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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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Fairness and the Lack of It

It looked like everything had finally come together for the A’s. Not a new stadium without acres upon acres of foul ground, lots of other deficiencies and, well, possums — that’s too much to ask. And not owners more interested in building a winner than in civic extortion — ditto. But good starting pitching and timely hitting and some marvelous defense? The A’s got that, at least for one day, it looked like the combination would be enough to take down a juggernaut franchise with a payroll six times larger. One day isn’t a season, but during lean times you savor every game fate lets you snatch back.

But it wasn’t to be.

Dany Jimenez had retired Francisco Lindor for the first out of the ninth, but his 2-1 pitch to Pete Alonso was a four-seamer that sat in the middle of the plate, and when Alonso was finished with it little sprigs of yarn and shreds of cowhide descended back to Earth after a 430-foot journey to the footings of Mount Davis. That tied the game at 3 and caused an understandably dispirited Jimenez to instinctively shy from directing balls at home plate, leaving the Mets poised to take the lead with the bases loaded and Eduardo Escobar up. But Escobar banged a ball into the ground for the trademark double play, which might stand as an unfortunate end to his tenure as a starter — Brett Baty is apparently ticketed to join the Mets in Los Angeles.

In the bottom of the inning Jimmy Yacabonis made his Mets debut and it looked like the A’s might prevail after all: Yacabonis threw five straight balls and then surrendered a single. But the newest Met found his footing and got help from Brandon Nimmo, who came flying across the outfield grass for his second superb catch of the day. (Oakland’s Tony Kemp deserves the day’s highest defensive marks for a fifth-inning robbery of Escobar, however.)

Having given Yacabonis a reprieve, in the 10th the Mets did things the hard way, scoring Escobar on a wild pitch after failing to do so more conventionally. (BTW, in addition to everything else I despise about the ghost runner, there’s something subtly cruel about sending the guy who hit into an inning-ending double play out to stand at the base he’d just been hoping to arrive at unassisted.) David Robertson then navigated a Manfred-enhanced 10th thanks to some heads-up Mets plays and A’s omissions — Ryan Noda‘s bunt got the ghost runner exorcised from third instead of moved up, and Shea Langeliers arguably should have gone on contact from third when Conner Capel spanked a ball to first with one out, forcing the Mets to make a play instead of hoping for a hit that never came.

But, as discussed in reviewing Saturday’s game, none of that is our problem to fix. The Mets departed Oakland with a series sweep and the chance to look back on some big home runs, great defensive plays and (as a bonus) an effective outing from Jose Butto, who had a much easier time than when he was thrown to the wolves in Philadelphia last season.

I just hope they checked their luggage for possums — as A’s fans will tell you, those guys wind up in all sorts of places one wouldn’t expect.

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