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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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Wilmer Fever

I love those interludes when a given Met can do no wrong. Wilmer Flores is in smack in the midst of one of them right now. It is his golden hour.

Nobody’s calling him a stiff after the last two games against the Phillies. I still think he looks stiff in the field, but has he done anything fatal with his glove in these last 36 hours? I haven’t noticed it. I’ve noticed the three-run homer that won Monday’s game, the sac fly that tied Tuesday’s game in the eighth and the line drive that won Tuesday’s game in the tenth.

Plus there’s Mark Simon writing up data and observation that says you could do worse for a defensive shortstop, which, let’s face it, is about as Andreltonian a scouting report as you’ll ever get on this kid.

It’s the sunny side of the street, no clouds allowed, when you’re on a winning streak, even a tiny winning streak of the two-game variety. Let us hail Wilmer’s minimally competent glove! Let us toast Wilmer’s fiery bat! Let us be very nice to that very nice young man!

And let us remember Jacob deGrom, who was about as unbeatable as unbeatable could be at Citi Field, which is his thing. The only detriment that can do deGrom in at home is the hook and the pen. I saw it for myself last September. I saw it again on TV tonight. I know we’re preserve arms for the future, and I don’t disagree with the impulse, but somehow you knew the unburied Phillies would kick up just enough dirt to no-decision deGrom once he exited in the eighth.

Thankfully the Phillies are the Phillies and Jeurys Familia isn’t the rest of the relievers and Wilmer Flores…we’re thankful for Wilmer Flores?

Sure, why not?

A tip of the walkoff cap, too, to Charles Prince and his admonition from our brief late-game conversation.

Dad from hospital: “How’s the game going?”
Me: “They’re losing.”
Dad: “Tell the Mets to buck up.”

Shortly thereafter, tie score. Not long after that, a friend whose father is in the midst of a similar battle offered hope that “their shared trajectories resemble a frozen rope off of Wilmer Flores’s bat”. That was after Wilmer’s sac fly tied it but before Wilmer’s line drive won it. Once that happened, we agreed we wanted to chip in and send Dr. Flores to medical school.

He’s making us all feel better.

5 comments to Wilmer Fever

  • BlondiesJake

    Hopefully Thor drops the hammer on the Phils tomorrow and the Mets sweep. Nice to see Flores getting big hits…and Cuddyer driving in runs…and Murphy looking like a real hitter again…and d’Arnaud getting close to returning…and good reports on Black and Parnell…and thinking all these things will lead to Mets improving on an already good start to the season

  • Michael G.

    The notion that Wilmer makes the routine plays, which represent let’s say 90% of the total, and contributes a reliable and clutch bat with plus power for a shortstop — that’s not a bad notion.

  • Dave

    The Mets won a World Series once with Rafael Santana as the more or less everyday shortstop. Defensively, he made the routine plays, hands were pretty good, arm and range were adequate at best…which is to say he was similar to Wilmer Flores. And he hit like Ruben Tejada, which is to say he hit a lot less than Wilmer Flores. Positions go in cycles, and for whatever reason we are not living in a golden age of shortstops right now. The top SS prospect in the organization is a teenager. So Wilmer is the guy. Scouts always said he’d hit, and as he gets more comfortable at the plate, I love the way the ball comes off his bat, he stings the ball. 7 HR’s in late May, perhaps he’s actually a 25 HR type of hitter…I have seen lots of Mets fans swooning over a 25 HR shortstop elsewhere whose HR’s may be very elevation-aided (and Wilmer hasn’t spent half of the last 5 years on the DL, nor is he making $20M a year).

    Team has problems, but maybe Wilmer isn’t necessarily one of them.

  • BlondiesJake

    Wilmer may be an average fielding SS with an above average stick. But I’ll argue with way game has changed and with Mets pitchers the dominant part of the team, they are better off with excellent fielding SS that is average stick. imo they will be much better off with Flores at 2B or 3B.