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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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Mr. Clean Slate Here

“Hey, Greg, what’s this?”
“It’s a clean slate.”

“Aren’t you going to fill it in with details of Friday night’s brutal 4-1 Mets loss to the Royals?”

“Why not?”
“Need a clean slate for tonight.”

“We understand the concept, Greg, but what about the way the Mets in the midst of a scalding pennant race couldn’t beat a team that came into Friday 35 games under .500, the only supposed soft touch they have left on their schedule for the next several weeks?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how the Mets batted 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how shvitzy Noah Syndergaard, who had been cruising, cracked just enough to let the Royals take the lead in the fifth while the Met offense could hit only ‘snooze’ against Mike Montgomery?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how J.D. Davis had to leave with tightness in his calf, and even though he and Callaway swear it’s nothing, we can — to put it mildly — ill afford to lose J.D. Davis?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how Brad Brach and Edwin Diaz joined forces to give up two killer runs in the eighth and were lucky there weren’t four more as the umpires who, as Keith so Keithishly framed it, ‘couldn’t get off their duffs’ to follow the flight of a fly ball down the right field line initially called a foul grand slam fair?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how the Mets, having been rescued from an 8-1 hole by replay review, loaded the bases in the ninth with two out, brought up their hottest hitter in Amed Rosario as the potential go-ahead run, and Amed rolled a ball between short and third that couldn’t quite find a hole and Luis Guillorme wasn’t quite fast enough to beat the throw to second and there went a final golden opportunity to beat the stupid Royals in their stupid gold-trimmed uniforms?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how, when you consider all that went awry and all that didn’t click, this performance was of a piece with the misery that oozed across the first half of 2019, particularly late June and early July, a segment of the season that drove you to nightly despair as you searched your heart and soul not to mention what was left of your mind for ways to write about it that didn’t leave you and your readers thoroughly despondent, a period we, with the possible exception of the chronic provocateur types who aren’t happy unless they can seed dark clouds in sunny skies, convinced ourselves was ancient history once we got on that glorious 15-of-16 roll, which itself is beginning to feel a little like it transpired in a previous life?”
“Clean slate.”

“What about how the combination of 2015 World Series flashbacks and Gary Apple’s clueless droning only made the entire debacle worse?”
“Clean slate.”

“All right, Mr. Clean Slate, we know you’re not usually so zen after a Met loss of this proportion. What gives?”
“The Mets are still, despite absorbing an admittedly disgusting defeat, very much in a playoff race, only two games behind for the second Wild Card spot with forty games remaining. I know memories are highly selective and that if a person has one that incorporates an accurate portrayal of what actually happened in the past that person is often considered an oddball in this world where people too rarely pause to conduct an iota of original research or provide anything that resembles relevant context, but the Mets experienced tough losses like this down the stretch in other years when they contended. Yet they shook them off and kept going. That’s what the Mets gotta do tonight. That’s what we as Mets fans gotta do tonight. We got deGrom going. We got a clean slate. We gotta fill it with a better game. Gotta believe, too, as long as we’re doing gottas.”

“Wow, Greg, did you really just guide us through the lowlights of a horrible game like last night’s Metstivus-style, airing multiple grievances while pretending you weren’t going to utter a bad word about it, and end up turning the entire regrettable episode into a rallying cry of sorts so that we’ll tune into tonight’s game and somehow think everything might just turn out all right when all is said and done?”
“Clean slate.”

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