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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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It Happens Every Spring

For the first few games of the season happiness at having baseball back outweighs what actually happens on a given night. But then there’s a game that leaves you disgusted and sputtering profanities. Baseball, you think, is being very, very bad to you.

For me, tonight was that night. It was Dillon Gee handing out doubles like party favors in a fifth inning that blew up on him, and the Mets’ rally getting short-circuited by balls that were hit hard but right at people, and the offensive output consisting of two Lucas Duda hits and a Baltimore chop. Enough went right against Washington to put a certain spring in our collective step, but plenty’s gone wrong against Atlanta, the reports of whose demise seem to have been somewhat exaggerated. (And whose stadium can’t be knocked down soon enough, even if it means being party to another shameful bilking of taxpayers.)

So yeah, tonight’s game was no fun and — unlike last night’s — had nothing particularly admirable about it.

Speaking of neither fun nor admirable, say a half-season’s farewell to Jenrry Mejia, who will get 75 more games to rest his balky elbow now that he’s been suspended for stanozolol, which you may know better as Winstrol. It’s an old-school steroid — the stuff Brian McNamee said he injected in Roger Clemens‘s booty, to quote a famous line that I fear will be the last thing rattling around in my brain as I’m expiring in a nursing home one day.

Mejia, oddly, is the fourth pitcher in two weeks to test positive for this retro-steroid, which makes you wonder if someone changed the formula in some dubiously legal supplement or if people have come down with a case of the stupids.

I ran out of things to say about performance-enhancing drugs a long time ago — I’ll just let the last thing I remember writing stand. Well, all right, here’s a bit more: I’m disappointed and irked that Mejia did something dumb, but except for practical reasons I’m not more disappointed and irked about it because he’s a Met. I wish we could stop talking and worrying about this stuff, but at least the penalties have become pretty steep: Mejia’s out half a season and $1.1 million, which has got to hurt even if you’re a young millionaire, and is the kind of thing that you’d assume would make you think twice.

Well, until four players disappear from rosters in two weeks.

A suggestion for the Mets, besides volunteering to take sledgehammers to Turner Field to make it disappear even sooner: Next year, don’t name a closer for Opening Day. Just shrug and make vague harrumphing noises and tell people to come to the ballpark. Bad things happen to Met closers, and those bad things happen quickly.

Oh, and here’s a weird way to assess whether you’re optimist or a pessimist: Mejia’s mistake means he’s ineligible for the postseason.

7 comments to It Happens Every Spring

  • Dave

    The rash of steroid hits can’t be coincidental. Winstrol, from all references, seems to be the worst possible choice of ped’s to use if one is interested in not getting caught. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some of these suspensions dialed back.

  • Daniel Hall

    ‘Mejia’s mistake means he’s ineligible for the postseason’ – That’s a shame, but how does it concern the Mets?

    May I suggest moving Granderson out of the leadoff spot, now that he’s batting his age (.063) on the season?

    But I’ll tell you all something. The Mets are going to win today. Why? I can watch today, and they are 2-0 with me hanging in, crying down the opposing icons. They are 0-3 when I’ve been busy sleeping or some other random boring stuff. Don’t laugh. It’s the only reason for confidence I can come up with…

    • Well, Granderson’s OBP is .318 — also not what you’d want but a lot better than that misleading .063.

      But then again batting order is probably the most pointless thing that we worry about. Over a full season, the optimum lineup in terms of construction will win about a game more than your basic conventional-wisdom lineup.

      I’m far more worried — albeit based on small sample sizes — about Flores and the defense.

  • Stefanie B

    Yes. It’s defense we need to worry about most. We can’t give games away like that. I think we will weather the loss of Mejia ok (though I’m really really mad at him -what was he thinking?) and I think our offense is what we knew it was all along. But if you are banking on winning with great pitching you’ve got to have defense behind it.

  • open the gates

    Some unsolicited advice for Jenrry Mejia, which he will never read: If you’re the closer, don’t ever get caught using steroids when there are three other closers-in-waiting, one of whom is the guy whose job you took. It’s a little different when the only guy you need to worry about is Kyle Farnsworth.

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  • […] I’ve been thinking of this one game. I was in Connecticut. The Mets were in Atlanta. They were playing the Braves on a Saturday night and Dillon Gee wasn’t very good. […]