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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 Perfect Team

The perfect team needs no enhancements at the trading deadline. Enhancements are for teams with glaring imperfections, first-place outfits like the Cardinals, the Padres, the Braves, the Yankees. They admitted their imperfections by making trades. So much for them. Perfection is obviously embodied in the tied-for-third place Mets, a club that stood pat Saturday afternoon and went out Saturday night and did what a perfect team does:

Win a baseball game.

Perfection is a fifth starter, Hisanori Takahashi, striking out ten Arizona Diamondbacks in six innings.

Perfection is the lowest-ranking member of the bullpen who isn’t Oliver Perez, Manny Acosta, rolling out his second consecutive inning-and-a-third of flawless relief.

Perfection is a fourth outfielder, Jesus Feliciano, tripling to lead off the ninth and thereby imperil a 4-4 tie.

And, as if packing Hisanori Takahashi, Manny Acosta and Jesus Feliciano onto the same roster isn’t a perfect enough display of personnel, perfection is taking a piece of Kirk Gibson strategy — walking Angel Pagan and David Wright to load the bases to get to some nonentity named Carlos Beltran — and pumping a fist at it after a no-doubt sacrifice fly by Beltran renders it stupid.

Perhaps you were channeling Jack Buck, unable to believe what you just saw when Carlos flied to deep enough right and Jerry’s Mets bested Gibby’s Snakes in walkoff fashion. But I was completely credulous. I had known my team was perfect ever since the deadline came and went and Omar Minaya left his chemistry-laden clubhouse undisturbed. Many players changed hands the last couple of days but our dealer sat with a hand that was pat — as pat as Misch, you might say.

We’re still tied for third, we’re still residing in the distant exurbs of contention, but ever since I learned just how perfect we are, the Mets are 1-0.

Go argue with perfection.

15 comments to The Perfect Team

  • JK4507

    Greg and Jason,
    I just want to say – I love every one of your freakn posts – love ’em.

    From now on, I promise to reply with something more substantial than “I love your shit”

    OK. Sorry.

  • JK4507

    BTW: I live in LA

    – Vin Scully has declined to a senile 3″x5″ card reader; spewing and repeating worthless factoids about every visiting player at every at bat; He is alone at the booth digressing about this guy’s brother, brother-in-law in prison or AA; dumbing-down an already dumb-down LAD fan base; he could have been an interesting Ralph Kiner resource with 1 or 2 other guys there the last 10 years.
    – My favorite TV broadcast team is clearly the SF Giants – Krukow/Kuiper; just watch/listen – you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • Andee

    The Mets don’t need a trade to make the playoffs. They need a miracle. Like a “Carlos Beltran becomes Carlos Beltran again, and Jason Bay becomes Jason Bay again, and Mike Pelfrey solves his pesky finger blister, and soon” type of miracle. And I think they were right not to clean out the farm system for an extreme long shot.

    It would help immensely if ownership would allow Omar to eat his mistakes, as Steve Phillips was allowed to do over and over again. But Omar can’t win this one. If he’d sacrificed Niese and Davis and Thole to get players like Ted Lilly or Brett Myers (Brett Myers?!?), he’d probably have been roasted on a spit for it. And after them, who else was there to trade? Almost everyone else in the upper minors with trade value (Mejia, FMart, Havens) has been battling injuries.

    Also, any trade that involved Niese wouldn’t be any kind of rotation upgrade unless it brought back an ace-caliber pitcher — preferably one who wasn’t going to bolt at the end of the season (Lee) or represented a big injury risk (Oswalt). I’m as astonished as anyone else that the Angels got Dan Haren for what looks like a bag of old rosin bags, but I have a feeling the PTBNL in that deal is one of the Angels’ top 2 prospects.

    I’m not even sure Ollie for Zambrano would be worth it. Ollie may be an obstinate wanker, but Zambrano is behaviorally somewhere in Vince Coleman territory.

    • It would have been truly fucking crazy to have traded Niese, Davis, Tejada or even Parnell (maybe). But nothing. Not a damn thing? What an airtight unit they must be.

      • David

        Any suggestions on what they should have done?

        • No. I just wanted to be slightly bitchy about the inactivity. Pains me when David is quoted saying he’d hoped they’d get a little help and they got none. I don’t know what they could’ve done. I’m not a big fan of the trading deadline as I don’t come armed with specifics.

  • Andee

    Again, though…who was there to trade, if not those guys, who wasn’t dealing with the injury bug, and whose departure wouldn’t have signaled throwing in the towel?

    Sure, he could have traded Feliciano for a minor leaguer, maybe, or for a comparable righthanded reliever, but that’s lateral movement at best. If Barajas had been healthy there probably would have been takers, but he’s banged up. Nobody wants Francoeur or Castillo, let alone Perez — not unless ownership becomes ready (again?) to eat money, and their unwillingness to do that probably killed a lot of potential deals.

  • ToBeDetermined

    Well, he did acquire a player to be named later from Toronto for Mike Jacobs. That player could end up being the key piece to…

    OK, sorry. I tried, but I just can’t say it with a straight face.

  • Matt from Sunnyside

    Minaya may look a little uncreative, but I’ve got to agree with Andee. It seemed like every trade rumor before the deadline involved Niese and/or Davis, and after Cliff Lee was sent to Texas, none of those rumors sounded remotely tempting.

    Even if it was a 1 for 1 trade, I don’t think swapping Niese for Lilly, Haren or Oswalt would have made a huge difference this season. (Also, Haren and Lilly have been having really, really mediocre seasons. To some extent, you can blame the teams they’re playing for, but trading for them would have been a crap shoot, hoping they could turn it around quickly on a new team. If they didn’t, losing Niese and getting one of those two in return would have made the Mets’ rotation worse in the near term.) Oswalt might be good for an incremental win or two, but when you consider the money he’s owed this year and next, it still would have been a questionable deal. I think the Phillies are going to end up regretting that swap for Happ.

    The Mets still have plenty of time, and they’ve got the right pieces. But, if they end up making a run it’s going to be because Beltran and Bay return to form.

    • Braves lost today. We don’t lose any ground. And we still have Niese.

      Wow, that’s optimistic after 14-1.

      • Matt from Sunnyside

        Touche, man. Touche. But, Niese basically gave up two three run homers to LaRoche, and Oswalt looked comically godawful in his debut versus the Nationals. Also Niese is 23, and he doesn’t have back problems.

        C’mon man, we all know you love Niese. You already admitted it in this thread. And, if the Mets ever trade a bona fide talented starting pitcher who was born on the day they won their last world series, and has already thrown a major league one hitter, the baseball gods will use him to torment us forever. Freaking Aeschylus will rise from the grave and become a beat writer for Newsday.

  • John Ryan

    Anybody else stunned that David Wright drove in big runs (or runs at all) after the 5th inning?

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