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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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Escape from Humbletown

Boys, gather round. I’ve got something important to say. For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’m here to show you how to win. Don’t feel bad that you’ve got to hear it from me. Nobody you know was going to tell you. They’re too polite.

You haven’t won because of your surroundings. You haven’t won because of New York. New York hasn’t built a winner in nearly a decade. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it’s become that way. It ain’t nature. It’s nurture. And from what I can tell, we’re nurturing a generation of overly humble kids in these parts. Of course they’re humble. They’re growing up without a championship team. This is dangerous to our future.

Me? I came here from Chicago. We won in Chicago. I won in Chicago. I could call it “the Chicago way,” but this isn’t necessarily about Chicago. But I did play in a World Series there. I played in a World Series and I won a World Series. Scored the tiebreaking run in the tenth inning of Game Seven. I’ll pass my ring around later so you can get a good look since I guess none of you have ever seen a real recent one up close.

Yeah, I see you Frankie Lindor. You and the Tribe played good in that World Series. We played better. We won. But at least you’ve been around winners. You were in Cleveland. Cleveland’s had a champion. Just like we did in Chicago.

My name? I’m Albert. Albert Almora. Albert Almora, Jr., to be precise. You think I’m here to give you defensive help, but I’m really here to deliver a much-needed psychological assist. My name may say “junior,” yet vis-à-vis all of you, you might say I’ve got seniority. I’ve won a World Series. Anybody else here who can say that?

You? J.D. Davis, right? You’re flashing your ring at me? Put it away, son. You weren’t on the World Series roster in Houston, were you? No, I didn’t think so. Still, you were around winners. You’ve been in Houston. However they did it there, they won.

The rest of you, you’re from New York. You guys never win anything. It’s sad.

What’s that? 1969? 1986? How old do you think I am? Never mind ancient history. I did my homework. I know nobody in New York has won anything since Super Bowl XLVI. That’s right, I speak Roman. You know how long ago Super Bowl XLVI was? That’s IX years ago. New York has been nowhere since then.

Chicago — my Cubs, in particular, but also the Blackhawks — has been a champion. Cleveland — the Cavs — has been a champion. Houston — the Astros, trash cans and all — has been a champion. You know Tampa Bay, which is technically a body of water, has won two since last summer. And Los Angeles, which you guys in New York like to make fun of for subpar pizza. They won two, too.

You got the pizza, but you can’t get even a taste of the pie you know you crave. Damn, guys.

Since New York last won anything, Philadelphia won a Super Bowl. They’re right down the Turnpike. Seattle won a Super Bowl. They did it across the river, in the Meadowlands. New England won a bunch and New England isn’t even a city. Neither is Golden State, but they won multiple NBA titles. Just ask Kevin Durant. Like I’ve come here to help Flushing figure out how to win, he went to Flatbush to help them figure out how to win.

That’s right, me and Kevin Durant and, for that matter, Kyrie Irving are champions, spreading the gospel, each of us in our own way You’re not. Not yet. Aw, little old New York, however many million stories in the Naked City and not a single one about winning a championship since Barack Obama’s first term. Five boroughs, no dice.

All kinds of cities and markets have gotten trophies and hosted parades. We had a great one in Chicago. You want me to tell you about it? No, you don’t. You want to have one for yourselves.

Guys, seriously, almost everybody somewhere else has a ring since February 5, 2012. You got, what, nine teams around here, counting the ones in Jersey not near Philly? Hell yes, count the ones in Jersey. The Hudson ain’t that wide.

Giants: 2011 season.
Yankees — and I know we don’t like them: 2009 season.
Devils: 2002-2003 season.
Rangers: 1993-1994 season.
Us, the Mets: 1986 season.
Islanders: 1982-1983 season.
Nets: 1975-1976 ABA season.
Knicks: 1972-1973 NBA season.
Jets: Oh my god, you have to go back to the AFL and the 1968 season.

Whatever happened to braggin’ rights? More like humility rights. “After you, Philadelphia. After you, Foxboro.” Good lord.

Like I said, I, Albert Almora, Jr., do my homework and I know it’s been joyous elsewhere since 2/5/12 while the Canyon of Heroes has been a vacant lot. A Stanley Cup and a World Series in Washington. NBA titles in Miami, near where I was born. An NBA title in Toronto. Maybe that’s why George Springer went there instead of here. The San Francisco Giants, who used to be from New York, but they saw the writing on the wall and headed west for two World Series since anybody in New York last got to come to the championship picnic. Shoot, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year and the Kansas City Royals beat you in the World Series that time. Anybody here from then? Jake? Scooter? Thor? Jay-uh-reese?

Man, you should be showing me your rings. But you lost to small-market Kansas City. It’s no contest on population or pizza, but they got recent rings and New York doesn’t.

Well, that ends this fall if we want it to. That’s my message to you, my new New York Mets teammates. We have a chance to make history. In Chicago, I was a part of making history. Not continuing history, but making it. We waited a hundred-something years on the North Side. We — and I’m gonna say “we” ’cause I’m one of you now — have been waiting 35 years in Queens. That’s almost four times as long as the Metropolitan Area’s been waiting for somebody/anybody to be champions. It gets longer and longer the more I think about it. It gets sweeter and sweeter thinking it’s gonna be us.

Listen, we on the Mets can’t help it if Durant and Irving get the Nets there, or if somehow the Knicks or one of the hockey teams beats us to it. That’s the schedule. But whether New York is still in that championship drought from IX years ago or it isn’t come summer, I say we get roamin’ to October the minute we have our first protocol-protected workout and make winning it all our goal. Never mind the candy-ass seven-inning doubleheader, runner-on-second extra-inning rules. Never mind Tampa Bay or Los Angeles or any of these other places. We’re New York motherbleepin’ City. We’re the New York motherbleepin’ Mets.

A little humility is good for the soul. But fellas, we’ve had more than our share. Enough with being a little too humble. Let’s be the Big Apple again.

The Big motherbleepin’ Apple with a motherbleepin’ championship trophy.

11 comments to Escape from Humbletown

  • Bring it on! It’s tough to have an attitude when you haven’t won anything, but let’s go. Let’s see some pitchers knock some people down. Let’s see a brawl or two during the season (when it makes sense). Don’t take no crap from anybody.

  • Dave

    Well at least the last time one of my teams won their particular it, they moved the “nothing since” date up from 1940, which fans of another area team used to torment us about endlessly.

    I wasn’t thinking of Almora as a “put us over the top” guy, but he’s a nice pickup, and hey, whatever works. At least I’m not like some of these fans hyperventilating on social media because he is, in their opinion, the D-list substitute for George Springer and evidence that Cohen = Wilpon.

  • Daniel Hall


    Also, sorry to tell you, Al-Al, but since you are apparently the biggest-name free agent that wants anything to do with the measly Mets, there won’t be any rings added to those paws of yours…

    (stares sadly into the snowy landscape)

  • dmg

    sorry, not thinking this pickup is gonna help – am only hoping it won’t hurt. after all, you can’t spell alomar without almora.

    • Yes, but you also can’t spell Almora without ‘Mora’, so let’s hope he’s more like Melvin in performance. This guy can actually play; he’s got skills and can be valuable so long as he’s utilized strategically. And who knows, with a change in hitting coach, he may show marked offensive improvement.

  • chuck

    Cowboy Up! Oops, wrong “illar…”

  • eric1973

    Hey chuck, take a lesson from dmg. He got something out of that.

    Almora’s value will be utilized in the postseason from the 8th inning on, when we need him the most.

    Surely that’s what Stevie was thinking…..

  • open the gates

    Just remember, guys, when the previous ownership thought about utility players, they came up with names like Keon Broxton and Soup Campbell. I think Almora will be better than that, at least.

  • chuck

    Yes, eric & dmg: dyslexic Mets fans of the world, untie!

  • Harvey Poris

    Almora is this year’s Marisnik. By the way, there are twelve major teams in this area. The Red Bulls and the NY Football Club have never won a championship, nor have the NY Liberty.

  • eric1973

    New York Arrows 1981-1982
    Starring Branko Segota

    Look it up, Kids!
    It was a Wild Ride!