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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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The Golden Hour

The golden hour is upon us, that handful of days preceding the start of the regular season when we no longer require convincing that time hasn’t stood still since the last out of the World Series (or, in our case, the Wild Card Game). We feel the dearth move under our feet. Nothingness is shuffling off this mortal coil. Reasons to be are in bloom.

It’s not actual baseball. It’s actual baseball on the verge. This may be my favorite hour of the year, spiritually speaking.

The uncountable games sputter to a close. The excess players are sorted and bagged. We make educated guesses about what’s going to happen next. They aren’t worth the oxygen we process while we think them through, but we happily commit brain cells to constructing initial rosters, projecting final records and tracking everything in between. Educatedly guess away. Nobody will circle back to check your work.

Who’s the fifth starter? Who’s the last reliever? Who’s at the end of the bench? Who’s out of options, which sounds like a death sentence but sometimes serves as a career reprieve? Who needs to go down so as not to go stale? Who can we say goodbye to without fear of recrimination? Who’s trying on a new number? Who’s found his old fastball? Whose shape, previously deemed the best of his life, will translate to harder hits and quicker jumps?

I’ve got no idea. Well, I have some idea, but it’s subject to revision pending exposure to all the baseball players and baseball activities it hasn’t occurred to me to yet foresee. A year ago at this time, I didn’t know what the season ahead was going to encompass. Same as the year before. The scales tipped decidedly in the direction of pleasant surprise. I didn’t need to know in advance. I still don’t.

As months of impatience reduce themselves under the pressure of calendar and clock, I can be patient. The thing we’ve been waiting for is arriving any day now. All winter long, we couldn’t wait. Now that we almost don’t have to anymore, we can — and gladly. Did I say it’s the golden hour? More like diamond.

J.B. from the Happy Recap Radio Show and I had an in-depth conversation about my book Piazza that went nearly as deep as Mike used to on a regular basis. Take a listen here.

7 comments to The Golden Hour

  • BlackCountryMet

    I’ve been waiting for Opening Day for about 2 weeks now, so pumped up about this season. I always find that I tolerate Spring Training games for about 2 weeks(hey it’s Baseball after 4 months without it) before I realise that it’s not that real and start pining for the real stuff. I believe that if the Mets DON’T have Mets like stuff happen to us(sure other teams say same thing about them but hey, I’m a Mets fan, why would that bother me?)happen to us, we can have a GREAT season.

  • eric1973

    So De Aza and Loney were just released on the same day by their new teams.

    With Legares and Duda as durable as goldfish, who knows?

    • Dennis

      Good point…..Mets should scoop up Loney. Solid player to have around.

      • open the gates

        And if I daresay, one Ike Davis actually had a pretty good run at the WBC. Who knows? Stranger things have happened (see Reyes, Jose).

  • kdbart

    Who will be this season’s Kenny Reitz? Kenny Reitz was a Cardinal Third Baseman in the 70s known for having great Aprils and then tailing off as the season moved along. Who will be that player that dazzles us in April but who will then limp through the remainder of the season? Last year, you could say it was Conforto. In 2013, I remember it being John Buck.

  • open the gates

    One relatively safe prediction: Tim Tebow stands a better chance of making the Jets than the Mets.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Without delving into the minutia of details (it’s too early for that!!), I’ll just say this:
    I have a better feeling about our beloved boys in blue and orange heading into this regular season than any other in recent memory. Very much looking forward to Monday.
    LGM!!!