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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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Spring Fever

Lily Tomlin once wondered “what it would be like if we all became what we wanted to be when we grew up. I mean, imagine a world filled with nothing but firemen, cowboys, nurses and ballerinas.” In that fanciful spirit, imagine a world based entirely on the things we’ve seen in Spring Training.

The Mets hardly ever win.

The Mets hardly ever hit.

The Mets hardly ever heal.

With childlike wonder, we believe these trends — manifesting themselves in games that have never counted, don’t count now and will never count — represent the reality we are certain will always exist. We’ve been watching this particular spring’s baseball for a little more than two weeks, thus making it the only baseball we know.

It does quite the number on our highly impressionable psyches.

First we grow restless from the lack of winning, the lack of hitting and the lack of healing. Then we grow discontented, filling our minds with every conceivable form of Met anxiety. Then we grow a bumper crop of dubious assumptions (such as only Scott Hairston can replace Andres Torres and nobody can truly replace Scott Hairston, ergo we are irreversibly screwed) in the space where our long-term memory of previous springs’ chimeras ought to go. We forget that in other years when Met Marches were clunky, it didn’t much matter…and that in other years when Met Marches were smooth, it didn’t much matter, either.

Then we grow out of it, generally at a point between the last approving mention of “the berm” and the moment the Shea family presents our manager with a floral horseshoe of good tidings for what lies ahead. What lies immediately behind will be forgotten so completely that when next spring rolls around, we won’t remember any of it and we’ll go through the same mental machinations all over again.

Which, of course, is why fans need Spring Training just as much as the players.

5 comments to Spring Fever

  • open the gates

    Re the ultimate significance of Spring Training –

    Two words:

    Darren Reed.

  • March'62

    Wait!!!! These games don’t count? NOW you tell me!!

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    Bobby Bonilla is still on the payroll for a few more years. I bet he can play centerfield!

    How else would we know that ‘Big Pelf” is ready and feels good with his 14.90 ERA!

    You think its bad now, wait till they have to go out on the field and really play!

  • March'62

    Zack Wheeler has a sprained ankle and will miss his next start, according to multiple reports.

    Wheeler injured his ankle walking up a flight of stairs.

    You just can’t make this stuff up. The Mets can’t be letting their players walk up the stairs. That’s what the coaches are for!!! I think Joe D will blame the Wilpons for this.

  • One thing I’m taking away from this spring: if the Mets pitch well, they’ll win more often than not.