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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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Easy Enough

During the World Series player introductions Wednesday night, I wanted to figuratively shoot everybody (figuratively, of course, because I'm not nearly as violent as my baseball tendencies of late would indicate). By the ninth inning, however, I had consolidated my hatred.

This wasn't hard. This was sort of easy. These were the Not The Yankees in Phillies uniforms, and Not The Yankees has always been my favorite team in whatever game the Yankees are playing.

That's all I saw after a while: Not The Yankees. My personal Foxwoods Resort & Casino Turning Point of the Game was the play at the plate in the ninth, when Shane Victorino was unnecessarily trying to score a seventh run (who sent him, Razor Shines?) and I instinctively rooted for a collision that would send his head flying toward the Hard Rock Cafe. Oh wait, I thought, I'm going to need this unappealing person to annoy the Yankees some more before this thing is over. I can't wish him well, but I can hope whatever problems he encounters come while sanding his deck in December.

Or taking a champagne bottle up his rectum in a few days.

Sorry to blow the Mets Fan's Worst Nightmare scenario, but it no longer is…not this Mets fan's anyway. Maybe it will be when the cauldron of crimson hatred reopens for bitterness this weekend and the sight of 45,000 Victorinos reawakens my double-sided animus, but not at the moment. I don't like the Phillies; I'm not rooting for the Phillies; I haven't adopted the Phillies in that way I like to find a positive cause for the duration of a postseason when the Mets aren't there (e.g. long-suffering White Sox fans in 2005). But their victory equals Yankee defeat, simple as that. Yankee defeat is the cause which I always support when it's on the table.

Somebody has to pull the trigger. The Phillies have the only weapons left.

Besides surprising myself by deciding it was all right that Shane Victorino's head stayed attached to his neck and such, I also found myself feeling a tad proprietary about those Phillies. Not in the fleeting “my guys” sense I got from the Rays in '08 or Rox in '07 (can I pick a winner or what?), but from a recognition standpoint. We play them approximately a hundred times a year. They're familiar. They're from the neighborhood, if you will — the National League East neighborhood. Despite the Yankees technically receiving their mail in New York, I don't see them much in the course of a season. I avoided YES from April to early October because it aggravated me no end to watch its content, whereas I couldn't help but watch the Phillies prance across 2009 since they interacted with the Mets so often. Hence, last night, when I saw red-trimmed gray uniforms and a blue fence in the background (with no pinstripes clouding my field of vision), it felt less horrific than it should have. At stray moments, I found myself musing that could have been the Phillies playing the Mets at Shea.

I knew that assessment was waaaay skewed from reality, but the familiarity made the whole thing moderately more palatable than I'd anticipated. After all the “who will those downtrodden Mets fans root for?” whinging of the past week (mine no less whingey than anyone else's), I figured we must be involved here somewhere. Therefore, I decided what I'm watching is not a World Series between our two most despised counterparts but rather an MLB company picnic softball tournament. It's round-robin, and it just happens to be these squads' turn to play. Let's say the Phils are the trolls from IT and the Yankees are from the branch office in Hell.

The Mets? They're off getting some barbecue. Probably spilling it all over themselves, too.

11 comments to Easy Enough

  • Anonymous

    Mets? Barbecue? No way, “spare ribs” just sounds like one more way to get injured.

  • Anonymous

    Good God, do I hate Shane Victorino.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not ready to concede special Not The Yankees status on the Philths. Their fans are filthy ? Meh. They have to go back to Philthy or thereabouts. That is purgatory or worse.
    I found last nights win gratifying. Cliff Lee was awesome. No wonder we didn't get him. He sure did earn a shutout. What happened there? Oooh. it was that mouthy, pesky shortstop Jimmy Rollins. He threw the ball away costing Lee the shutout.
    You sure are clutch Jimmy. If I planned to go to Shea next year, I'd let him know it.

  • Anonymous

    like i've been saying, there's nothing hard about this decision. i suspect that all the yankee-rooting mets fans either 1. aren't really that fanatic, 2. are dating/married to yankees fans or 3. live far, FAR away from NYC.
    once i got over the “dirtiness” of it i actually enjoyed pulling for a team that was put together the right way and backed up their mouths on the field. as opposed to the choking bunch of incompetent excusemongers i am subjected to for six months of every year.

  • Anonymous

    Remember: with the Series at 1-1, global thermonuclear war comes back into play.

  • Anonymous

    i've been struggling to think of some public disaster that would cancel the series yet not result in massive loss of human life

  • Anonymous

    OK, then, let's have the gropund under CBP open up during the off-day workout & swallow both teams.

  • Anonymous

    I'm intrigued by your idea and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Anonymous

    They were going to offer some BBQ to Luis Castillo, but they were afraid he'd drop it. In other picnic news, a bee chased Jose Reyes. While running away from it, he may or may not have torn or maybe strained his hamstring. He's going in for a fifth opinion today. In any event, he's sidelined until 2012 at the earliest. The Mets have lured Mike Bordick out of retirement to take his place at SS.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    For me, it's come down to rooting against the individual.
    I wanted the “special” one to be beaten so bad that I leaped for joy with Matsui's homer, the first time I remember doing so for a New York player who wasn't wearing orange and blue.
    The night before I did same for Utley as he homered twice off Sabathia, because I didn't like him signing with the Yankees because they upped the ante by maybe $60 million after he had originally decided to stay on with the Brew Crew (at what point does money no longer become the deciding factor, i.e., how much enough is enough?).
    If brought into the game I'll root hard for Joba Chamberlain (future hall of famer and current DWI) to continue being bombed (excuse the pun).
    As far as rooting for either team, well, the Ham Fighters go for the Japan Series starting Sunday morning.

  • Anonymous

    I'm a Phillies fan and I can assure you that, should another subway series come about,I will be rooting wholeheartedly for the Not-the-Yankees as well, even though they may have changed uniforms.
    Love the blog, which I came to through the wonderful A-Rod as centaur image on Deadspin.