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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 Mets Have a Pronouncement to Make

Now — and again — pitching and batting ninth for the New York Mets, Number Twenty-Seven…

Jay-uh-reese…
Jay-reese…
Juh-reese…
Juh-ree-us…
Juh-roo-us…

There haven’t been too many Mets whose first name gets pronounced with such diversity, but however you say it, welcome back Jeurys Familia, former setup man and closer, to your new role as prospective setup man and, one would guess, occasional closer. Given baseball’s infatuation with bullpen flexibility, he could be opening games, stanching rallies or getting that one big out anywhere in the course of Metropolitan events.

Pitching philosophies have evolved quite a bit since 22-year-old Familia rose to the majors for a quick peek in September of 2012. The Mets’ fortunes rose with his ascent and fell partly in sync with his inconsistency. Jeurys was a legit team MVP candidate in 2015 en route to our division title and pennant. He shared in the goat horns of the World Series that followed. He became that closer who piled up loads of saves yet stood out in the mind’s eyes for those he didn’t get or nearly blew. He gave up the home run that killed our last playoff appearance in 2016 (though it’s not like we were scoring that night). He was suspended, injured, revived, not quite revered, missed a bit when traded, gone not long enough to be forgotten.

Familia’s a Met again — the 48th Recidivist Met, once he sees action — signed for three years at some amount that is either a bargain or outrageous. We’ll know how to rate it based first on who else we’re told can’t join him because Familia got paid, then on how well he does and we do. At his best, he does very well. He helped us to two postseasons, then Oakland to one in his blink of an eye as an Athletic. The back end of a bullpen that pencils in as Familia to Diaz sure seems formidable. If our rotation is four-fifths the guys we consider our headliners (subject to change…especially Synderchaange), you’d think that leaves only an inning or two here or there that isn’t theoretically covered. Oh, but how games and seasons can be lost in those random innings.

Let Brodie Van Wagenen keep building the pen without giving away the store as he figures out the rest of the field. And though it’s been said, many times, many ways, welcome back Jeurys to you.

5 comments to The Mets Have a Pronouncement to Make

  • Nick

    Love this move. One assumes he’ll calm down with the role of closer no longer his. Now, all we have to do is NOT make any of these rumored trades involving Nimmo, Conforto, most especially Thor, and even Rosario — and we will be in position to get the necessary 88 wins that gets us into the roundelay. Of course, that may be too much to ask, what with the Florida catcher being Johnny Bench all of a sudden.

  • eric1973

    The narrative is that the Mets had a bad season, but there is not much difference between 77 and 81 wins.

    And we had a good second half, so trending upward.

    Sometimes it looks as if Familia can throw 100 pitches, and not throw a strike.
    Micky needs to not be afraid to use the hook.

  • Gil

    Get ready for a hit batsman, wild pitch, walk, two strikeouts, and a really long fly ball clean 9th, I mean 8th inning!
    Welcome back, buddy!

  • Daniel Hall

    Oh dear…

  • Curt

    I like this move. But I didn’t particularly like the Diaz trade and now I particularly don’t like it. Not that Familia is one of the all-time great closers but he is good enough for us at our current status which is a sort of OK team that really needs hitters to contend.