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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.

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A Tough Business

Jose Parra is going to have Tommy John surgery to repair damaged ligaments in his pitching elbow.

I know, no big deal: Despite having a fairly inoffensive cup of coffee for us back in '04, it wasn't likely Parra was going to find a spot on our club this year. And it's not like he's Philip Humber, whose Tommy John surgery came as a punch in the gut. He's a 33-year-old right-handed reliever with a 6.09 career ERA, a commodity that pretty much does grow on trees.

But, a moment's reflection before we hurtle on with the business of Port St. Lucie and 2006: He's a 33-year-old right-handed reliever with a 6.09 career ERA.

Read that from Jose Parra's perspective. When that description fits you, nobody's going to give you much of a look even without a year on the shelf. The man has all of 82 games in the big leagues in parts of five seasons with five teams. He got one bubble-gum card an age ago when he was young and might conceivably amount to something. He's gone to the Mexican League to get the pilot light on his career to flicker back on; last year he was an Orix Buffalo, and got sent home in June with damaged ligaments. (Apparently the rest cure didn't work.)

From spare part to injured spare part with his 35th birthday in sight. That's it for Jose Parra, even in this age of medical marvels. I hope he invested his money wisely.

OK, moment over. Back to Jorge Julio and Chad Bradford and Duaner Sanchez and Juan Padilla and Heath Bell and Royce Ring and Pedro Feliciano and everybody else still in the mix. But as we figure out whatever fate awaits them, it's worth remembering that even though the major-league minimum is a paycheck we'd love to collect, this is a tough business.

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