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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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Drills & Thrills

I saw something about the Mets having drills today. Pitching drills? Hitting drills? Fielding drills? Could have been fire drills. Doesn’t matter. My heart was aflutter.

The charms of Spring Training can wear thin quickly, but today, in a Metropolitan Area momentarily having sat on its thermometer and thereby warming it to 62 degrees, I am captivated. I’ve seen pictures. Mets are standing around batting cages. Mets are stretching on grass. Mets are signing their names for kids. Mets are going to dinner, which is all there is to do in Florida after a certain hour.

Mets live. Mets exist as Mets. Mets are in bloom even without Adam Rubin recording their every move. Mets wear oversized numbers on their sleeves and white letters on their backs. Mets speak in assured platitudes. Mets coaches are repairing the confidence of those who have reason to be less sanguine. Kevin Long’s gonna fix Travis d’Arnaud’s swing. Glenn Sherlock’s gonna fix Travis d’Arnaud’s everything else. Travis d’Arnaud’s gonna play a hundred games. David Wright’s gonna play first. So are Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Wilmer Flores and maybe first baseman Lucas Duda. Jose Reyes is gonna play everywhere. Juan Lagares can still play center, I seem to recall.

Yoenis Cespedes is focused on baseball, not cars. Asdrubal Cabrera will make Venezuela’s loss our gain. Noah Syndergaard will throw harder than ever. Zack Wheeler feels no discomfort. How long will Jeurys Familia be unavailable, and will we notice, given how sharp Addison Reed was and is? Have I just jinxed Addison Reed? Is Matt Harvey gonna be Matt Harvey again now that he has one fewer rib? Have you noticed Terry Collins has morphed into Col. Sherman T. Potter without the forced puns and laugh track?

Can you believe the nerve of those Phillies co-opting our mantra? Can we start the ovation for R.A. and Bart now so we don’t have to applaud them as Braves on Opening Day? How much damage will Brandon Phillips do visiting us three series a year? What does Thor really think of Bryce? Does Murph have a limitless reservoir of revenge? When will Loria leave the country and how many Marlins fans have volunteered to chauffeur him to the airport?

Drills and squads and assorted welcome nonsense all week. Real pretend games by week’s end. Then numbness sets in and the WBC interferes and it probably won’t be 62 degrees in New York for very long, but we’re getting where we need to be. Is the season only six weeks away or is the season six long weeks away?

***

In the interim, feel free to partake in resumption of related baseball activities.

• Watch me chat with Art Shamsky at QBC, courtesy of Mediagoon, here.
• Listen to me talk about the subject of my new book with John Strubel of Mets Rewind here.
• Stay tuned for a couple of announcements soon regarding appearances on behalf of Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star, one in Manhattan on March 19, one in Connecticut on March 21.
• Pre-order Piazza for a nifty price on Amazon here.

6 comments to Drills & Thrills

  • Dave

    This Piazza, same guy who owns an Italian soccer team? Does the book title have to be amended to add “Owner?”

    Maybe he builds that team into a powerhouse, sells it at an enormous profit, has enough money to buy the Mets.

    It’s 6 long weeks until the season starts, but I’m glad. An over-long spring training simply means more baseball, even if it includes quasi-prospects, non-prospects, and guys just trying to get a job (like NY Yankee southpaw Jon Niese…can’t wait to read Jason’s take on that). It’s baseball, it’s part of the way we measure time.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I’m 68 years old and yesterday I threw a baseball without pain. The only reason I mention it is, so far that means David Wright and I are about even.

  • I’m glad the Bartolo sideshow has moved on, but I’m looking forward to the return of R.A. Dickey. I’ll cheer for both of them during opening day ceremonies, but I might cheer louder for R.A. than I ever have for an opposing player. Sure, we got a tremendous haul in that deal, but he may be one of the most Metsie players all time, and certainly one of my favorites.

    Side note, the last game I ever went to was with my dad was R.A. Dickey’s first spring training game with the Mets. He got rocked and if I remember correct Ike Davis hit a bomb over the berm in St. Lucie. Very few Mets fans had heard of either player before that day.

  • Curt

    The best news coming out of Mets camp? No news. No announcement of an upcoming TJS, no “player-lost-for-the-season-due-to . . .” I like it.

    My big question; Did Fernando Salas just tease us last year or is he a legit 7th inning guy with an option on the 8th if Familia is suspended?

  • DAK442

    I know (and regret) newspapers have become Hot Take Factories to try and stay relevant, but on what planet is Cespedes having cool cars a “distraction” or any kind of bad thing, as they keep implying if not outright saying? His teammates saying “Wow, neat” in the parking lot gonna distract them from their workouts? Yoenis going shopping during the offseason somehow indicates lack of seriousness? It is stupid and they should knock it off.