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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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Re-Elect Floyd-Cameron '06

Hey, I just found a towel lying around in here like somebody threw it. Let me just pick that up and drape it over in our corner where it belongs…there, that's better.

First place, despite the best efforts of Aaron Heilman (which were pretty darn good), likely remains a pipe dream but I'm not tossing out the Wild Card as fast as you did the terry cloth. I wouldn't bet Fred Wilpon's mortgage on us making it to October, but I don't think we're completely preposterous, not with the pitching we have and not with Carlos Beltran who, word has it, is quite the second-half player (and New York's gonna love Bill Pecota). While it's a pity that Atlanta, of all teams, is this week's leader in The House of the Wild Card — and I've noted more than once how perennially untenable our position is against them — five games doesn't seem impossible.

No, the world doesn't owe us a hot streak, but look around the Majors. Everybody seems to be getting one this year. Two teams that we, in our infinite wisdom, left for dead, Houston and Oakland, have made a major push to the edge of contention. Is it a coincidence that their rolls began against us? Could we get a few intrasquad games going and maybe take off versus ourselves? (Actually that would be perfect for these Mets: win one, lose one all at once.)

I think we've established here that this season, barring a collapse of Howeling proportions, is an improvement over what came before and that we can feel good about any number of platforms for 2006. But ya know what? It's not 2006 yet. This team has to play 2005 for at least another month before it can think that way. Too much has been poured into this edition before consigning it to the archives. We didn't sign Pedro to kill time and fill seats. We can't tell Wright and Reyes to get used to this sort of thing, that every August and September we start to look ahead, that it'll get better next year.

There are words for that sort of thinking: Tampa and Bay.

While I don't necessarily disagree strongly with any individual aspect of your plan for eventual world domination, I will caution against treating the trading deadline as a legal and binding contract to do something. Listen to offers for Cameron, Floyd or Piazza? Sure, why not? Stephen Hopkins, delegate to the Continental Congress from Rhode Island said (in 1776, the movie we watch every Fourth of July), “I've never seen, heard or smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about.” He was referring to declaring independence. All we're talking about is fielding inquiries for outfielders. (God Bless America.)

I more or less trust Omar to do the right thing. I like the way he handled the Cameron-Sheffield bit, at least by most accounts. Cashman asked about Mike C. and Omar said, fine, how about Sheffield? From there it blew out of proportion and probably was never going to happen anyway, but he thought big. So if another GM wants to ask about one of our non-Beltran outfielders, listen. But don't rush to sign any papers.

Honestly, I'm in no hurry to trade either one of them. If we're building for 2006 (each has a year remaining on his contract), then we'll need a slugging left fielder and an athletic right fielder. Floyd and Cameron will both be 33 next Opening Day. The way they're playing this year, it feels as if they'll still be in some portion of their prime next year.

Their trade value will never be higher? Value for what? What are we going to get in a panicky, eleventh-hour deal? Who will be in just the right spot to give us X, Y and Z in order to have Cliff Floyd or Mike Cameron come to them and be the big difference in their lives? When does our team stop building for a future that never comes because we never break this cycle of midsummer groping for something better that's rarely if ever attainable in late July?

And how many questions in a row was that?

I know you're not preaching trades for trades' sake, but I'm wary of July 31 under the best of circumstances. It's one thing when you're a pure seller as we were in 2003 and just wanted to move merchandise. And it's another thing if you fancy yourself a true contender and you're shopping for playoff pieces. Sometimes you do well for yourself (Craig Paquette for Shawon Dunston), sometimes you shoot yourself in the foot (Melvin Mora for Mike Bordick). The Mets are neither here nor there, your towel-toss notwithstanding. When residing in that gray area, I vote for here over there. I vote for keeping Floyd and Cameron for the rest of 2005 and considering their future at a calmer, cooler time of year, like after the season. All things being equal, I just as soon return them to office in '06.

The Mets aren't the only local team that should think about standing pat on July 31, or so it says at Gotham Baseball. Don't worry, I'm plenty catty to them.

6 comments to Re-Elect Floyd-Cameron '06

  • Anonymous

    As a fellow nocturnalite, I would like to thank you for posting at these very internet-friendly times (since there really isnt much to do at 3/4 in the morning on a weekday). I read about the Mets before I go to bed ( … and after I wake up. in the afternoon. late afternoon … ok. whenever I can), so its nice to have a fresh off keyboard entry to read before I head off into the land of dreams … Although I suppose the bad side of that is the inevitable dream/nightmare I have every now and then where I'm talking about roster changes, and I don't know about you, but baseball takes up more than enough of my awake-time, don't need subconscious self thinking about it either.

  • Anonymous

    What is it about Met fans that makes them want to trade everyone who's good? Instead of seeing every good player as “trade bait,” why can't we think of them as “an important piece of the puzzle”? It's always “he's doing well, let's see what we can get for him…” (Yeah, that worked out just dandy in the Reed-Lawton trade, didn't it? “Congratulations on making the All-Star team! You just pitched your way straight outta town for that!”)
    Floyd and Cameron are doing well for the Mets. And I would like to see that continue. I'm tired of getting rid of players for the sake of it. Can't we ever just KEEP the players who do well for us? Why always punish everyone who happens to be playing well in June and July by getting RID of them??? UGH.

  • Anonymous

    Because not all of them are important pieces of the puzzle. Some — Reyes, Beltran, Wright — clearly are, and it would be folly to trade them. Some — Piazza, Glavine, Ishii, Matsui — clearly aren't, and it would be folly not to trade them, if there's a way. And then some — Floyd, Cameron, Heilman, Seo, Zambrano, Looper — are judgment calls. Here's hoping Omar makes the right decisions.

  • Anonymous

    sorry, i can't consign mike effing piazza to the castoff crew. not only for what is past, but for the present, too.
    set aside the misty-eye-inducing fact that at his first new york press conference, or maybe it was at the one announcing his big contract, he spoke about finishing his career as a met. (you just don't get that these days. heck, you hardly got that then.)
    really, you'd ship piazza now? and finish the season with ramon castro as your #1 catcher? and you'd prefer castro at the plate in a big spot to piazza?
    not me.

  • Anonymous

    Mike is going to be gone in about 11 weeks anyway. So knowing that, would I trade him for spare parts? Hell no. Would I trade him for another aging veteran whose contract is up after '06 instead of after '05? Hell no. Would I trade him for a reclamation project a la Zambrano? Hell no. Would I teade him for a stud prospect tearing up Double-A? I think I would.
    Would I miss him and mourn? Absolutely. Would I grumble seeing Ramon Castro the rest of the way? Sure. But that's what we face in 11 weeks anyway, so if some team offers us some player who could fill a big hole, I'd go for it.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, Jace, but I have absolutely no problem with what Floyd and Cameron are doing for this team. I'm thrilled to have both of them here and have no desire to jettison either of them for anything short of Torii Hunter.