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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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Camp Already? Just a Little

Pitchers and presumably some catchers are in Port St. Lucie, but it's not Pitchers & Catchers. It's Mets Mini-Camp!

One hand is clapping.

The Mets have apparently been doing this in January for six years though I don't remember anything about it before 2005. I only noticed it then because newly signed Carlos Beltran stopped by and stood next to Joe McEwing for a beat on his way to deposit his very large check at his presumably very grateful bank. Super Joe never did get to play with Carlos for keeps, did he?

Ah, mini-camp memories…that's the only one I can conjure, and that only because Jason sent me the picture and suggested about ten different captions. My favorite was “why, yes, you can get me a Pepsi.”

What goes on at mini-camp? Mets caps and t-shirts, occupied by minor leaguers mostly, sprint by in anonymity. The GM mouths platitudes that are both reassuring and unprovable at this stage of winter. David Wright finds something to do with himself (I was worried he might sit still for thirty seconds). Otherwise, I don't get baseball mini-camp. It seems almost insulting to Spring Training.

Oh, Pedro Martinez was on hand. He says he's doing well and I'd like to believe him. I was about to espouse a theory that while the rest of the free world will be contorting itself in fantasies of peeling away Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano at the deadline, we'll have a tanned, rested and ready Hall of Famer healthily ready to lead us over the hump in August, September and October. But then I remembered I spent much of 2006 in denial every time Pedro hit the DL. I think he's still on it.

Of course believing every veteran pitcher will recover from every rotator cuff is what Spring Training is all about. What precisely mini-camp is for I have little clue.

8 comments to Camp Already? Just a Little

  • Anonymous

    Minicamp, to me, is Casey Stengel working out 120 anonymous minor-leaguers hard over a few days to see who's got the moxie to stand out themselves by hurdling the outfield fence like Rod Kanehl.
    It's an opporutnity for the indistinguishable to distinguish themselves, as demeaining as an amateur tryout camp, except with pros.
    Since it brings a lot of Mets management and medical staff in one place at one time during the winter, it's a good place to also invite rehabbers to check on their progress. The only other big-leaguers who come are typically the teacher's pets.
    I want a caravan.

  • Anonymous

    It's just a shame they don't keep 'em around for a month and get the season going March 1.
    Well, probably not as it's bound to snow sooner or later, but why tease us? Casey waited until February.
    Of course Casey lost 120 games.

  • Anonymous

    A pox on the whole thing. Pitchers and catchers is great for about two days, and then it's just cruel. Ditto for spring-training games. It's like reaching the finish line and finding out you have to run two more miles.
    Have pitchers report around March 1. Start playing exhibition game around March 15. I'd be more miserable in mid-February, but at least I'd know how to pace myself through the winter.

  • Anonymous

    It's like drivng to Daytona Beach for Spring Break, and crossing the Florida state line…

  • Anonymous

    From the first time I heard of it however few years back, I thought it was nothing more than a photo op. Get some new photos of (presumably) baseball players wearing the team logo, just in time for tickets to go on sale.
    >> One hand is clapping. << Ah. I was wondering what that sound was.

  • Anonymous

    Any milestones they want to stick between now and Opening Day are fine with me… if they announced “pre-mini camp week” and showed video of janitors dusting off lockers and groundskeepers laying down foul lines, my heart would start to pump faster. Anything to trick me into thinking the baseball season is closer. And I am easily fooled.
    Plus, once spring training officially starts, you can really say that the “off season” is over. Which is great. Let's extend spring training back into early November!

  • Anonymous

    I (heart) Joshua.

  • Anonymous

    The clapping metaphor is very apt.
    Re: Pedro. On the bright side, he's not making noises about retiring anymore. I have faith that he'll notch K #3000 at some point in late July or early August. The beauty of our situation is we can pretend we've got no Pedro and then be ecstatic when he returns and brings us to the promised land…and if he doesn't, we never expected it in the first place (of course). However, it makes my subconscious feel at ease to know that he's waiting in the wings, just in case…
    Ya gotta believe.