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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Fair Weather for Todd Frazier

I want to be on a winning team with Todd Frazier.

I want to be pointed at by Todd Frazier while he stands on second and nods vigorously in my direction.

I want to point back at Todd Frazier and return his nods in kind.

I want to receive voluble vocal encouragement from Todd Frazier and learn what it means to have and be a good teammate.

I want to be slapped on the back and, if necessary, the rear end by Todd Frazier.

I want to master the gesticulative vocabulary of Todd Frazier, understand the best base to round while checking my imaginary home run watch, and discern what I’m supposed to grind if not invisible pepper to celebrate a single.

I want to seem excited to be on whatever team I’m on with Todd Frazier, no matter that I might have been on a bunch of teams before, the way Todd Frazier has, for Todd Frazier couldn’t seem more excited about being a Met whenever there’s a reason to be excited about being a Met.

Being on a winning team with Todd Frazier appears to be more emotionally immersive than the alternatives. Being on a winning team without Todd Frazier might make for more wins, as the connection between Todd Frazier and winning seems only casually causative, but it doesn’t feel as if it would be as engaging. And being on a losing team with Todd Frazier is superfluous. A losing team can lose with anybody. The Mets have lost with Todd Frazier and there hasn’t been much to mark it as any different from losing with scads of other players.

The Mets aren’t technically a winning team, given their record of 32-33, but they were a winning team on Sunday, 6-1, and they’ve been winning quite a bit lately, having taken four of six on this homestand that presses pause for a couple of Subway Series days. The winning has involved a heaping helping of Frazier belting long fly balls and driving in runs. Sunday at sunny Citi Field against the Rockies, he provided four RBIs for Noah Syndergaard, three on a first-inning homer that allowed Thor a comfy cushion with which to smother Colorado’s bats over seven one-hit innings. Less than a month ago, Todd was flailing under .200 and the Mets were lifeless. Now he’s hitting over .260 and they’re capable of mustering vital signs for entire weeks.

Todd has not only been producing offense, he’s been the personification of “into it”. I think if you put him in any uniform and surrounded him with any 24 people he’d be the same way. We have him in our uniform, surrounded by our Mets. Often he’s been buried in slumps so deep that you could dredge Toms River and not find evidence of a once-warm body. These moments when all is well remind you why the Mets signed him for two years. The rest of the moments remind you these moments are fleeting.

Still, he’s here and not presently an impediment to our enjoyment. We all default to impatient cloddishness when somebody far from a groove isn’t instantly disappeared from view for his crimes against OPS. Frazier received our collective cold shoulder when his start did not sizzle. I’m less surprised that he arose from his morass than it didn’t seem to recalibrate his attitude one iota. He’s still barking and chirping and slapping and clapping and doing all that good-teammate stuff that gives a season its backbeat. It can get a little too quiet out there without a Todd Frazier to rile things up. The hitting helps, too.

What we’re experiencing of late is likely peak Frazier. Unless he’s the reincarnation of Ray Knight and we wind up riding that peak for months on end, somebody else will ultimately prove more productive in his place. Every other Met is a part-time third baseman-left fielder who could use more at-bats. Todd will yield them when appropriate. According to my imaginary watch, he’s still got some time.

2 comments to Fair Weather for Todd Frazier

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Of all the Mets, I’m most conflicted about Todd Frazier.

    Here’s two quotes from your post that I think sums up my feelings as well, but of course as usual you’ve put it better than I can:

    ..What we’re experiencing of late is likely peak Frazier

    ..I’m less surprised that he arose from his morass than it didn’t seem to recalibrate his attitude one iota.

    As a long ago manager of some team we will be needlessly playing beginning tomorrow once said: “I feel strongly both ways”.

  • CharlieH

    Not technically a winning team, but:

    5-5 last 10
    12-8 last 20
    16-14 last 30

    They’re getting there, though I would be pleased to Escape from The Bronx still one game below .500.