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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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Déjà Vu All Yo’ver Again

I don’t know what the Winter Meetings will bring us in the way of new players, or which superfluous lefty-hitting outfielder will be Mettisioned, but I’m enjoying a vibrant December glow from the steps taken to retain several of our old players thus far. We still have Neil Walker. We still have René Rivera. We still have Yoenis Cespedes.

Mostly we still have Yoenis. That’s the part that registers as super and then some. It felt really great last winter and the fact that we had to go through the machinations of not being sure we had him before confirming that he never left for any longer than it took for him to grab a smoke (he really should stop doing that) didn’t make treating his return as breaking news any less fun.

“What we’re celebrating,” Jay Leno once announced to a room full of reporters NBC had gathered to make it clear they weren’t taking The Tonight Show away from him, “is I’m not being fired. It’s very, very strange.” What the Mets did last week was give Cespedes the platform to let us know he wasn’t firing them. We didn’t know he’d stay. He stayed. He stayed again. Helluva story. Twice. We’ll take it over and over. Signing Yo at the end of November was the best news since signing Yo at the end of January, which was the best news since trading for Yo the July before. Whatever did we do for good news before Yo?

Oh, right, we didn’t have much. The offseason press conferences took place in distant precincts. I came to miss them and the competitive aspirations they represented enough that I wished we could rent a big-name free agent for an hour, or just long enough so we could do dogs and ponies before getting back to waiver claims and Rule 5 selections. Those were dark winter days.

These are better. These have Cespedes, which is fantastic; and Walker, which is quite all right; and Rivera, which is fine. Rivera provided a reliable target for Noah Syndergaard and Walker hit when he wasn’t visiting Pittsburgh. Neil was also properly appreciative in accepting the Mets’ qualifying offer, tweeting that he was “happy to say I’m back in Orange and Blue for 2017!! Let’s go Mets! #unfinished business.” Parse those sentiments for a few hours and you’ll be overjoyed at player sentiments that transcend boilerplate. (The capitalizing of Orange and Blue may be my favorite part).

They were 2016 Mets who helped us provide us with a Wild Card. You don’t get to keep every vital body from your playoff teams, as we learned when Bartolo Colon took his bat, arm and aura to Atlanta, where he will presumably find spiritual kinship with R.A. Dickey, but the less turnover of essential personnel from a successful unit, the warmer your winter will feel. And if they want to hold weekly press conferences to remind us our Silver Slugger of a left fielder is still a well-compensated Met and that No. 52 continues to fit over a shirt and tie, I’ll tune in every single time.

15 comments to Déjà Vu All Yo’ver Again

  • Art

    Now if we could somehow add a 25 year old Mike Piazza to the lineup…..

    • Eric

      I support giving d’Arnaud and Plawecki another chance.

      • 9th string catcher

        I was rough on TDA last year, and reminded by a few people here that on balance he’s been quite good. Still not sure behind the plate is the right place for him as he gets injured a lot, but I like his grit, his attitude and his bat. Hopefully he puts it together this year.

  • Dave

    Yo likes us. He really likes us. I guess the next question is what will make the team better, Grandy and what they can get for Bruce, or Bruce and what they can get for Grandy. Talk continues about relievers being at the top of the shopping list, but I still wish there was some way to fit a little more speed into this lineup.

    As for Td’A…he’s getting close to his last shot. Needs to be healthy and productive or by this time next year the Mets will have to assume he’s going to be neither.

  • 9th string catcher

    I would love to see a Wright/Duda righty-lefty platoon at 1st until one of them goes down for the season. Keep Reyes in the lineup regularly, keep the hot hand in the lineup.

    • Eric

      1B is the designated outlet for extra Mets bats but there’s only so much room there for Wright, Duda, d’Arnaud, Conforto, (maybe) Bruce, Flores, and TJ Rivera.

      Flores was swinging a hot bat before he broke his hand.

      • 9th string catcher

        I think, though, Conforto will be the 4th outfielder after Bruce is traded, Flores will back up 1st, 2nd and 3rd base against lefties and D’Arnaud will be in a 60/40 platoon behind the plate, leaving Duda and Wright the bulk of the at-bats. At least until one or both are injured.

  • open the gates

    Kinda sad that we’re already planning for the inevitable injuries. I say, if we have another catastrophic medical year (and they’ve all been recently, even 2015), heads need to roll. The “snakebit” line only works for just so many decades.

    • Dennis

      Why and whose heads should roll for injuries that may or may not occur?

      • 9th string catcher

        Agree – injuries happen to every team. The heads should roll when there’s no depth, and I believe the Mets have done a good job over the past few years of getting it. Reyes picked up Wright. Bruce picked up Ces (sort of). Loney picked up Duda. Flores picked up Walker (then Rivera picked up Flores). The starting rotation was obliterated, they still made the playoff game.

  • eric1973

    Can’t imagine Ces earning more than 2 years of that money before injuries take their toll. So these pitchers better be healthy and live up to expectations.

    Conforto has not proven he is a major leaguer, so he is number 5 on the depth chart. Would love to see Legares in C.F fulltime, so hoping to trade Bruce or Grandy. They are both pretty equal to me.

  • Eric

    Thoughts on Nimmo’s role?

  • Paul Schwartz

    seasoning at AAA
    then insurance at major league level.
    need,at bats for conforto and Lagares first unless Nimmo wows in spring

  • open the gates

    I think Conforto may have been brought up to the major leagues before he was fully ready, then had a premature surge at that level, a la Gregg Jefferies. I think the team may have to take a step back with him, give him extended time at AAA. To pigeonhole him as a fourth infielder is not fair to him, I think. He could be a star, and he’s still young. He may just need more seasoning.

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