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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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Mourning Becomes Elation

I’ll sure miss Jacob deGrom…that is when I’m not watching Justin Verlander pitch for the New York Mets this year and next. So maybe I won’t be actively missing Jacob deGrom quite so much, dashed lifetime Met status notwithstanding.

Yes, the word is out: Justin Verlander will be a Met, landing in a different context from that which the deGrom news did less than three days ago but with the same ratio of surprise/shock to it. We can be surprised. We can’t be shocked. These are the New York Mets of Steve Cohen. Lose one all-time great, go out and replace him with another all-time great. Older, but maybe more durable in the short term. And all-time greater, truthfully. In his most recent term as an Astro, Verlander was a world champion and a Cy Young winner. It wasn’t the first time he’d been either. He comes to a new league and a new city and he’s doing it on the cusp of 40. But he’s Justin Verlander. He’s familiar with Max Scherzer. He’s familiar with getting batters out. He’s expensive, but how is that my problem? (Don’t be a mope and invoke ticket prices and cable subscriptions.)

Friday night was kind of miserable. Monday afternoon is rather ebullient. That’s the opposite of how things are supposed to work. We’re Mets fans who aren’t stuck empty-armed after losing an ace. That’s the opposite of how things used to work. We’ve got Verlander and Scherzer and, I suppose, some other spots to fill. But let’s give ourselves a respite from playing GM. Let the GM do his job. The owner has done his.

Justin Verlander is joining the New York Mets. Enjoy that for today. Enjoy that in 2023. Whatever happens in Texas can stay in Texas. Except for Verlander. He left Houston and is coming to Flushing.

We, too, move on. It’s what we do.

13 comments to Mourning Becomes Elation

  • Seth

    Keeping in mind JV is almost 40, why couldn’t we have Scherzer, deGrom, AND Verlander? Come on, am I really being ungrateful?

  • Eric

    It’s striking that, as reported, the Mets offered deGrom the same contract length as the Scherzer and Verlander deals but with a lower yearly salary (40 vs 43 million). That’s a cold message as much as deGrom, as reported, not going back to the Mets with the Rangers offer.

    I’m still miserable over deGrom leaving, maybe more now than Friday with the divorce sinking in.

    Signing Verlander doesn’t make me feel better about losing our guy. I have no emotional attachment and history with Verlander.

  • Seth

    Also, I’ll reserve judgment. I was excited a year ago when we signed a 40-year-old pitcher, and it turned out a little bit “meh” at the end of the season. So we’ll see… Uncle Steve gets an A for effort, though.

  • open the gates

    I commented on the deGrom departure thread that nothing would make losing Jake not stink. Signing Justin Verlander three days later? Let’s just say it’s a lot better than, say, replacing Zack Wheeler with Michael Wacha. The era of Wilpon dumpster-diving is still officially dead and buried.

  • eric1973

    Overall Overjoyed!

    In effect, trading a broken down, always injured deGrom, on the cusp of retirement, and making 200 mil for 5 years, for:

    Another Cy Younger, Verlander, maybe a bit older, but definetely more durable. Same yearly amount as Scherzer/deGrom, but only on the hook for TWO YEARS!

    How lucky can we get?

    And we’ll get even luckier after next season when Scherzer opts out, and takes his own injured body with him, on his own cusp of retirement.

  • BlackCountryMet

    I think this is a great move. We all loved Jake but I’d prefer an ALMOST as good pitcher who is likely to pitch more frequently. And the contract is only 2 years

    • So tired of holding my breath to see what deGrom was going to be able to do. He was a great 6 inning pitcher when healthy. Who knows what’s left in the tank, but down the stretch last year, he was not even servicable. Hopefully in 2 years we will have developed some starters to take the old guys’ place. In the meantime, deGromm can ice down his elbow in Arlington.

  • Seth

    I am happier about retaining Nimmo than I am about any other moves they’ve made so far this winter. I am happier about Nimmo returning than I am sad about deGrom leaving.

  • eric1973

    Agreed wholeheartedly.

    Nimmo has better than average talent, and maybe even more important, he is a great teammate who makes everyone around him better:
    Something deGrom never did, which is partly why they never could score for him.

  • […] under his wing and show him the ropes. At least that’s what I’d like to imagine will happen. I rather doubt Justin Verlander requires much rope-showing. These other veteran acquisitions, too, but you know if there are questions to be asked, Nimmo will […]