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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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Bye-Bye Buck, Byrd

I remain amazed, even in my 45th season of rooting for one baseball team, how quickly its personnel turns over. On Opening Day, I applauded 25 active players who were introduced in Mets uniforms. Only four of those men have retained that status uninterrupted since: Daniel Murphy, Dillon Gee, LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Rice. Matt Harvey’s on the DL. Marlon Byrd is on his way to Pittsburgh with John Buck. Of the three guys arriving to take their place, two — Robert Carson and Anthony Recker — we’ve already seen in 2013; and one — Matt den Dekker — is brand new to these environs.

They come. They go. They return from injury, from demotion, from paternity leave. Or they don’t come back at all except perhaps as visitors. Byrd and Buck were everyday presences in our lives as fans for close to five months. Now they are literally yesterday’s Mets news. Perhaps Dilson Herrera will be tomorrow’s Mets news. He’s the 19-year-old middle infielder who is the player already identified as half of what we’re getting from the Pirates. There’s also a player to be named later (though “later” is kind of a funny name for a ballplayer). In the meantime, den Dekker and d’Arnaud and Flores and whatever pitchers whose ulnar collateral ligaments aren’t partially tearing will become the objects of our affection for the next 33 games. It’s fandom’s version of life going on.

Byrd and Buck were total strangers before April 1. They became part of the family until this afternoon. I enjoyed Byrd’s power, poise and professionalism. I reveled in Buck’s April. Now they join a team that’s on the verge of finally making the playoffs after a 21-year absence, which is fitting, given that these two players have been around approximately a decade apiece without ever having gotten a sniff of October. Breathe it in, boys. You deserve it.

Maybe we’ll be on the other side of this type of deal again one of these days. Marlon and John will probably be retired by then. Maybe Dilson will still be around.

A better day from the past: October 17, 1999 — relive it with Jason and some other familiar faces, courtesy of SNY.tv

10 comments to Bye-Bye Buck, Byrd

  • You are breaking news. I hadn’t heard of this and wish the guys the best. True professionals both. I even applaud the Mets because what little meaning there was to the season ended yesterday. Just don’t embarrass ourselves–I say this every September and I am always disappointed. Hope to see Buck and Byrd the Bucs in October. And maybe we’ll even one day see this intriguing ballplayer Later.

  • stan

    So…anyone going to CitiField for a “Let it Fly” t-shirt tonight?

  • Dave

    If they take bets in Vegas for runs scored by a team during the month of September, my guess is that right now the over/under for the Mets is about 32.

  • We knew in April that Byrd and Buck were just placeholders for this season. No surprise they are gone, I’m hardly as shocked by this trade as yesterday’s sobering news. The Mets just got even younger. Let’s hope September is a maturation process for these youngsters and their future in New York. After the next seven months we start over.

  • dmg

    i have to figure this is the front end of a favor to be named later, i.e., alderson is helping out the pirates g.m. so that pittsburgh makes it to the playoffs and in return, in the offseason, with the playoffs done, perhaps there’s some trade or other help pittsburgh will handle for the mets. maybe someone from the pirates bullpen?
    this herrera kid not only isn’t the reason for this trade, he probably will not see the bigs. if he does, it ain’t gonna be as a met.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    It occurs to me that Byrd may actually wind up somewhat of a loser in this deal, at least monetarily. It looks like he’s going to platoon against lefties, which means he wont get to, say, 25 HRs and 85-90 RBIs, which will cost him money. Plus, he didn’t really get going until he began playing everyday…the inactivity could hurt him as well. But that’s baseball.

    • espo33

      Byrd is not going to platoon there. Their LF, Marte, is hurt and Tabata and the normal RF will be platooning. They have used like 5 guys in RF and combined they don’t have Byrd’s stats. They really need him. They have gotten no production out of that spot. Of course as bad as it has been it is still 10 times better then Ike’s numbers… I really hope when Wright comes back they just use Flores at 1B and Ike hits the bench with his .205 average. He can not be with the team next year. They will hopefully lose enough to be one of the 10 worst teams in MLB to make sure they won’t lose their 1st rounder and go after the O’s 1B Johnson if he doesn’t resign. Boras is his agent and of course will ask for the moon, but if the numbers are right get him.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Just hope that Buck is able to keep his senses going after all that has happened to him of late. First there was the worry about his wife being two weeks overdue, then there was the birth of the new son and now there is the sudden uproot from New York to Pittsburgh. Well, at least he knows he is headed for at least one day of October baseball.

    But did not realize that the active roster at this point only represents four players from that of opening day. And think of it – that doesn’t even include those in-between players like Shaun Marcum and Rick Ankiel. Wow. Only a Greg Prince would notice that!

    • Roster includes guys who were here on Opening Day and then hurt (Atchison, for one) or demoted (Ike, for another) and who are back, so it’s not a wholesale personnel cleanse. But the rinse cycle has sure been busy in 2013.