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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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Hoarding Baseball

(Before moving on to our usual fun and games, our deepest thoughts and absolute best wishes go out to Shannon Forde, one of the true shining lights of the Mets organization and a great friend to the blogging community, as she battles to beat Stage IV breast cancer. Please visit Hope Shines For Shannon and consider attending the November 1 fundraiser in her honor or giving whatever you can to help her family defray the costs associated with this terrible and serious ordeal. Thank you.)


You’d figure I’d have enough Mets stockpiled to get me through the winter, but my survivalist instincts told me it wouldn’t hurt to lay in just a little more. Thus, after a surprisingly satisfying weekend at Citi Field, I decided against leaving well enough alone until Closing Day and pretty much just stayed over Monday and Tuesday nights to get some more Mets while it was readily available.

Because you can never have too much baseball.

Laugh now, but when you’re groping around in a few weeks looking for a fourth-place team with which to be enmeshed outdoors for a combined 400 minutes, I’ll have plenty.

I’ll have Monday’s win that extended my unforeseen personal streak of triumph to three and I’ll have Tuesday’s loss, which was permissible for the Mets to lose in whatever fashion they selected (ugly is in vogue, apparently) as long as they promise to get the futility out of their Citi system by Thursday, when they are required to win.

I’ll have twelve Mets runs scored and twelve Pirates runs surrendered. Sounds fair.

I’ll have umpire calls so puzzling (Justin Turner out for admiring second base from up the first base line; Jordany Valdespin safe for transporting the basepath between second and third to the green, green grass of the infield) that they probably accounted for a Seahawk safety.

I’ll have a pair of long-form conversations in my head from which each upshot was the Mets aren’t very good but we (me and my gracious host Paul on Monday; me and my old friend Rob on Tuesday) sure hope they get better and, even if they don’t, we’re Mets fans. What are we gonna be otherwise: not Mets fans?

I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing the world’s most obnoxious Pirates fan — a bellowing, drinking, smoking fool in Excelsior whose asslike behavior transcended the nobility of being a Pirates fan too young to have seen a winning Pirates team (except against the Mets Tuesday) — got himself thrown out of the ballpark by the seventh inning. It took seven innings too long, but Citi Field has a righteous side after all.

I’ll have assurance that my commitment to hoarding Mets doesn’t necessarily push envelopes the way that of others does. Take, for example, the lovely Wanda, a FAFIF reader/evangelist who invited me up to 519 for a stop ‘n’ chat. In the course of an inning, I learned Wanda a) has a 20-game plan; b) will wind up attending 40 games anyway; c) is intimately familiar with the 2013 schedule; d) was worried that showing up Thursday might be a detriment to R.A. Dickey because e) until Monday night, the Mets had lost the previous 17 games Wanda had attended. Now THAT’S a diehard Mets fan. By comparison, my projected 28 games for this year and refusal to match my biorhythms against R.A.’s tells me I’m merely passing through Citi Field on my way to LaGuardia.

I’ll have the promise of Jenrry Mejia from Monday night (boy did he throw tantalizingly hard) and no such thing out of Collin McHugh from Tuesday night. Terry Collins blames use of Collin McHugh for Collin McHugh not pitching well anymore. I feel I’ve heard that excuse a lot.

I’ll have TEJADA 11 to pluck out of my drawer. The 30% discount helped seal my purchase, but the real motivator was the realization that after continuing to sport REYES 7 to excess it was time for a changing of the shortstop t-shirt guard. I mean it’s not like I’m still running around town in ORDOÑEZ 10. Call this a case of drawer-withdrawl, not a cold turkey eviction of all the the fabric I suitably held dear from 2003 to 2011, but least one REYES 7 will be heading out of regular rotation and up to the retirement shelf where Jose will keep PIAZZA 31, MARTINEZ 45 and other distinguished alumni company. Occasionally I will stop by with box scores and a Helmac so they know I still care.

And I’ll have at least a little piece of Mets history for having witnessed David Wright tie Ed Kranepool in the all-time hits department at last with a seventh-inning two-RBI single. They didn’t stop the game and they didn’t wheel a podium and microphone to first base and Scott Hairston didn’t immediately honor David by driving him in (never mind Jon Rauch dishonoring all of us by giving up a 10,000-foot home run to Garrett Jones to put the game out of reach come the ninth) but I stood and applauded about as long as I could without looking or feeling like a loon.

It felt good to know two Mets could pile up 1,418 hits in their Met lifetimes and I felt good for David, whose second half has brought his 2012 numbers down from potentially all-time enormous to something a little north of a really good Lee Mazzilli season. Though I didn’t notice it Tuesday, during the three previous home games I intently watched the Mets’ annual “thank you” video, where each player smiles broadly and gins up gratitude for our patronage. In this year’s edition, Turner is predictably bubbly but fails to pie himself in the face; Tejada hints that English may have yet to crack his top two languages; Thole grins that adorable “Mom! Dad! I just made the traveling squad!” grin of his, same as he does when an equally adorable pooch delivers him the ceremonial first pitch on Bark in the Park Day and you momentarily forget you wish somebody else would catch; Johan is likely spliced in from some other year; Zach Lutz thanks us despite never properly introducing himself; and the big finish is David speaking so deliberately and making no effort to disguise a hauntingly glazed expression that I’m pretty sure his gun-wielding captors are just out of camera range.

“Hey Mets fans. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. As you can see behind me, they let me dress at this outstanding dressing cubicle in this very comfortable clubhouse and they give me plenty of clothes hangers, none of which I would attempt to use as a weapon to gain my release from this paradise of justice because they treat me very well, please don’t be concerned for my well-being. Mets fans are the greatest fans in the world. I get plenty of exercise and there are ample sports drinks to replenish my fluids. You’re the greatest fans in the world. Please buy tickets to see R.A. go for 20. I renounce my misplay from the Tampa Bay series and call on the governing body of the sport to restore to R.A. the no-hitter of which the imperialist scorer took from him due to my clumsiness as a bourgeois third baseman of the worst kind. All hail the new order. Mets fans are the greatest fans in the world. And if you’re watching this while wearing a Pirates cap, there is absolutely no smoking in the seating bowl at Citi Field. Thank you for your support. Mets fans are the greatest fans in the world.”

That may not be exactly what he said out loud, but I’m pretty sure he blinked it in Morse code.

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