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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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CODA to Their Met Careers

It got a little lost during Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast, coming as it did after celebrity Mets fan Chris Rock was so rudely interrupted, but the Oscars aired their annual tribute (such as it was) to those no longer with us, which means, come the Monday morning after, we do the same. Except in our case, we mean it in the baseball transactional sense.

Here, then, for the sixteenth consecutive Spring, is our heartfully produced, hopefully inclusive montage saluting the Mets who have left us — the organization, not this earth — in the past year. At press time, we still don’t know where each of these now former Mets will wind up, but we do know that not long ago, whether for an evening or an era, they definitely Metsed among us.

We will remember you, albeit some more than others.


July 24, 2020 – October 3, 2021

I’d suggest Luis Rojas do whatever a manager can do with a compromised coaching staff and drill into his lads a few things about how to compete in every baseball game they play and how to win a bunch more than they have. At the very least, Luis, maybe let Lugo get up to set down more batters when he’s proving himself unhittable.
—August 26, 2020
(Relieved of duties, 10/4/2021; named Yankees third base coach, 11/15/2021)


Relief Pitcher
July 29, 2021

For the silver lining-lovers out there, Miguel Castro continued on his journey back to sharpness with a scoreless sixth; Aaron Loup threw an ale of an eighth; and, making his major league debut, righty Akeem Bostick kept the Braves from inflicting superfluous ninth-inning damage. My scouting report on Akeem Bostick consisted of me learning after I got home from Wednesday night’s game that Akeem Bostick had been situated in the bullpen during Wednesday night’s game, having replaced Jerad Eickhoff on the active roster. Previous Mets to have replaced Jerad Eickhoff on the active roster in 2021 were Thomas Szapucki and Robert Stock. Have you seen Szapucki or Stock lately? Hopefully Bostick won’t be disappeared to wherever it is pitchers who dare to occupy the flip side of Eickhoff’s DFAs. wind up. He was obviously a happy young man when he tweeted, postgame, “I can FINALLY say ‘I’M A BIG LEAGUER!’” Akeem should indeed shout his newly earned status to the heavens. It’s a very special designation to have earned, even among Mets, a team that has habitually enlisted Jerad Eickhoff to start baseball games.
—July 29, 2021
(Free agent, 11/7/2021; signed with Kansas City Monarchs (American Association), 1/24/2022)


Relief Pitcher
April 17, 2021 – April 21, 2021

[N]ew export Trevor Hildenberger looked pretty good when he arrived and now he’s departed, because middle relievers.
—April 23, 2021
(Selected off waivers by Giants, 5/18/2021)


Relief Pitcher
August 17, 2018 – September 29, 2019

We knew Daniel Zamora, called up from Binghamton to replace DL’d Bobby Wahl, was our 54th Met of 2018. As with the 24 runs, this was big-time record-setting, or at least record-tying. The answer to the question some of us have been asking ourselves since 1967 — “Met 54, where are you?” — was finally answered. Knowing this milestone had been touched made us authorities on Daniel Zamora compared to not only Phillies fans but Mets fans in our section, which is understandable. There must have been a flock of Temple Owls in the house because Zamora was greeted primarily with “who? who?” It’s a common refrain at Mets games everywhere these days.
—August 18, 2018
(Selected off waivers by Mariners, 5/22/2021)


September 22, 2013 – September 28, 2014
May 21, 2021 – May 29, 2021

Games remain scheduled whether or not you come prepared with an optimal assortment of players. It’s not the fault of the journeymen who are populating the roster currently that they were nobody’s first or second choice to be “the Mets” of the moment. They arrived in the organization as depth. They hoped they’d avoid alternate sites and get a call individually, but they didn’t expect to ascend to the majors en masse. I doubt they rallied one another in St. Lucie or Syracuse or wherever they crossed paths and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all of us among the overlooked, undernoticed and generally dismissed got our chance together?” But they have. Sometimes, as on Friday, it works. Sometimes, as on Saturday, it almost works. Sometimes it’s Sunday, when Johneshwy Fargas doubles, Wilfredo Tovar singles him in and Yennsy Diaz looks good for an inning…and that’s it, basically.
—May 23, 2021
(Free agent, 10/4/2021; currently unsigned)


Relief Pitcher
August 1, 2020 – September 18, 2020

Franklyn Kilome got twelve batters out in his one outing, yet was optioned to Elba, but that transaction was primarily a function of churn. Go four innings as a reliever one night and you can’t be used for a couple of days, so go ice your arm by the beach, kid. Kilome might be back by Wednesday in time to take what had been Wacha’s turn, which comes after that of Rick Porcello.
—August 9, 2020
(Free agent, 11/7/2021; currently unsigned)


May 15, 2021 – May 21, 2021

It was the first major league at-bat of Hager’s ten-year professional career and the first time any Met player wore 86, a pair of digits — like the city of St. Petersburg itself — that contains some Amazin’ championship cachet. New No. 86 Jake Hager finally getting this kind of chance was a reason to stay tuned, a reason to remain engaged, a reason to feel good. Hager proceeded to fly out, thus ending the positive evocation portion of our program.
—May 15, 2021
(Selected off waivers by Brewers, 5/25/2021)


Relief Pitcher
April 7, 2021 – June 13, 2021

[…] Jacob Barnes relieved Peterson and gave up a three-run homer on his first pitch delivered as a Met, a badge of insta-futility not donned since John Candelaria’s debut as a Plan H or I starter in the cursed ’87 season. Barnes also settled down, though by now the barn was in flames and the horses weren’t even bothering to flee but insouciantly hanging around to light cigarettes from the embers.
—April 7, 2021
(Traded to Blue Jays, 6/19/2021)


May 31, 2021 – June 19, 2021

Defensive replacement Mason Williams defended against a last-gasp Cub rally with a diving grab that made his insertion an instance of brilliant managing by Luis Rojas. The win, our third consecutive, pushed the Mets to ten above .500 for the first time since the end of 2019 and kept us five ahead of the NL East pack. Very nice. And excruciatingly irrelevant versus the only thing anybody is really talking about the day after.
—June 17, 2021
(Free agent, 11/7/2021; currently unsigned)


May 27, 2021 – July 11, 2021

When Billy McKinney distributes his base hits as if from a variety pack — at least one among doubles, triples and homers before bothering with singles — Billy McKinney is my right fielder.
—June 7, 2021
(Traded to Dodgers, 7/21/2021)


Relief Pitcher
April 24, 2021

Perhaps Tarpley should have remained on another plane of existence — he threw 14 pitches and got nobody out, and now sits in the Met record books with an ERA of infinity. Spooky!
—April 25, 2021
(Released, 7/16/2021; currently unsigned
UPDATE: Signed with Long Island Ducks (Atlantic League), 4/22/2022)


Relief Pitcher
August 24, 2021 – October 2, 2021

Except there’s another game Wednesday night, and if the Mets win that (it’s possible), they’ll cut a half-game off the idle Braves’ lead. And if they somehow win Thursday night (it’s not over before it’s started), that’s another half-game, with Atlanta mysteriously on hiatus two days in a row. Now we’re 5½ out and the Braves’ schedule toughens, while ours lightens up, and Francisco didn’t look bad at the plate by any means, and Pete is hitting pretty consistently, and Brandon keeps getting on base, and Jeff was pretty good in the outfield in 2019, and nobody can blame the Heath Hembree-enhanced bullpen very much, and the more Carrasco pitches the more he’s bound to find his form, and isn’t Syndergaard about to begin a rehab assignment? It will be all over mathematically eventually and over beyond semantics soon enough. Until then, you never know and can’t help yourself from hoping accordingly. Even if you pretty much know it’s hopeless.
—August 25, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Pirates, 3/15/2022)


Relief Pitcher
July 25, 2020 – April 7, 2021

Entering the bottom of the eighth, the Mets were leading, 10-6. No pitchers needed to be pinch-hit for because the National League no longer exists in such a natural state, yet the Mets were on their fourth pitcher of the night, Dellin Betances. In brief, it didn’t go well, and it went on extra long because two replay reviews ensued, neither of them amounting to a reversal of declining Met fortunes and both of them combining to eventually push the game into to its eighth half-hour. Betances left with the Mets’ edge reduced to 10-8 and Braves occupying first and third.
—August 1, 2020
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; currently unsigned
UPDATE: Signed with Dodgers, 4/5/2022)


August 18, 2021 – September 3, 2021

And, for fun, McNeil doubled and Chance Sisco, a Triple-A name that hadn’t crept into our consciousness until the contingency backup catcher’s emergency backup was activated from the taxi squad, doubled on the first pitch he saw as a Met to make it 6-2. Ready to take a Chance again, indeed!
—August 19, 2021
(Free agent, 10/5/2021; signed with Mariners, 3/16/2022)


Relief Pitcher
May 7, 2021 – May 18, 2021

Meet this Met
Meet that Met
Every day we meet more Mets
There’s Tommy Hunter
And his first hit
There’s Khalil Lee
Who can field quite a bit
—May 19, 2021
(Traded to Rays, 7/23/2021)


Relief Pitcher
September 4, 2021 – October 2, 2021

Hell, maybe the front office and its flawed parade of GM types knew what they were doing long enough to bring in the Villars, Pillars and Loups who have levitated the season just enough above sea level so that it hasn’t altogether drowned. Somebody in authority just signed off on bringing in Brad Hand. From a thumb to a Hand and nobody making a fist in a week’s time. That’s progress.
—September 3, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Phillies, 3/14/2022)


Starting Pitcher
June 21, 2021 – July 27 , 2021

Jerad gets us nervous, but mostly because we just met him, we’re not confident we can spell him and we know he wouldn’t be here if we had somebody more obviously qualified to do what he does. He calmed us down eventually, but we definitely had the feeling he and we got lucky. He’s welcome to come back soon. It’s not like we won’t have room for him.
—June 22, 2021
(Free agent, 10/6/2021; signed with Pirates, 11/29/2021)


Relief Pitcher
July 19, 2021 – July 30, 2021

The Mets cashed in their ghost runner, but with Trevor May and Jeurys Familia and Aaron Loup all gassed, they handed the ball to the briefly aforementioned Banda. To call Banda unassuming would be putting it mildly — he looks like a fan who won a Closer for a Day! contest.
—July 20, 2021
(Selected off waivers by Pirates, 8/2/2021)


Starting Pitcher
July 7, 2021 – July 20, 2021

The Mets’ track record of winning first games and not winning second games hung heavy in the air, just like the air hung heavy in the air. Succeeding deGrom as starting pitcher was Robert Stock, the 1,141st Met ever and the first to wear 89. “Just give me whatever the temperature is at first pitch,” Stock presumably requested of clubhouse manager Kevin Kierst.
—July 8, 2021
(Free agent, 10/29/2021; signed with Doosan Bears (KBO League), 1/4/2022)


Relief Pitcher
July 9, 2021

Stock started because, what, ya got somebody else handy? Shallow rotation depth is the soft underbelly of the first-place Mets (and I say that as one who knows from having a soft underbelly). It was either the guy the Cubs decided didn’t fit their needs anymore, or Nick Tropeano — a.k.a. Nicky the Trope; a.k.a. The 27th Man; a.k.a Guy Who Gets to Dress but Never Gets to Pitch.
—July 8, 2021
(Free agent, 8/4/2021; signed with Dodgers, 8/6/2021)


Relief Pitcher
July 20, 2021 – August 15, 2021

Geoff Hartlieb being activated as the extra player for a shortened game whose start was delayed by rain when it wasn’t raining before getting rained out and then being optioned before the next day’s pair of shortened games began may go down as the quintessential 2021 Mets transaction.
—August 13, 2021
(Selected off waivers by Red Sox, 9/4/2021)


May 19, 2021 – May 29, 2021

Poor Cameron Maybin set a new club mark for futility to begin a Mets career, going 0 for 27 and so topping (or perhaps the term is limbo’ing under) Charley Smith’s 0-for-26 start in 1964, but then tapped a little swinging bunt up the third-base line to get on base, an accomplishment greeted with rapturous applause from the stands and a flurry of jazz hands from his dugout. Maybin’s smile was a highlight in its own right, starting off low-watt sheepish and then brightening to big and genuine.
—May 30, 2021
(Free agent, 10/4/2021; retired, 1/3/2022)


April 25, 2018 – July 4, 2021

The Mets last week lost a game started by Steven Matz, 25-4. Five days later, because Matz was injured, they started Corey Oswalt in his place. […] Oswalt pitched much better than Matz did last Tuesday. Oswalt also pitches much better than Jason Vargas any day of the week. Yet Oswalt is considered to start only when somebody is injured. Despite Oswalt pitching well, the Mets lost, 5-4. That looks much better than 25-4, but it is still a loss. I wouldn’t discourage Oswalt from continuing to pitch well, nor the Mets from keeping their margins of defeat reasonable, but the real key to success for the team is not losing. This is a fundamental of baseball of which the Mets are likely aware, but given how infrequently they win, posting an occasional reminder seems necessary.
—August 6, 2018
(Free agent, 10/19/2021; signed with Giants, 1/12/2022)


April 6, 2021 – September 14, 2021

J.D. was not alone in doing great things that involved the Citi Field fence. […] Albert Almora, Jr. took off toward it like Endy Chavez and slammed his body à la Mike Baxter into it, robbing Kyle Schwarber with a flair that was all Almora. Albert with the championship pedigree walked away in one piece unlike Mike from Bayside and will dress for a game again very soon, which unfortunately Endy didn’t following the Endy Catch. Chavez’s team had reached its end when he made his grab in 2006. Almora’s team is just getting going.
—April 26, 2021
(Free agent, 10/6/2021; signed with Reds, 3/20/2022)


May 2, 2021 – October 3, 2021

Jose Peraza leaves a team in Cincinnati, detours through Boston, and then without warning arrives in New York. How long does it take Jose Peraza’s second home run of the year to depart Citi Field?
—May 27, 2021
(Free agent, 10/29/2021; signed with Yankees, 11/29/2021)


Starting Pitcher
July 25, 2021 – September 30, 2021

Hill bunted and sacrificed McCann to second, just as NL hurlers have been asked to do for all but one of the past 145 years, or since Rich Hill was a lad. He had done his pitcherly duty, and I leapt to my feet to applaud. Then, armed with a 6-3 lead, he went out to work the fifth, throw his “69 MPH UNKNOWN” (by the scoreboard’s reckoning) and qualify for the decision. He preserved that lead — his lead — and left as the pitcher of record on the winning side. I stood and applauded again. Like autumn’s chill, a generosity of spirit pervaded the air.
—October 1, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Red Sox, 12/1/2021)


May 21, 2021 – August 31, 2021

[…] Luis Cessa gave up a walkoff single to Brandon Drury, and the everybody’s-the-hero Mets defeated the Reds, 5-4. Mets fans, I can report with accuracy, went nuts with appreciation. It didn’t appear we were “supposed” to win, but what was Brandon Drury supposed to do other than record yet another humongous hit? After all, Drury’s OPS in July was infinity. I could look up the real number, but I’m a Mets fan. I know pretty incredible statistics off the top of my head.
—August 1, 2021
(Free agent, 10/14/2021; signed with Reds, 3/21/2022)


Second Baseman
July 31, 2021 – October 1, 2021

We might not remember how Baez helped the Mets in his first ten games in our colors because when he wasn’t sparking us toward a couple of victories, he was weighing us down badly (.171/.216/.343) as we commenced losing chronically. It thus dawned on me Sunday that Javy Baez is something akin to our Howard Cosell. He’s the best player we have on the field when he’s not playing worse than everybody else. He’s Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s little girl with the curl to whom Ralph Kiner was so fond of referring. “When she was good, she was very good,” Ralph liked to say. When she wasn’t, she struck out a lot and threw wide of first.
—August 22, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Tigers, 11/30/2021)


April 4, 2021 – October 2, 2021

It’s a hit by pitch and a run batted in, yet the scorekeeping is irrelevant. It’s a person down in the dirt bleeding badly, requiring medical attention and in no condition to rise and do something as presumably effortless as jog to first base. Watching on television, also in about a second, your priorities switch from let’s get at least another run here, it’s only 1-0, we need all the help we can get, c’mon Pillar to yikes! or interjections to that effect. You just want the blood to stop and the person on the ground to get up and, if you can find it in your heart to worry about the mental well-being of the pitcher whose fastball got away, the person on the mound to grab a seat and get ahold of himself, whatever form that takes.
—May 18, 2021
(Free agent, 11/5/2021; signed with Dodgers, 3/22/2022)


April 5, 2021 – October 3, 2021

I was never more home than with the Mets game coming out of my shirt pocket on the boardwalk in Long Beach in 2021. This was me in the summers off from high school and junior high and elementary school. Wayne Randazzo narrating a Jonathan Villar homer meshed with the soft crash of the waves. It sounded like my life. That baseball radio play-by-play was emanating from my person didn’t merit commentary from my wife, who is very used to the sounds my body makes, nor from my old pal Fred, who knows what I’m all about. The first thing I can ever recall Fred and I doing outside of school involved a walk and a Mets game on my transistor radio. I told him I don’t like to miss the Mets when they’re playing, and I never had to tell him again.
—July 15, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Cubs, 3/17/2022)


Relief Pitcher
April 5, 2021 – September 29, 2021

Aaron gave up two Pirate hits and hit ex-Met Phillip Evans to begin the bottom of the sixth. That’s what is referred to in certain circles as a sticky wicket. But you know that stuff you see commercials for to resolve stickiness? It’s called Loup. Spray it on the toughest jams and it strikes batters right out! I know, it sounds like a scam, but it works. Loup struck out Adam Frazier, struck out Wilmer Difo and struck out Bryan Reynolds, thus leaving the bases loaded. “Wow,” you might be wondering, “can I get a can of that Loup for my sticky wickets?” Sorry, they’re all sold out.
—July 19, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Angels, 11/22/2021)


Starting Pitcher
August 3, 2019 – September 28, 2021

In Sunday’s finale, Marcus Stroman took the mound. Marcus Stroman isn’t Jacob deGrom, and not because nobody is Jacob deGrom except Jacob deGrom. Nobody who isn’t Marcus Stroman is Marcus Stroman, either. We’re not talking about asking for ID. Stroman approaches his outings like nobody I’ve ever seen in more than fifty years of watching Mets baseball. He doesn’t “attack” the batter or the strike zone. He attacks the entire game. If a top rope surrounded the rubber, he’d climb atop it, jump off of it, pin the batter he’s startled and egg the crowd on to chant his name. That’s “his attitude,” Conforto said of his 3-0 teammate in Sunday’s postgame Zoom, “the ultimate confidence in himself, and I think that can be contagious sometimes.” Rooting for our first-place team, we should all come down with a case of that kind of self-belief.
—April 19, 2021
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Cubs, 12/1/2021)


August 23, 2016 – October 3, 2021

If Gsellman isn’t overpowering, he is effective. And the effect is electric. Instead of woe-is-us’ing the days away, we move up in the standings. What was more unlikely — the Mets being one game out of playoff qualification or knowing who the Gs-hell Robert Gsellman is at all? Given the pallor left behind by the previous 48 hours, focused mostly on Jacob deGrom and his mysteriously barking forearm, how could you not embrace this shaggy incarnation of vintage [Marty] Bystrom?
—September 4, 2016
(Free agent, 11/30/2021; signed with Cubs, 3/17/2022)


Relief Pitcher
September 4, 2012 – July 14, 2018
March 28, 2019 – October 1, 2021

With no cushion provided, Familia returned to the mound for the ninth with the same 3-2 lead that had been effect since the sixth. His first assignment was retiring the loathsome Chase Utley, who shouldn’t have been wearing any uniform this week other than an orange jumpsuit. Utley gave a ball a ride to right, but then the ball said, no thanks, I’ll get out here, and fell into Granderson’s glove. Met karma intact, Jeurys reared back and struck out A.J. Ellis and then Kendrick. Oh, by the way, that was the 27th out. The Mets had won the game and the series, both by a score of 3-2. The next sight you saw was their entire roster forming a ball of human Silly Putty. The next sound you heard was — for the 18th time in franchise history — the spritzing of champagne over everybody and everything orange, blue and otherwise. The next thought you had was “tonight the Dodgers, Saturday the Cubs.”
—October 16, 2015
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Phillies, 3/12/2022)


Starting Pitcher
May 12, 2015 – October 3, 2021

For that matter, you only noticed the eleven runs a little, because all your focus was on Noah Syndergaard. Over eight innings, he registered as many strikeouts as the Mets plated runners: eleven K’s to go with no walks and no runs. There were three Pirate singles scattered, one in the first, two in the sixth. By the sixth, when Syndergaard shrugged off the mild threat by fanning Andrew McCutchen looking for Strikeout No. 8, the Mets led, 7-0. There was no danger. There was only Thor, tossing what could be best described as a Thor-hitter. Come the bottom of the eighth, Syndergaard batted, an excellent sign of what he’d be doing in the ninth. Sure enough, in the ninth, we got what we stayed for. We got Thor on the mound for another inning. All he needed was three outs to add to his previous 24. If he could proceed in mussless, fussless fashion, we’d be telling each other on the way out that we had just seen Noah Syndergaard’s first complete game and Noah Syndergaard’s first shutout. We already talk of Thor so much we need new material. We wanted it like he wanted it. We would have accepted simple groundouts or pop flies, though if it were put to a text poll, we would have entered “K” for another round of emphatic door-slamming, Pirate-pounding strikeouts. We wanted him to go out in blazes of glory and flourishes of phenomenal. We wanted Rivera cradling that last 97-MPH fastball, leaping to his feet and embracing his pitcher. We couldn’t wait to tweet that perfect-partnership image and hashtag it #Thorvera. That would have been something, but it will have to be something for another game.
—June 16, 2016
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; signed with Angels, 11/16/2021)


July 24, 2015 – October 3, 2021

After I got home and watched the replay, Michael Conforto’s one-on, two-out, ninth-inning drive to left-center proved ordinary. It was a deep fly ball but quite catchable, and sure enough Andrew McCutchen caught it to send Friday’s Mets-Pirates game to the tenth inning, knotted at one. From Row 21 of Section 109, however, it looked perfect. Too perfect, in retrospect. Who wouldn’t want the Mets’ top draft pick of 2014 to deliver a signature blow and add another chapter to 2015’s improbable first-place story? And if you happened to be monitoring the flight of the ball alongside somebody who was wearing a recently purchased CONFORTO 30 t-shirt…somebody who had a few hours earlier posed for a picture with his shirt’s namesake…c’mon, who could ask for anything more? So we — that would be me and Citi Field goodwill ambassador Skid (who swears he never wears shirts with players’ names normally, but on impulse he bought the rookie’s) and Mike, who’s visiting Skid from California — asked for simply that. We asked for Michael Conforto, in his fifteenth major league game and his second pinch-hitting appearance, to provide the proverbial storybook ending. The ball he hit appeared standsbound off the bat. We wished it and we hoped it toward the Party City Deck. We wanted it to be a gala ball. But it wasn’t. It was an out. The rule about not always getting what you want held, just like the 1-1 score, at least until the tenth. […] What is easy to see is that unlike the other new, likely rented faces you had to gawk at twice to recognize fully during BP because they haven’t been Mets very long (and they, too, wore unnumbered warmups), Michael is slated to be a Met for years to come. Conforto will drive other balls to deep left center. A few are bound to keep traveling.
—August 15, 2015
(Free agent, 11/3/2021; currently unsigned)

4 comments to CODA to Their Met Careers

  • Seth

    “A few are bound to keep traveling.”

    As is Mr Conforto himself, I guess.

  • Dave

    Dellin Betances was never a Met. In fact, he was never a baseball player. You have no credible evidence to prove he was.

  • Harvey

    Mckinney was purchased by the Texas Rangers from the Dodgers last November but was released eight days later. He was signed by the As this month and is in camp with them.

    • Good to know, of course, but the fine print of this feature concerns itself only with each ex-Mets’ immediate post-Met destination. May they all have long, healthy, successful careers wherever they wind up thereafter, as long as it’s not at our expense.