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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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It Could Be Worse Somehow

Here’s some good news: the Mets didn’t lose Michael Conforto in the middle of a playoff hunt. Man, that would hurt. Hurt like Conforto’s left shoulder appeared to when he dislocated it after swinging and missing against Arizona starter Robbie Ray in the fifth inning at Citi Field on Thursday. Conforto went down on the ground in agony. The Mets were in the process of going down to the Diamondbacks for the sixth time in seven games this year, though that took an emotional back seat to losing our only 2017 All-Star, one of our building blocks for 2018 and beyond.

Because these Mets never entered the playoff hunt, the loss of Conforto hurts only on a few levels, none of them intensely competitive. Hurts because he’s Conforto, mostly. Because he’s a Met, naturally. And because he’s a human being. By the by, Ray is a human being who was hit in the head by a batted ball in July, yet he returned to tame the eminently tamable Mets just weeks later. It’s a result we can’t applaud too heartily out of brand loyalty, but we should feel good about the essentials. Ray’s success at our expense is a reminder that talented players can overcome episodes that look painful to us and feel painful to them. Different injuries, but at least one positive resolution is in the books.

Every Met, with a couple of exceptions, has been injured at some point this season, so reflexively our empathy for Conforto was shared with our sorrow for ourselves. “We can’t have nice things” is the trite phrase I read repeatedly after Michael left the game. Cripes, we can have nice things. We just need more of them and better methods for protecting them from calamity, though I’m not sure how you preemptively guard against a dislocated shoulder to your best hitter. Conforto had been to bat nearly a thousand times in the majors since 2015 and hadn’t dislocated his left shoulder once while wearing a Mets uniform. Sometimes weird stuff happens.

Ofttimes weird stuff happens to the Mets, admittedly. But we already knew that.

UPDATE: An MRI revealed a tear in the posterior capsule in Conforto’s left shoulder, an issue to add to the dislocation. So, yes, it can always be worse.

19 comments to It Could Be Worse Somehow

  • eric1973

    Somehow, somewhere, Barwis has something to do with this.

  • Dave

    If the Mets training staff can remain employed, I’m going to see if the team will hire me as a mathematician or perhaps as a brain surgeon. I can do neither, so I should be good.

    • Steve D

      This ownership relied on Bernie Madoff and Charlie Samuels…and the less bright one now runs things. Don’t expect them to be able to weed out rotten apples.

  • Steve D

    With Conforto’s future now seriously in doubt, it is time to wonder again why in 55 years, the Mets have only developed the following quality hitters in their own farm system:

    1) Wright (though his career was cut short)
    2) Strawberry (though he did drugs, left via free agency and blew a HOF career)
    3) Reyes (though he left via free agency)
    4) Lee Mazzilli (traded in prime and fizzled)
    5) Mookie Wilson
    6) Edgardo Alfonzo
    7) Cleon Jones
    8) A bunch of guys who became stars elsewhere (Murphy may be the best of them)

    55 years and that list could not even fill one team of all-stars. The Yankees have a bunch of players and prospects this year alone that may top this list. I can safely say the New York Mets are the worst team in baseball history at developing hitters. Ike Davis is now pitching in the Dodger system – that’s how the Mets develop talent. If not for Gil Hodges and a young pitching staff in 1969 and the genius of Frank Cashen, we would have no championships.

    I expect little to nothing from the Mets and usually get it. What are the odds Jeffrey Wilpon can build a sustainable success?

    • K. Lastima

      Because of decisions like when seeking a SS prospect, they draft a Gavin Cechinni rather than a Corey Seager . . . on physical attributes alone, Seager was the no-brainer

      • Steve D

        Scouting is definitely an issue. The worst scouting decision ever made by the Mets and possibly any team was drafting Steve Chilcott over Reggie Jackson. That alone would have put a Hall of Famer on my list.

  • Gil

    We can’t have nice things.

  • Bob

    Greg/Jason
    As someone who still practices Baseball (NOT softball) at almost 66 years old, I can tell you how awful it is watching an injury like yesterday happen to Comforto.
    Been following Baseball for about 55 years and playing for 33+ years, an injury like yesterday makes me almost barf. Over the years, I’ve seen Dave Dravecky (SP) break his arm pitching, was @ Petco when Mike Cameron & Beltran had that bloody collision in outfield.I saw Rey Ordonez break his wrist/arm years ago here at Dodger stadium. A pal of mine that still pitches broke his arm twice pitching!
    Injuries are part of game–but I think anyone who has ever played baseball NEVER wants to see another player get hurt like that—even skankees.
    Met fan since Polo Grounds–1963.

  • Dave

    Steve D – Like just about all of us, I never saw Steve Chilcott play, but people who did say that he was a very legit star-level prospect, but was injured as a minor leaguer and never recovered. So yeah, lousy history of developing hitters, but that’s apparently not the scouting/drafting equivalent of trading Nolan Ryan the way many people see it as.

    • Steve D

      Thanks for the clarification. I looked it up and he was a good prospect…he dislocated his shoulder and was never the same (oh boy). Bad luck or not, leave it to the Mets to have the only player to be selected first in baseball’s June amateur draft and retire without playing a game in the major leagues.

  • Curt

    I have no idea why this one injury bothers me more than any other this season. But it does. Poor Michael. Poor us.

  • Seth

    This just in: Mr. Met busted a stitch. He’ll be on the 10-day Disheveled List.

  • eric1973

    See, even Mr. Met has stitches!

  • Curt

    Greg,

    As of the first inning today you’re right – it’s worse.

  • mikeL

    This season = Galipoli

    At least Jacob was great…