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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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Minutes of the Most Valuable Meeting

“I call to order the 2023 meeting of the Faith and Fear in Flushing Awards Committee for the purpose of selecting the Richie Ashburn Most Valuable Met for the season just past. Before we proceed, is there any old business?”
“Yeah — who did we name last year?”
“Uh… Starling Marte.”
“Wow. That doesn’t look very visionary a year later.”
“Perhaps not, but FAFIFAC isn’t in the business of forecasting. It’s in the business of reflecting.”
“Still, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a FAFIF MVM curse. Who did we give the award to the year before last?”
“Uh… Aaron Loup and four other relievers who pitched a lot and pretty well.”
“Loup? He was gone the next year.”
“C’mon. One of the other relievers in that writeup was Edwin Diaz.”
“The Diaz who got hurt during Spring Training this year?”
“Well, it wasn’t Yennsy Diaz.”
“Ohmigod, we really are putting a curse on these guys.”
“Nonsense. We gave it to Jacob deGrom three times.”
“And look at him now. Missed most of the year and won’t be back until who knows when.”
“We also gave it to Beltran, Wright and Reyes, and they’re all on the Hall of Fame ballot.”
“See? None of them is still playing. Maybe we prematurely ended their careers.”

“Let’s get serious about this season. How about a nomination for the Most Valuable Met of 2023?”
“I nominate Nobody.”
“You really believe this curse business?”
“No, I’m saying that after a year like 2023, it’s clear that Nobody was ‘most valuable’ to the Mets, certainly not valuable enough to make any kind of difference.”
“We can’t do that.”
“Why not?”
“Because we don’t do that.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“It is in this case. We’ve given a Most Valuable Met award since the end of our first season in 2005, no matter how not good the season was.”
“I know. But has any season felt less valuable than the one we just got through?”
“I never thought of it that way.”
“Think about it.”

“I have. And you’ve got a point. Twenty Twenty-Three felt uniquely lacking in value while it played out and I have little desire to revisit it in granular form.”
“Great. So we’re agreed that our Most Valuable Met should be Nobody. Can I get a second?”
“Hold on. We don’t do that.”
“You already said that.”
“And I’ll keep saying it. Every baseball season, even the shortest and least inspiring, has its most valuable players, and even the lamest Met years have their most valuable players. We always come up with somebody because somebody inevitably stands out. Remember, we named the award for Richie Ashburn because the beat writers voted Ashburn the first Mets MVP in 1962, and that team lost 120 games.”
“Fine. But just so you know, to me, the MVM of 2023 is Nobody.”

“Duly noted. Now let’s get serious. Who’s our Most Valuable Met?”
“I don’t know. Lindor? Senga?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was thinking.”
“Which one?”
“Both, with Francisco Lindor and Kodai Senga sharing the designation as Faith and Fear in Flushing’s Richie Ashburn Most Valuable Mets for 2023.”
“Great. Move to adjourn!”
“There’s got to be more to it than that.”
“Because we do that.”
“These are your reasons? ‘We don’t do that.’ ‘We do do that.’”
“Baseball is defined by its traditions, and it is our tradition to celebrate our MVMs.”
“Can’t we start a new tradition of getting it over with? Like we wished the 2023 Mets had simply gotten their season over with?”

“Hmm…that would embody the spirit in which the 2023 Mets season played out.”
“Glad you see it my way. Move to adjourn!”
“Not so fast.”
“Never so fast with you. Why can’t we adjourn?”
“Listen, an entire season of Mets baseball was played, and we’re here to honor the two Mets who were not only here from the beginning of the season to the end — which isn’t something too many Mets could say — but two Mets who excelled from beginning to end.”
“I seem to recall Lindor slumping for a while.”
“Everybody slumps.”
“Wasn’t there a pop fly he didn’t catch?”
“Everybody makes mistakes. He was nominated for a Gold Glove, for cryin’ out loud.”
“His batting average was pretty low in the middle of the season.”
“It rose in the second half, and he was never not productive. More than a hundred runs scored, nearly a hundred runs driven in, first Met in the 30-30 club since Wright — and he won the Silver Slugger! First Met shortstop since Reyes to do that.”
“Senga barely qualified for the ERA title.”
“But he did, in fact, qualify. Finished second in the National League in that category, same place he finished in Rookie of the Year voting.”
“He pitched professionally in Japan for more than a decade. Was he really a rookie?”
“In the eyes of MLB, he was. We’ll take their word for it.”
“That bit where he always needed extra rest never sat right with me.”
“Call it an adjustment period. You change countries, rely on an interpreter and get batters out for six months.”
“Had some bad outings.”
“Had many more good outings, especially as he got used to pitching in the majors. The Mets won seventeen of his twenty-nine starts, and this wasn’t a team that won nearly enough of anybody’s starts.”
“I couldn’t help but notice that on the night both Lindor and Senga were being toasted for reaching their individual milestones — Senga becoming the first Met rookie since Gooden to strike out 200 and Lindor belting his 30th home run to make himself 30-30 — that the Mets lost.”

“So it sort of symbolized for me the futility of this team that its two most valuable players couldn’t push it over the top in the game where they were lauded for personal stuff.”
“That’s a highly selective interpretation.”
“Well, we are a selection committee.”
“As a responsible selection committed, we’re looking at a much broader body of work. Lindor missed all of two games in 2023. Two! Senga, even with the rotation accommodating the extra rest that he functioned better with, never missed a start. They posted up and then some. Some years that really stands out.”
“If you say so.”
“I do say so. And now I need you to say so.”
“Fine. Here’s to our co-MVMs of 2023. If they weren’t necessarily more deserving than Nobody, they were certainly way better than nothing.”
“I’ll take that as a ‘yea’ vote for Lindor and Senga.”
“Yay. I mean ‘yea.’”
“Move to adjourn.”
“The 2023 meeting of the Faith and Fear in Flushing Awards Committee for the purpose of selecting the Richie Ashburn Most Valuable Met for the season just past is now adjourned. We will reconvene in short order to consider candidacies for the 2023 Nikon Camera Player of the Year.”

2005: Pedro Martinez (original recording)
2005: Pedro Martinez (deluxe reissue)
2006: Carlos Beltran
2007: David Wright
2008: Johan Santana
2009: Pedro Feliciano
2010: R.A. Dickey
2011: Jose Reyes
2012: R.A. Dickey
2013: Daniel Murphy, Dillon Gee and LaTroy Hawkins
2014: Jacob deGrom
2015: Yoenis Cespedes
2016: Asdrubal Cabrera
2017: Jacob deGrom
2018: Jacob deGrom
2019: Pete Alonso
2020: Michael Conforto and Dom Smith (the RichAshes)
2021: Aaron Loup and the One-Third Troupe
2022: Starling Marte

Still to come: The Nikon Camera Player of the Year for 2023.

Here right now: A new episode of National League Town.

8 comments to Minutes of the Most Valuable Meeting

  • eric1973

    “That’s a highly selective interpretation.”
    “Well, we are a selection committee.”

    Groucho could not have said it better.

  • Seth

    Francisco is probably most valuable in net worth as well, so that seems appropriate!

  • Dave

    OK, I’m not in the Board of Directors here, I’m not a C-suite exec, not a shareholder, but I still think this Nobody idea should have been explored more thoroughly. A 26 game drop doesn’t invoke words like “valuable” to me.

  • Ken K. in NJ.

    I would have leaned towards Lindor solo, he really never gave up. Senga didn’t hit his stride until it didn’t matter much anymore. And in general, I’m not in favor of co-anything. But then again, I love seeing LaTroy Hawkins’ name on this list every year.

  • eric1973

    Just saw the Mendoza intro presser (was on vacation), and he was pretty impressive at first glance.

    The Gary, Keith, Ron comment controversy seems like a madeup nothing, as nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

    Stearns was impressive, as he did not feel the need to butt in at any point.

    Mendoza said he spoke to Pete for 45 minutes, so let’s get something done with one of the best players in the game.

    What did “Mendy,” as Stearns called him, mean when he said that Luis Rojas is next to come over here? Say it ain’t so!

  • eric1973

    Whew! Thanks!

  • Kevin from Flushing

    Late to the party but congrats to the winners!