- Faith and Fear in Flushing - https://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Hi and Mighty Glad to See You

Hi again, Chasen Shreve — and you, too, Matt Reynolds and Johneshwy Fargas. The Mets decided to solve their lefthanded bullpen void by rewinding to 2020 and snatching up the perfectly capable Shreve, who by coming back after a season in Pittsburgh gets the chance to break free of his Silent Generation [1] designation. May the cheers at Citi Field ring out for you loud and often without nary a cardboard figure in sight. While we were deprived from December until March of major baseball doings, the Mets slipped minor league contracts to good old Matt Reynolds, the infielder who showed up to watch the 2015 postseason, then fill in quite a bit in 2016 and 2017; and potentially good new Johneshwy Fargas, the outfielder who blazed to at least one sensational catch in 2021, before being dropped in a personnel pileup. We love us some Recidivist Mets (the thus far 53 who’ve come, gone and come back, from Frank Lary in 1965 to Wilfredo Tovar last year), even if love, almost invariably, is less sweet the second time around.

Hi again, albeit with an tinge of sarcasm in our voice, Robinson Cano. Robinson was gone in 2021, sidelined by his own desire to enhance his performance, or getting caught using something to do that. Cano somehow feels like he’s been a Met forever (it’s only since 2019). It also feels like he’s played hardly at all (a not insignificant 156 games, in fact). The surefire Hall of Famer if you overlook the boosters he’s given himself is a hard guy to dislike, even as his continuing presence on the Met scene is difficult to fathom. He’s made a point of saying “my bad” for missing last year and I don’t doubt he’s already dispensing valuable veteran wisdom of the non-PED variety that his younger teammates will be citing soon enough. They’re all younger than Cano, who will turn 40 this October.

Hi for the first time, Chris Bassitt, Adam Ottavino and Travis Jankowski. New signings! New Mets! That’s the stuff! Bassitt will be in the rotation; Ottavino will be in the bullpen; Jankowski looms as an extra outfielder. My familiarity with each of them ranges from “I know that guy” to “I recognize that guy” to “I think I remember seeing that guy.” What the hell, they’re all Mets now. Welcome, fellas. It’s fun to see the Mets trumpeting new players after a winter of blanking out everybody’s faces on the official online roster.

Hi and never leave us, Jacob deGrom. Jake plans to opt out when his contract allows him that opening after this season is over (faint) yet swears he doesn’t really want to leave (cautiously revive). The best pitcher in baseball presumably just wants to be paid as such, and if Steve Cohen doesn’t satisfy his prime asset, our provisional praise for Metsopotamia’s most benevolent billionaire may have to be rethought.

Hi and glad you’re OK, Pete Alonso. Pete’s vehicle was hit by a maniac driver in Florida, where there’s no shortage of maniacs, drivers or a combination thereof. The vehicle rolled over. Pete somehow walked away physically unharmed. Whew, for Pete’s sake and, yes, our sake. Even if it was the doing of somebody else, be careful on the road. That goes for all of us.

Hi, DH. Boo. But you knew that already.

Hi Jeurys Familia of the Philadelphia Phillies, Robert Gsellman of the Chicago Cubs and Jonathan Villar also of the Chicago Cubs. New uniforms for old friends. Good luck, except when we play you (Familia as a Phillie…perhaps a little less luck). Same to Met-for-a-month Brad Hand, whose signing with Philadelphia positions the also erstwhile Marlin and National to join the likes of Todd Zeile, Joe Orsulak and previous most recent inductee Jeff Francoeur in the NL East’s Four-Timers Club [2].

Hi next year’s schedule that will have us playing everybody and their uncles. Interleague competition will essentially become interconference, like when the Nets or Islanders play San Antonio or Calgary. Baseball is trying to shake off any differentiation it has from anything else, all but killing the idea that the World Series should have a modicum of mystique. (I wonder when we’ll have penalty kicks.) Strangely, I don’t hate the prospective 29-opponent jamboree as much as I hate the DH. I voluntarily watch the Nets play the Spurs and don’t cringe when the Islanders take on the Flames, so at this point, where the rules have flattened out and some American League team is already on some National League team’s schedule somewhere every frigging day, yeah, sure. Let’s make baseball as unspecial as possible (that’s me not hating this as much as I hate the DH).

“Hi, which sleeve do you want me to roll up?” is a phrase I hope certain Mets will be saying to a medical professional in short order [3]. We’ve come too far not to get to this season in the best shape of our lives.

Hi baseball. You’re not as ideal as you could be, but, even in the best of times, you never were. We’re on board for the duration, however. We always are. The Mets start playing pretend games Saturday. Let’s do this thing. [4]

Warm up for the first broadcasts of the preseason by listening to Jeff Hysen and me mull over a few spring things on National League Town [5].