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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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A Bad Case of Scurvy

The heat downstairs in our apartment hasn't worked for 10 days or so. The plumber came tonight, struggled to get the heat working, and finally determined various valves and a length of ancient piping need replacing. That'll be $500, Mr. Fry.
Of course the 10 days the heat hasn't worked have corresponded to the coldest days of the year, days that turned New York City into a northern outpost of the Ross Ice Shelf. The kid's cranky because he's inside all the time, I'm either too cold on the way to work or too hot in the office, our Saturday nights out have too often been frozen odysseys that Emily and I might have considered skipping, and have you read the weather report for the next few days? Snow showers, flurries and the best one of all: “wintry mix.”
Yes, this is February in the city.
What's kept me hanging on (instead of hanging) has been the fact that it's February elsewhere too. Met 18-wheelers have presumably arrived in St. Lucie. Pitchers and catchers have their airline tickets by now — except the ones with visa problems, of course. (How do baseball players with agents to run their lives wind up with visa problems, by the way? They don't see this trip coming? Is our bureaucracy that crazy?) Maybe a few players have even packed up already. Hell, David Wright's probably been camped out in the Tradition Field clubhouse since New Year's, slipping away only when the president asks him to dinner.
So blow, ye wintry winds. Snow, Old Man Winter. Disappear, money spent on new pipes. Whine, four-year-old stuck inside. Pretty soon the papers will exchange interchangeable forecasts of pitching woes for interchangeable profiles of new acquisitions and minor-leaguers. Before too long UltiMET classics will give way to meaningless spring-training games. Pitchers will run along warning tracks, sluggers will depart in the fifth to yak with Gary and Keith and wretched spring-training togs will assault the eye, because there will be games again. Split-squad games and games that end in ties and blowouts finished up by guys wearing jerseys with numbers in the 70s and no names. We'll moan about the horrible new ads on SNY and the FAN, then remember — with sudden secret delight — that we'll have to endure them for months. And then, soon enough, 7:10 and 1:10 will mean something again.
No, not just something. They'll mean everything again.
And when that happens, snow and heat pipes and big coats will be phantoms to be put safely out of mind again. And it starts with those three magical words. Pitchers and catchers. This week. And it's about time. Because I've got a bad case of winter scurvy, and I could sure use some Grapefruit.
Addendum: Kris Benson's out for the year. And the Orioles have replaced him with…Steve Trachsel. Yes really. How many O's fans are going to walk into bars, hear this news and think their buddies are playing a not particularly funny joke on them?

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