The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Stuck in the Middle

So we finally got past the first day of cuts that mattered a little. Farewell, Bob Keppel, Anderson Hernandez, Craig Brazell, Danny Garcia, Aarom Baldiris, Joe Nelson and Andy Dominique. If they hurry they can catch the just-cut Tim Hamulack, John Pachot and Jesus Flores.

 

I suppose Brazell and Garcia are the only vague surprises in the bunch. Emphasis on vague:

One gets the feeling Craig and Danny have crossed that invisible but

definitive line that separates “Prospect” from “Trade Bait.” Oh well,

that's baseball. Brazell will always have beaten the Cubs late last

year, and Garcia will always be the first Brooklyn Cyclone in the

majors. (Real Cyclone:

Farcical rehab assignments don't count.) And Benny Ayala will always

have hit a dinger in his first at-bat, for all the good that's doing

him right now.

I've been boring in my insistent campaigning for kids over vets, so I

suppose honor compels me to note that it does make sense to go with

veteran bats early. It would be cruel to make Brazell and Garcia bench

players; anything they've got left to show us will only come out if

they play every day, even if it's in Virginia in front of sailors. What

drove me crazy last year was spending August and September watching

retreads about whom we couldn't possibly discover anything new, and who

had no conceivable role to play even in our mid-term future. How on

earth did this team let Gerald Williams collect 129 at-bats? 130 ABs

for Wilson Delgado? A roster spot for Brian Buchanan? For what

conceivable reason?

Y'know, every spring training is like past-life regression, if one had

lived the same life over and over again. (Stick with me, man, there's a

point in here somewhere.) Tonight I was pondering the different

possible makeups of our middle-relief corps when it struck me that none

of it mattered. Like every team, we'll make some dog-and-cat trade with

another organization on March 30 to get the roster down to 25 guys, and

it'll make the calculus about the last couple of spots academic. Then

there's the probability that, like all teams with unsettled middle

relief, whatever we break camp with will be reshuffled by June 1st.

Going north as a marginal middle reliever is like being in the first

wave of minefield-clearers.

I bet I realized the exact same thing on March 10, 2004 while pondering

Orber Moreno, Ricky Bottalico and Dan Wheeler. Or whoever it was at the

time. I'll now set my watch for 2006. Struck by the futility of predicting middle relievers? Hmm, must be March 10th.

Though this ignores the basic truth: Spring training distracts you from

the fact that it's still freezing by offering the chance to obsess over

whether there's anything left to be squeezed out of Manny Aybar's arm.

Pretty silly, but it beats the snot out of staring out the window and

waiting for spring.

Comments are closed.