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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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Our Second Baseman of the Immediate Future

Julio Franco is back with the Braves. They’re desperately giving one last shot to an old, broken-down baseball refugee in the hopes he will rekindle the lost magic both he and they had together…or he and they will revive on contact and wreak all kinds of vengeful havoc on the Mets.

Guess which scenario I’m living in fear of.

Cesar CedeƱo was as scrap heap as scrap heap could be in 1985. Then Whitey Herzog picked him up, cleaned him off and inserted him at first base down the stretch. He hit .434 in 28 games for the Cardinals who flew by the Mets for the Eastern Division title. Two years later, a similar (he batted only .233 in 24 games but it was similar enough) phenomenon unfurled, except the washed-up vet who helped do us in was Dan Driessen, also a first baseman. And precisely one decade later, our mini-miracle of 1997 was derailed when the Marlins poached Darren Daulton from the end of the line and stuck him at first.

What position does Julio Franco play again?

Past isn’t necessarily precedent. Not every oldie grab is a goodie. The Phillies, for example, picked up Jeff Conine late last year and they didn’t make the playoffs. Speaking of Conine, he’s on the Reds. So is Brandon Phillips.

Let’s get Brandon Phillips.

I don’t usually care to indulge in hypothetical trades, but waiting for West Coast starts and a position to be definitively filled is making me antsy.

Let’s get Brandon Phillips.

I don’t mean to be the big-market team fan who believes small-market teams’ rosters exist for our plucking pleasure, but the Reds are atrocious and show no signs of ambition toward being anything but that.

Let’s get Brandon Phillips.

I don’t like the idea of giving up our own young chips, not so much Ambres, but the ones I’ve actually seen. Pelfrey I believe has a future. I do like Lastings. Humber was a No. 1 pick for a reason. I’d hate to give any of them up.

But I would for Brandon Phillips.

Not much used to trolling in trade talk, I have no idea if Brandon Phillips is explicitly available, but the way baseball works and the way Omar works, everybody is available. Omar once made Brandon Phillips available, trading him five years ago for Bartolo Colon, one of the gutsiest moves the GM of a constricted, contraction-bound club could have made. Didn’t work out, but it was the right move for the Expos then.

Getting Brandon Phillips for the Mets would be the right move now.

What would it take? Damned if I know. I don’t do hypotheticals normally. But if they wanted one of our pitching studs, go ahead. If they wanted Milledge, too, go ahead. If they need Gotay to help fill the void and ironically chill with Jeff Keppinger, fine. If we have to take Conine or even David Weathers off their hands, I have no problem with any of it.

Let’s get Brandon Phillips. This guy has been killing us for two straight seasons. Murdering us. He should be extradited to New York and brought up on charges. Or, better yet, traded to New York to become our second baseman for the next several years.

Brandon Phillips was all that stood between us sweeping the Reds this weekend. (Well, that and our general nimrodedness Friday.) He had a deleterious impact on us last year. I just watched him almost singlehandedly beat the Braves. I’d leave him to do that some more except I don’t think Cincinnati’s schedule will allow him the luxury.

We need a second baseman. We’ve needed a second baseman since Roberto Alomar decided to quit the game (albeit several years before he retired). We haven’t had a dependable second baseman since Edgardo Alfonzo moved to third. We’ve had one Danny Garcia after another. Bless Jose Valentin’s heart and one good knee and uplifting 2006, but he ain’t getting it done either.

Brandon Phillips apparently hits well against not just the Mets and Braves. Brandon Phillips is only 26. Brandon Phillips, unless I’m missing something nobody’s told me, can play his position, a position nobody around here has played competently in anything approaching a long-term nature in six seasons. Brandon Phillips is probably due for arbitration soon, which means the Reds could be talked out of him. They love youth movements in Cincinnati. It keeps them feeling hopeful.

We need youth. We need a bat. We need a glove. We need a spark. It’s not going to come from Chip Ambres. It’s not going to come from Marlon Anderson. It could very well come from Brandon Phillips. He’s playing on the Reds. It’s not like he has something important to do.

Let’s get Brandon Phillips. Now.

7 comments to Our Second Baseman of the Immediate Future

  • Anonymous

    I like Phillips. He's putting up Soriano numbers at 2B. But would you really deal Lastings and Pelfrey or Humber? I could definitely deal the OF, but the pitcher, for a luxury-item 2B? If you make al ist of the Reds properties, Phillips has to be #1 right? more valuable than Griffey, Dunn, … maybe Harang.
    That said their GM did deal two of their key guys-for-the-future for middling relievers. So what the hey. Go get Phillips. Heilman/Milledge/Gotay for Phillips/Weathers.
    I'd also take gold-glover Orlando Hudson as well.

  • Anonymous

    I probably went with what I thought it would take, but I'd be happy to negotiate. DiFelice for Phillips straight up and we could take it from there.

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I was saying that at Shea during the Reds series… let's get this guy, it's the only way to stop him… a la Endy and Nady.
    Then I thought about that and realized how true it might be. We'd get him and he'd… stop, like so many others in the past. I'd like to thank him for beating the Braves, though. He friggin' OWED us that. But yeah, bring him on!!
    Before he's 36. 'Cause that's our M.O.

  • Anonymous

    I love Brandon Phillips, he's one of the guys I kept last year in my keeper fantasy league and he's absolutely killin it again this year.
    That being said, the Reds would be nuts to trade him. The numbers he puts up at 2B, you'd have to give up a lot to get him. I would trade Lastings and Pelfrey or Humber in a heartbeat for him. He's that good, IMHO.
    Again, I really doubt the Reds would trade him.

  • Anonymous

    He also has the same middle name as Ed Kranepool. A sign?

  • Anonymous

    I just came back from Cincinnati visiting family and I read in the paper written by hall of fame writer hal mccoy that the only players the reds' aren't willing to deal are brandon phillips, aaron harang, homer bailey, and some of the stars still in the minors. plus i believe the reds signed him before the season began for a multi year deal (not sure how many), but then again teams say they will never get ride of someone until you hang a nice piece of steak in their face and bye bye the guy who was never suppose to be traded.

  • Anonymous

    Having a second baseman like brandon phillips would be amazing. We definitely need to try, because all players are up for trade whether teams say they aren't. I looked at the reds' site to see if I could find anything out that I didn't know and they only have him signed for this year. The only problem I see though with getting him, is with Phillips himself. He was the only player that didn't try to get more money. He signed the contract as the reds gave it to him! Why? Because he has said he loves Cincinnati, wants to stay there his whole career because he loves the fans, the community, and Cincinnati was the place that gave him a shot to compete. So someone smack that boy over the head and tell him the mets is where it is at!