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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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Jason Bay's Letter Home from Camp

Dear Mom & Dad,

Things are going OK at baseball camp, I guess. We just finished playing the kids from Camp Diamondback and we did pretty good. We played four games and won two which is better than we’ve done in a while.

A bunch of the kids on our team did real good. That kid Robert Allen who uses all the big words won a ribbon for throwing a lot of strikeouts on Sunday. That kid David who’s kind of a kiss-ass but is basically a good guy won a ribbon for driving in a run. That kid Daniel won a ribbon for getting more hits. That kid Ike won a special ribbon for all the home runs he hit the other day. That kid Ruben got the “Catch of the Week” ribbon as they call it. That kid Kirk got a haircut and went home. That kid Scott may be going to another camp for the rest of the summer but he’s still here and still getting ribbons for being a righty. That kid Tim hasn’t had any more fights with anybody, not even that kid Josh who the counselors don’t really trust but let play a lot (probably because they couldn’t find anybody else to take his place). That new kid Matt I told you about in my last letter hasn’t won any more ribbons since Thursday but they gave him a pretty big one anyway.

I got another “participant” ribbon which I am enclosing so you can put it with my “attendance” ribbon, my “effort” ribbon, the doctor’s note that says I’m OK and the letter from Coach Terry saying how much he and Head Counselor Sandy and all the other campers like me. Maybe I’ll get one of the other kinds of ribbons before camp is over. Or maybe not.

We’re gonna play the kids from Camp Giant next. I’ll let you know if anything happens. It probably won’t, but you never know. Maybe I shoulda stuck with hockey camp.

See you soon,

Jay

P.S. I forgot to tell you…I GOT A WALK!!!

29 comments to Jason Bay’s Letter Home from Camp

  • Dave

    Hey, Jason ranks 2nd in RBI’s among campers born in British Columbia, behind that kid Mike who went to Camp Bison last week. Isn’t there a ribbon for that?

    I don’t understand how Jason got an attendance ribbon, but good for him. Now that he has that, maybe it’s time for him to go home for the rest of the summer and this winter he can go to a camp fair to see if there’s a different camp he can go to next year…but those camps might say they’re all full and won’t let him go.

    • Will in Central NJ

      At places such as Camp Long Island, Camp Somerset or even Camp Newark, they will make room for a youngster such as Jason. It’s all in his hands.

  • mikeL

    hmmm, and apparently no one’s given him a wedgie.

    soft mets campers…

  • BlackCountryMet

    Over the weekend broadcasts I’m sure I heard Keith commend Citi Field attendees for not booing Jason. He’s kidding right? Some of the stick he’s got has got is atrocious. I realise he’s been a disappointment (understatement) but unlike some former Mets,he’s kept his professionalism up and never hidden. His form will doubtless return,alas it will be upon departure from the Mets

  • Mark

    Too funny! I literally laughed out loud at, ” That kid Kirk got a haircut and went home,” and ” that kid Josh who the counselors don’t really trust but let play a lot (probably because they couldn’t find anybody else to take his place).”

  • kjs

    It’s hard to really even josh about Bay. Every time I see him, he just looks very unhealthy—pale, confused, trembling. There’s something going on—physically, mentally, or possibly drug- or alcohol related that we’re not privy to. The concussions didn’t help. Too bad the Players’ Union won’t allow contract buyouts.

    • Jacobs27

      The paleness might very well be all those concussions. And the psychological trauma of falling so hard and so fast from vast heights.

  • Jacobs27

    I can sympathize with Jason Bay, because when I was in baseball camp, a walk was indeed something to write home about.

    But, at this point, he reminds me of Michael Jordan in Space Jam when the catcher is telling him what pitches are coming and whether to swing and he still can’t get a hit.

    Except that was fictional Double-A or something. Maybe we can send Bay there, and treat the rest of his contract as fictional.

  • Patrick O'Hern

    Please no more “He’s a professional, plays hard, injured, his wife reads twitter and he’s a person too.” That pass has worn thin. We should be booing the people who keep sending him out there. Do they really think someone will take a flyer on this guy if he gets a 5 game hot streak going?

  • I see Xavier Nady just got released. Can we go get him?

  • Or Rick Ankiel, maybe? For the rotation.

    • mikeL

      hell, go all out old-school and let him play the OF on the days between starts!

      i love how (SNY’s paid) comentators talk about bay being on the snide since he returned from the DL AS THOUGH HE’S EVER BEEN *OFF* THE SNIDE IN A METS UNIFORM!!

      and yes as much as i like collins, i wish he’d talk about the other 24 (or 19 or 20 if you subtract the dead weight in the ‘pen) players and the need to sit bay -so he can prepare himself for the door already!!

      i can only imagine how his superstar salary goes down in the clubhouse!

      • Forget in-between starts – have him move to the outfield after he goes 6 innings. Or maybe have him come in for middle relief from LF in true Bad News Bears style. Seriously, how much worse could it be than where we are with Bay and the middle relief corps we have now?

        I understand that they had to see if Bay could rebound. He can’t. Accept it and move on. Give him another chance next year if you can’t move him, but he is doing nothing except putting a .156 batter in the lineup. Seriously. .156. I think Dickey has a better average.

  • Dave

    With all the well-deserved criticism the bullpen has received, will someone take a look at this outfield? Bay is the most flagrant problem, but what a mess…two guys who were playing every day just a few weeks ago are mercifully now in Triple A, Valdy learning to play out there, Torres only showing faint signs of life. At least a bad bullpen can be worked around sometimes with strong starting pitching and scoring, but you need 3 OF’ers out there every day, and this group looks awfully bleak.

  • Inside Pitcher

    Fargin’ brilliant, Greg. Fargin’ brilliant….

  • TJHinNYC

    Please forgive this off-topic posting, but…

    On this day in 1890 the Ol’ Perfessor Casey Stengel was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Countless stories have been written about that truly unique (and successful) baseball personality, but I would just like to relate a couple of my own.

    Around the time of Casey’s 75th birthday, the Mets held an on-field ceremony at Shea Stadium. I remember attending that game as a 12-year-old in the upper deck and I also remember that every fan was handed a small box containing a Mrs. Wagner’s pie as they arrived at the stadium. I cannot pinpoint the exact date of the ceremony (the Mets were in Philadelphia on Casey’s actual birthday), but, I do recall that the Mets manager had broken his hip shortly before while celebrating at another event in Manhattan. So, he missed his own party.

    Just four years later I was able to take a few quick close-up snapshots of a now-retired Casey as he exited Shea Stadium moments after the Mets finished their sweep of the Atlanta Braves to clinch their first National League pennant. I had worked that game – as well as the rest of the 1969-70 seasons and the World Series – as a vendor.

    Lastly, if you ever get a chance to read Casey’s testimony before the Congressional committee dealing with baseball’s antitrust exemption, it is a treat. One of my favorite lines – one of the few which was nearly grammatically correct – went this way: “I had many years that I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill.”

    But the capper on the whole thing was just after Casey’s testimony (replete with Stengelese), when a young Mickey Mantle was asked by the Committee chairman, Senator Estes Kefauver, the following question: “Mr. Mantle, do you have any observations with reference to the applicability of the antitrust laws to baseball?” The shy Yankee slugger looked up from the table and said: “My views are about the same as Casey’s.” Then, as they say, the crowd went wild…with laughter!

    You can look it up. Go to:
    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/casey_stengel_senate_testimony.shtml

  • harv sibley

    Or as we call it in our local camp:

    Baywatch:

    the art of guessing which day the trap door finally opens and Jason gets to leave with some pride still left. The poor guy is obviously suffering from some post concussion syndrome.

  • Andee

    OMG is this hilarious.

    But seriously, Mets’ free agent karma = BAD BAD BAD. I’d be fine if they never signed another one ever again.

    • It’s true. Beltran is the only one they ever got right (although Delgado would have been a good one if he didn’t blow the Met’s off).

      • Andee

        Yes, Beltran was awesome, and all those jerks braying about the NLCS don’t seem to realize they wouldn’t even have gotten that far without him. But even there, BFAK (Bad Free Agent Karma), manifesting in injuries and a crappy first year, ate almost half of his contract.

        Likewise, Robin Ventura had that one great year, then a fairly stinky year in which he nevertheless provided inspiration, then oblivion. What I really hate about these mega-deals is not only how long they are, but how heavily backloaded they are; essentially, you pay the most money for the least amount of production, and therefore, you can’t move the player if he lays an egg. It would make a lot more sense to me to front-load them, give the guy a big signing bonus or something.

  • Jason Bay, as I first wrote months ago on my fb account has simply lost his baseball skills. Hitting home runs in bp does not a baseball player make. I have seen men way better than mlb players in baseball batting cages do better than pros. It means nada. Why we put him out there and negate the efforts of other teammates with more skills is not Jason’s fault but Met Management fault. Someone has to say , its over, throw in the towel like when a boxer is bloodied to a messy pulp.We must c u later j-son.

  • [...] — as a Met did in seven of nine innings — is considered an outstanding achievement. Perhaps Coach Terry is handing out self-esteem ribbons for advancing 180 feet, but the rules by which everybody else plays dictate trips to third and home [...]