castillo was good news. He walked to the plate and didn't fall down. He struck out as a pinch-hitter and didn't fall down. He returned to his seat in the dugout without incident.

Cory Sullivan was good news. Made a great sliding catch in left that nabbed the ball and avoided the wall. Not only didn't he get hurt making that play, but neither did Luis Castillo.

Brian Schneider was good news. True, he drives I-97 to the plate now, but he got himself a call, no matter how mistaken it was. Chalk it up mostly to another blunder in blue by a crew that includes Angel Hernandez (who has somehow found colleagues who belong at his level), but Schneider knew enough to tag Everth Cabrera after Cabrera touched home with his hand. Lance Barksdale didn't think Cabrera swiped the plate, which replays proved was a ludicrous conclusion, but Schneider didn't give Lance a chance for a second glance.

Dick Williams was good news. Williams was inducted into the Padres' Hall of Fame Saturday night — for you Mets fans out there, a team hall of fame is what a team maintains and embellishes when it's run anything like a proper enterprise, not a total sham steered into the ground by clueless clowns who only care about taking your money and crushing your spirit — and was interviewed by Kevin Burkhardt. Williams owed his A's success in the 1973 World Series primarily to Yogi Berra's (and Bob Scheffing's) decision to pitch Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack on short rest in Games Six and Seven. He could have said, “We were a dynasty, of course we'd win,” but it was comforting to know the way we lost those final two games wasn't just our fevered imagination. Even the opposing manager knows George Stone should have started Game Six.

None of the above would pass for good news in better years. But late on a Saturday night from San Diego in a year you wouldn't describe as “better” than anything, you take what you can get.

The right call to make is picking up a copy of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

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