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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.

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A 2018 Wish List

The Mets won an actually fun game Wednesday night: Noah Syndergaard looked solid for six innings, Jeff McNeil kept hitting, and three Mets (Todd Frazier, Dom Smith and Jose Bautista) cracked solo home runs as the forces of good kept the Giants down.

Entertaining games in garbage time are better than games to be endured, which we’ve also seen. But garbage time is still garbage time — the Mets aren’t going to play a game that matters to them until next April.

Those days will be here soon enough, but until they arrive, a wish list for the rest of the season:

1) Jacob deGrom gets enough wins that this arbitrary, outdated stat isn’t part of the Cy Young conversation. Obviously I’d like deGrom to win the damn thing, but this is a year in which Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola will also have solid claims to the award. There’s no shame in deGrom not winning because voters thought one of those guys was a little better, but deGrom being dismissed because of an ill-fitting stat would be a shame indeed. Twelve wins ought to be enough for better conversations to take place; deGrom can get to work on this one Thursday afternoon.

2) The freaking kids get to play. That means Amed Rosario, McNeil, Smith, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo being in the lineup every day. Let Wilmer Flores come off the bench. Let Jay Bruce rest up. Let Jose Reyes be as invisible as possible. The Mets have held themselves back by leaving young position players stuck in Triple-A, rotting on the bench, or forced into unfamiliar positions. They have mistrusted and mishandled their own talent, and it can stop any time now.

3) A 55th Met makes an appearance. Whether it’s Peter Alonso or just T.J. Rivera, let’s break that record. But if I could pick, give me…

4) A cameo for David Wright. A return to regular action is more than even the most optimistic dreamer can imagine. But one game with David out at third, holding his bat like a broadsword, gathering himself and letting go of that little sigh before stepping into the batter’s box? That would feel like a reward and a keeping of faith.

5) Healthy finishes for Conforto and Nimmo. I’d be happy with a Wright cameo, but for the Mets to have a bright future, they need everyday excellence from their two young outfielders. Conforto, I suspect, has spent the entire year being stoic about the lingering effects of his shoulder injury; Nimmo has shown flashes of being an impact player, but been shoved back to the pack by HBPs. Seeing both of them finishing the season looking like regulars with a lot to contribute would make me eager for 2019 and what it might bring.

6) Playing spoiler. Even being on the fringes of a pennant race is better than influencing one as the bad team making good. But the Mets aren’t on the fringes of anything; spoiler is the only role open to them. And it’s wide open: the Mets will face the Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies and Braves before September ends. All of those teams are fighting for division crowns. Let’s not go quietly, but exit making some noise.

Got something to add to the wish list? The comments await.

9 comments to A 2018 Wish List

  • Nick

    Agree with everything — except Dom. Home run aside, he’s not the first baseman of the future, he’s not an outfielder of the future or the present, and I’d rather see Flores every day. They’ve practically ruined Wilmer by never giving him a position and a regular job. Now seems a good time to keep him in the lineup. Dom is one of those guys we were way oversold on – Milledge, F Mart, etc — But Wilmer can really hit.

  • eric1973

    Wilmer’s my favorite Met, and if he played fulltime 1B, I think he’d hit 30 homers and drive in 100.

    But I would have liked to see Dom Smith play somewhere, for at least half a season, especially when our outfielders were dropping like flies, in order to see what we really got. Maybe he’s got 25 dingers in him, and from what I remember last year, he played a pretty a smooth 1B.

    He might very well be a knucklehead, what with oversleeping, and that unsuccessful transfer at 1B between his legs, but he should have gotten the shot ahead of Bautista and Austin Jackson. Lord knows what they are doing here.

  • ToBeDetermined

    7) Some decent returns from waiver deals of veterans (Bautista, Blevins, et al.). Top prospects are obviously not in the picture for these guys, but let’s at least not be left feeling like we were ripped off. (And if they need to showcase these veterans for the next week before going with the younger players, fine. We can live with it for a week.)

  • LeClerc

    Let Wilmer and Dom share time at 1B.

    If Bruce has gotten over his foot and hip disease, let him share time with Bautista and Jackson in the OF.

    Conforto, McNeil and Nimmo should play every day.

  • Ken K in NJ

    Hate to say it, but your #2 and #4 are somewhat contradictory. Sure, a return of David Wright to a MLB lineup would be the feel good story of the year. But if he does get here, I have a feeling it’s not going to be for just a one game and out photo op.

    I hope it doesn’t turn into a final ironic comparison to Jeter, where he takes up playing time just because he’s David Wright. And from what little video I’ve been able to scrounge up of his Port St. Lucie ABs, his swing doesn’t look fluid at all, so I fear we are on that track.

  • Dave

    I’d like to see some of these younger arms get sorted out in the bullpen. I’m intrigued by Drew Smith and Bashlor, Gsellman has been up and down a bit but effective lately, I’m not so sold on Rhame and perhaps Wahl. Throw these kids in the deep end of the pool and see who can swim.

    I am a long time supporter of Wilmer and have often said that the Mets screwed up his development by not picking a position not called shortstop for him and sticking with it. He can hit…but he’s never really hit at the “you can’t even think about taking him out of the lineup” level. Let Smith get most of the time at 1B to at the very least see if he may have some value as trade bait.

  • 9th

    Great discussing topic, especially re: Wilmer. I think he’s the Mets first basement period. He’s one of the only decent right handed bats on the team and first is the only place he doesn’t dp serious damage defensively. He can at least keep the seat warm until Alonso is ready. At best Smith is another left hand bat that strikes out too much. And since we’re probably stuck with Bruce for two more years, he can be a fourth outfielder and backup 1st baseman.

  • Curt

    The Mets actually made it through an entire rotation turn without a single bad start – and really without the bullpen screwing up in any monumental sort of way. As for the kids thing, Wilmer is only 27 and has shown he can actually be a quality big-league hitter. Not so much with the glove but hey, let’s not get crazy here though he’s been better at 1B. Sitting him just because McNeil is a year younger (8 months actually) doesn’t make a ton of sense (and Plawecki is older). Not sure what I think of Dom yet, but I also don’t see sitting Wilmer for “kids.” Agree with the rest. Let David get a few ABs and some acclamation and let Jose Reyes start on his memoirs.