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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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But Who's Counting?

Things looked promising Saturday night right from the get-go in the top of the first when Carlos Beltran doubled for the 1,854th hit of his illustrious career and Daniel Murphy doubled right behind him for the 268th hit of his illustrious career to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. But then Tim Lincecum settled down and allowed only the 61st hit of Justin Turner’s illustrious career and the 123rd hit of Josh Thole’s illustrious career.

I had a modicum of hope in the ninth when Scott Hairston came up with a runner on and the Mets down two with two out in the ninth considering how Hairston came up with the 433rd hit of his illustrious career — a home run! — in the ninth the night before, but it wasn’t meant to be, as Hairston struck out against Sergio Romo and therefore failed to collect the 434th hit of his illustrious career.

What a shame the Mets lost 3-1, especially in light of Chris Capuano pitching six strong innings and surrendering only the 1,174th hit of Aaron Rowand’s illustrious career, the 250th hit of Nate Schierholtz’s illustrious career and the 447th and 448th hits of Pablo Sandoval’s illustrious career.

Caps left with the Mets trailing 2-1. Bobby Parnell then came in and gave up the 1,175th hit of Rowand’s (still) illustrious career and the 2,354th hit of Miguel Tejada’s illustrious career, which contributed to extending the Giants’ lead to 3-1, but what really wound up dooming the Mets on Saturday was a series of double plays not made and the clutch pitching of Lincecum and the three relievers who followed him.

There’s so much more to baseball than the hit totals accumulated within players’ illustrious careers. Sometimes, however, that can be hard to tell.

And now, apropos of nothing in particular, enjoy some truly splendid defensive highlights from my own personal favorite New York rookie shortstop of 1996, who had 767 hits in his illustrious career, which apparently concluded in 2004:

Per Moe Szyslak on why he chose a mechanical bull over cable TV for his bar, “I made my choice, and I stand by it.”

15 comments to But Who’s Counting?

  • ToBeDetermined

    Oh, did somebody get one of those round number hits yesterday?

  • Ken K. from NJ

    Thanks for the Ordonez highlight reel. The only thing missing was one of those ‘routine’ sliding backhand stops he more or less invented and seemed to make every day.

  • Rey Ordonez brought me back to loving baseball after the strike of ’94. LOVED his defense. He’s the reason I am a Mets fan.

  • Dennis

    “There’s so much more to baseball than the hit totals accumulated within players’ illustrious careers. Sometimes, however, that can be hard to tell.”

    So because Jeter is a Yankee, it should be minimized? Regardless of the hatred we Mets fans have towards the Yankees, it still is a fine accomplishment. As a baseball fan (which it seems at times you are not), I tip my cap to him.

    • Jacobs27

      Fair enough, but as a baseball fan with a sense of humor (which it seems at times you…ah, nevermind), I tip my hat to Greg.

      Although given the distorting force of Yankee-centrism, I anticipate the gesture may be misinterpreted.

  • Why do we hate the Yankees so much? Who better to represent our hatred of the other team in town than their captain, Mr. Jeter? Do we hate the Yankees because they defeated us in the 2000 World Series? Or is it because they are winners and our team, sadly, on most days, is not?

    Does it really make any sense: to hate somebody or something purely because it or he or they are successful? Would you let your children see you behave in such a way?

    Sorry for all the moralizing, but I think this truly excellent Mets fan blog should have done a lot better job congratulating Derek Jeter for his most recent accomplishment.

    I’m sick of the attention he gets, too. The commercials. Kimberly Jones smiling face is enough to make me change the station, too.

    But Jeter deserves a lot better treatment in this space. Because this is a space that celebrates baseball.

    I am one of the biggest Mets fans going. When the Mets lose or are losing my day is destroyed. But, as a baseball fan, I’ve come to appreciate Derek Jeter. He makes all the plays that need to be made. He delivers clutch hits in ways I wish my favorite team would. He exemplifies professionalism and what it means to be a winner. Pure and simple, the guy is a great great baseball player.

    Rey Ordonez, Greg? Really?

    • Damrat

      Personally, I “hate” the Yankees for a variety of reasons. Growing up in the Pompton Lakes, NJ area, we were forced to choose our allegiances young. I was five years old in ’69 when I chose the Mets, despite the entire neighborhood being chock full of gloating, entitled fans of that other New York team.

      It’s hard not to “hate” them when you spend you formative years watching the team you love being relegated to the under-story. Watching the Other New York Team being given all the attention, the money, and the global distinction and watching as they continually mill that revenue machine for championship after championship. Love, hope, and loyalty cloud the mind from accepting that facts that our beloved franchise so often squanders the ample resources it does have and it often not nearly as well run as our pompous, uptown rivals.

      Throughout this, though, I keep “hate” in quotes. Because this isn’t real hate, this is the sports-fan definition of it. Real Hate has no place here, but the sports-fan version of it certainly does.

      Out of that cloud of “hate”, I hold a modicum of genuine respect for Derek Jeter. But I would be damned to say it out loud, within earshot of one of the fans of his over-entitled team. He’ll have plenty of people fawning and patting him on the back. He won’t miss it not coming from me.

  • Jacobs27

    Look, guys, it goes without saying, for Mets fans, that Derek Jeter is a great player. He has a .381 life-time batting average against the Mets. That’s the highest by any qualifying opponent. He hit one of those gut-wrenching homers off Leiter in game 5 (and was the series MVP). You could make a case that he is one of the team’s greatest nemeses.

    This forges a kind of begrudging respect. And I’m proud in a certain way, that our Nemesis got 3,000 hits with so much style. But this event brings out one of the reasons he bugs me and I’ll explain why.

    What inspires much of the antipathy towards Jeter, I think–and this isn’t his fault–is how his actual accomplishments never seem to be enough for the people who praise him. It’s almost cliché to say Jeter is overrated, but it’s the *way* he’s overrated that really bothers me. It’s the insistence that he’s besides being a great offensive short-stop, and face of the Yankee franchise, he’s also Captain Intangibles, beyond the numbers, Mr. Clutch, a natural leader, an all around terrific guy, the embodiment of the Yankees winning attitude, a living legend, blah, blah…

    Whatever truth those adulations may contain, it’s his place on the Yankee stage that primarily inspires them, I think. If he were elsewhere, his real achievements could stand on their own.

    Instead, with his showy but average defense, that permanent kind of half-smirk (although Chipper’s and especially Andruw Jones’ used to bug me more), the way he sells calls to umpires, he complicity plays the exceptional part the media has invented for him, and he does it well. As it happens, whether he intends it or not, he ends up perfectly embodying a kind of overly self-satisfied Yankee-ness that I find totally unpalatable.

    But that means he’s playing the villain in Mets-dom, with more class than A-Rod, and I show my respect for him by cheering all the louder on those rare occasions when the Mets actually get him out.

    (By contrast, Mariano Rivera, because he’s not showy at all, because he just keeps going about his business with grim determination and is rarely in the media for anything besides the work of his one extraordinary pitch, I have no trouble praising for being probably the best closer of all time–and the one I enjoy the Mets beating the most).

  • dak442

    Looks like I picked a good time to leave the country.
    Jeter’s a good, probably great player, but enough already. He’s never even been the best player on his team.

  • Three-thousand hits speak for themselves (with 122 of them — along with 9 from the 2000 World Series — having said “eff you” to the Mets). Given the uniform in which they were collected, they require no endorsement from me. Based on all I’ve read and heard since Saturday afternoon, those 3,000 hits have cured everything but chronic dandruff, thus I’d estimate that this milestone is in no danger of being anything but maximized.

    And honestly, is there any more fitting tribute from a Mets fan/Yankee “hater” than so grudgingly saluting it with the back of one’s hand?

  • open the gates

    I don’t think it’s as much a matter of “hating” the Yankees (and I’m with Damrat, that word belongs in quotes) as it is “hating” their fans and their smug sense of being better than any other human who ever followed a sports franchise in the history of the universe.

    Examples? Every time a Yankee fan has a serious conversation with Mike Francesa about if A-Rod is a “true Yankee”, as opposed to Jeter, I want to throw the radio against the wall. Never mind that most teams would kill to have had either of those guys in their prime, let alone both – we have to ruminate on their “Yankee-ness”, or lack thereof, if you please. And then there was the day that Francesa ruminated on the beloved-ness of various Yankee dynasties. “Somehow, the Billy Martin Yankees will never have the same place in the Yankee fan’s heart as the Joe Torre Yankees, or the Casey Stengel Yankees,” he said (and I paraphrase). Let me get this straight – the team that won three World Series in a row in the late ’70’s just isn’t good enough for Mr. Francesa. Just not cuddly-bubbly enough, I guess. Meanwhile, we Met fans have all of two World Series victories ever,and Martin’s un-beloved Yankees humiliated the Mets during their, uh, “Steve Henderson Era”, but never mind all that. That Yankee team isn’t quite vintage, Jeeves. Put it in the back of the wine cellar, there’s a good fellow.

    You know, on second thought maybe that “hate” word shouldn’t be put in quotation marks after all.

    • Dennis

      “Let me get this straight – the team that won three World Series in a row in the late ’70′s just isn’t good enough for Mr. Francesa.”

      They didn’t win 3 in a row…..hammered in 4 straight by the Reds in 76; won in 77 & 78.

  • open the gates

    Oh,and Ordonez was lots of fun, but let’s be honest – Ordonez vs. Jeter? No contest. Gotta be Jeter.

    Although that’s strictly 20-20 hindsight. Fifteen years ago, I was also going with Rey-O. At one point, he was the only reason for Met fans to come to the games.