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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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They Really Shouldn’t Have Gone to Such Lengths

“Oh, what’s this? I wasn’t expecting anything!”
“C’mon, open it.”
“I almost don’t want to. It’s so beautifully wrapped. Who put the bow on it?”
“That was Pete.”
“As if Pete hasn’t already done enough. I’m going to undo it very carefully…oh my!”
“Do you like it?”
“Like it? I love it!”
“It’s an extra-inning win.”

“I can see that!”
“We all put it together for you. See? There’s ten innings in there.”
“Such interesting craftsmanship. The foundation is so sturdy.”
“That was Jason’s doing. He crafted the first five-and-a-third.”
“Jason? The same Jason who could barely get through a third of an inning just a few weeks ago?”
“The very same. He’s been taking classes.”
“It shows!”
“I hope you don’t mind the little crinkle there just past the fifth.”
“No, it’s wonderful. It shows it was made with his very own left hand.”
“It was Mickey’s idea to let Jason keep working on it. It was also his idea to eventually make him stop.”

“Well, it’s beautiful. You don’t even notice there’s something a little wrong with the sixth. Is this a hair?”
“Oh, that’s Robert’s. Robert helped Jason do the sixth and then he did the seventh all by himself.”
“The hair just makes it more authentic. Ooh, what’s this little thing over here?”
“That’s a bunt. Jeff put that on in the third.”
“Jeff is so smart! Like a regular little squeezing squirrel.”
“That’s not all Jeff did. Take a look. He put four hits in altogether. Scattered them throughout.”
“The way he’d hide nuts for the winter — what a clever young man!”
“And did you see this catch over on the right? Michael made that. And this RBI single. He came up with that, too.”
“Michael was certainly busy, I see. Did he put this ball all the way over here?”
“No, that was Todd. Todd wanted to do something special, and that’s basically what he knows how to do.”

“Todd does it very well. He should be proud. Tell me, though, whose idea was it to make this an extra-inning win? That wouldn’t have occurred to me!”
“Funny story about that. We weren’t gonna do that originally. I mean not that you’re not worth the extra effort…”
“Please. Mind you, a regular win would have been just fine.”
“But Mickey had this idea about making it extra.”
“Mickey again? First he has Jason do more than five innings and now you’re telling me this was his brainchild? So creative, that one!”
“He got Jeurys to help him.”
“Jeurys? Did he do the eighth inning? Did he do it all right? I know sometimes Jeurys has trouble.”
“No, Jeurys was fine with the eighth. Well, mostly fine. Good enough.”
“That’s a relief. I know Jeurys tries so hard. It would have been fine with me had he just signed the card.”
“Mickey thought it would be good to let him do the ninth, too.”
“The ninth. Really?”
“Oh yeah.”

“Um, I hope this doesn’t sound unappreciative, but doesn’t Edwin usually do the ninth? I wouldn’t want to bother him too much, but he does so well with those.”
“Mickey didn’t want to disturb him again so soon after he did his last one, not to mention the ones just before that.”
“I understand. It’s just that Edwin is so good with those.”
“So Mickey asked Jeurys to do the ninth.”
“Uh-huh. Listen, I really don’t want this to come out wrong, because the thought is really what counts, but is that the reason…”
“The reason the ninth looks like it does? It’s OK, you can say it.”
“Well, I know this was obviously put together with so much love and care — and Jeurys really does try his best — but the dents, and the splotches of Red…”
“It was Mickey’s idea.”
“I see.”
“Now to be fair, Jeurys tried his best.”
“Oh, of course, of course! I’m absolutely sure he did.”
“But he’s not as handy as Mickey seems to think, so…”
“Is that why there’s an extra inning?”
“Pretty much.”

“But it’s a very nice extra inning. Who made it?”
“Drew put the top half of it together.”
“Drew? It’s such exquisite work! I didn’t know he knew how to do something like that!”
“None of us did. And the bottom half, that was J.D. and Jeff — and you already saw the bow Pete put on it.”
“It’s extraordinary. It really is. I’m going to line it up right over here with the other wins you boys have given me. See? It looks gorgeous next to them. I’m going to tilt it just a little but so you can’t make out the ninth unless you go looking for it. I mean I know Jeurys worked hard on it and all.”
“And Mickey.”
“Oh, Mickey. Of course, Mickey. So creative. Two innings for Jeurys, the eighth and the ninth. I guess it all turned out for the best, but…”
“But what?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all. There, in this light, this win is absolutely flawless.”

8 comments to They Really Shouldn’t Have Gone to Such Lengths

  • Daniel Hall

    I am very sorry about the splotches of red, but I banged my head on the desk too hard, also made a dent, and pulled out some hair… in that ninth.

    But thanks for this column; great writing… and it also made me realize that I am about as good at crafting as Senor Familia is at pitching. But, ah, the Mets made a W out of a pitching matchup that before the first pitch was figuratively running around and sticking out the tongue with finger and the thumb in the shape of an L on its forehead. Glad about that for sure!

  • Greg Mitchell

    Maybe we can get back former whipping boy Robles–picked up 2nd save for Angels last night and with 3.21 era….well he is at least better than the 7 relief prospects Sandy gave players away for…

  • Steven Jacobson

    This site is always excellent. But this story is truly tremendous. Well done by you and of course JD and Squirrel and Pete and Michael and Jason and Robert and Drew and Todd and Jeurys, sort of.

  • K. Lastima

    What is it with the Mets and their managers?!? Since 1962, we’ve had only 3 men at the helm who have had a clue: Gil, Davey and Bobby V. I’m excluding Casey given where he was at age-wise and what he’d been given to work with, and while I loved Yogi, God bless him, he was not really cut out to be a manager. If I’m feeling generous, I could be persuaded to include Dallas Green on the short list, but otherwise we’ve mainly been saddled with men who are walking proof of the Peter Principle. It’s time for Mickey to go.

  • eric1973

    Same goes for Met closers.

    The only ones you could ever really rely on were McGraw, Duaner Sanchez, and Francisco Rodriguez.

    The other guys could have thrown 100 pitches and still not have gotten the save:
    Billy Wagner
    And now Familia

  • 9th String Catcher

    Man, what a strange team. League leader in OBP, runs, hits. Dead last in ERA. Dead last in fielding percentage and errors. It’s like they built a beer league softball team.

    Familia is in a tough spot. He needs to learn how to be a setup man. It’s a different set of skills and it takes time. Worst of all, he has to do this with a manager who is all over the map when it comes to pitching assignments, warming guys up, developing roles. It’s like a beer league manager saying, “hmm – looks like starter’s getting rocked. Put in the third basement for a spell”.

    I predict he will get better, just like most of the starters (and Vargas will go back to being Vargas pretty soon as well, but enjoying it while I can).

  • Perhaps we have an answer in that Familia has just gone on the IL with shoulder soreness.

    • 9th String Catcher

      Wow. Maybe having him throw 30 pitches an appearance isn’t the best relief strategy. Can’t wait until Gsellman and Lugo’s arms fall off by mid-May.