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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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Eight Points About Playing the Nats

1. When the Mets seem to have the game won but the Nats keep hanging around in the rearview mirror, you’re not being paranoid. They really are closer than they appear.

2. Particularly if it’s happening at Nationals Park.

3. I guess it’s nice that David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman are buds and all, but I hate seeing Zimmerman anywhere near the plate in the late innings. He will find a way to do us in.

4. I hate Jayson Werth no matter what he’s doing. He’s up there with Cody Ross in the Michael Tucker Hall of Shame, reserved for players whom I never want to see in Mets uniforms and will boo and want to fail if such a dreadful thing should ever come to pass.

5. Let’s imagine that Ruben Tejada is in Las Vegas right now having another heart-to-heart talk with Wally Backman. It’s been a strange summer for Ruben, but one he will often speak of during his years as a solid, reliable if not flashy Mets shortstop known above all else for his fearsome work ethic. Whenever given the chance, Tejada will praise Backman, explaining how a summer under Wally’s thumb taught him to appreciate baseball and to take nothing for granted, paving the way for everything that followed.

6. I have no idea if such a drama is actually taking place, but I sure hope it is, because Omar Quintanilla, while undoubtedly a fine person, is not a major-league shortstop. I get that Tejada is being punished. I am willing to accept that Tejada’s punishment is not over yet, and that this might actually be doing him some good. But right now we’re the ones getting punished.

7. Matt den Dekker’s first big-league home run was nice to see, though the pace of his apres-dinger trot was more suited for someone who’d just hit his 500th. (Yeah yeah, get off my lawn.) But I was kinda bummed to not get a look at new Met Vic Black. Why? Beats me. I was excited to see Daniel Herrera once too. Any new Met suggests possibilities, I suppose.

8. Did I mention that I really, really hate Jayson Werth?

11 comments to Eight Points About Playing the Nats

  • Andee

    Ruben is starting to hit the last few weeks. Even had a couple of homers this week. Yeah, I know, Q hit in Vegas, too. But considering that a couple of weeks ago Ruben wasn’t even doing that, it’s a sign of life. I’m not giving up on him just yet.

    But it just kind of blows that our choices for SS are overpaying for a free agent SS who isn’t that good, taking on a hilariously expensive salary-dump contract, finding someone in the dumpster, or let Ruben and Wilfredo Tovar duke it out for two or three years until Cecchini is ready. None of those sound very appetizing to me.

  • Dave

    What the Mets are doing with Tejada by now is like parents who have given their kid a time out and kept it going despite the fact that the kid’s supposed to be in school by now. If he hasn’t learned his lesson by now, it’s probably a lost cause. And like Andee said, what are our other options for next year? Gary got the return of Reyes fantasy buzzing, but as much as the Jays might be in a salary dump mode this winter, I’m not holding my breath.

    I’m with you on Werth. Even creepy looking…if I saw a guy who looked like that on my daughter’s campus I’d tell her to steer clear of him.

  • Joe D.

    Regarding Jose, I know Sandy had about eight months to open up negotiations with his agent before Jose said he wanted to concentrate on the season and then two more after the season ended when he still had exclusive negotiating rights.

    When discussing contract negotiations with the media, Sandy said the first offer put out by the agent is extremely high and the same put out by the club is extremely low and neither is to be taken seriously but rather as a starting point to begin discussing contract. Both parties understand and expect that. It’s part of the cat and mouse game they play.

    Sandy admitted only having one informal phone conversation with Jose’s agent and the amount he was told was way above anything the Mets were willing to entertain. So what was the extremely low opening formal offer by Sandy during the total ten month time frame in which he had exclusive negotiating rights to at least get negotiations going? Nothing.

    We might not have been able to retain Jose and thus would have had a problem with shortstop no matter how much effort we made. However the manner this front office did things in terms of Jose – and then admitting that Ruben was never regarded as their long-term solution – the effort was never there and thus the problem guaranteed.

    • The Marlins gave Jose $106 million over six years. The Mets were never going to match that and never should have matched that. It was an insane contract.

      If there’s a scenario in which the Mets moved early to re-sign Jose and somehow wound up doing so for far less than $106 million, that same scenario should have involved Jose firing his agent.

      Not everything is Sandy Alderson’s fault.

      • Penacious H

        Granted, those are the facts. But I still smart when I think of Sandy’s patronizing ‘I guess I should have sent him candy,’ or whatever he said way back that was an insult six ways to Sunday. Having said that, wouldn’t we love him back if Toronto would eat half the contract (in US $ of course).

      • Andee

        Jose should fire his agent anyway for not getting him a no-trade clause. Oh, boy, did that ever come back to haunt him.

      • dmg

        all true, and yet the mets managed to handle it exactly wrong. the team never made an offer to a popular player who had been a face of the organization for years. Even if the offer was low and going to be rejected, it would show an effort to keep reyes. then the burden would have been on him and boras for rejecting the bid.

        if that’s how management felt, that it wasn’t worth trying to hold onto reyes, then they were guilty of failing to get something for him while he was still under contract — the rationale used to ship beltran the previous year. you cannot have it both ways.

        • So you’d be happy if the Mets had made a PR move intended to make you think they were serious about retaining a player they couldn’t retain? Don’t we usually scorn that sort of thing? And what burden would have been on Reyes and Boras for taking more money somewhere else? I’m not following you here.

          Re not trading Reyes, he got hurt in July and was pretty obviously not the same after that, which damaged his trade value considerably. So I fail to see how the Beltran parallel holds up.

      • Dennis

        “Not everything is Sandy Alderson’s fault.”

        Agreed Jason…great post.

  • geno

    What is amazing is that people discredit Omar as a big league SS. When actually defensively he is has more range and a better arm than Ruben. He is always in the right place defensively and doesn’t make the routine errors. He is solid defensive SS period. People tend to forget that SS are used to control the game defensively and if they hit over .230 that is a plus. But the main purpose of a SS is to control the game with his glove and give the Team the best chance to win because they are solid defensively. You all question why the coach talks so highly of Omar, well that’s because of what he sees on a daily bases on how much Omar keeps the Met’s in the game defensively and how much better the Met’s are because they have a SS who makes the plays. Without a SS who can make the plays that Omar makes each night the Met’s record right would be twice as bad if not worse.