(Long Island, NY) Ah. Opening day. A fan’s delight after suffering through meaningless spring training games that were finished with Double A players. All the hype. All the intros. A big ‘dog and pony’ show. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The New York Mets opener was lucky enough scheduled as a home game. Unlike last season when former Met closer Braden Looper blew a gem by Pedro Martinez in Cincinnati. And to make it even more special, the team is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Series championship. Jesse Orosco and Gary Carter came out together for the ceremonial first pitch. But actually it was the second pitch because some guy in a DHL jacket ‘delivered’ the first pitch. Hey, like I said, a big ‘dog and pony.’
Once the actual game got started, Tom Glavine threw a real good one against the Washington Nationals. He did okay on the base paths, too. Rookie second baseman Anderson Hernandez gave us glimpse of what to expect from him this season. A reminder of Rey Ordonez for sure. Great glove. No stick. No problem if he’s your eighth place hitter on a good offensive line up.
David Wright came up to chants of ‘MVP’ and did not let the fans down. Carlos Beltran heard the early boos. New closer Billy Wagner warmed up in the top of the ninth to a very familiar tune. At the end of the chilly, damp, gray day, the sun shined in Flushing (figuratively, not literally) with a one run victory for the good guys.
But the most exciting play of the day was actually a blown call by ‘blue.’ A shot to left with a runner on became a Floyd to Reyes to Lo Duca bang-bang play at the plate. It looked like a good call until you saw the replays. Lo Duca loses control of the ball but wisely picked it back up and held it up for the umpire to see. Brilliant! Like that beer commercial. Take them while you can get them.
And then just like they wrote it up, the sky opened up after the final out. The commute home fighting Shea and rush hour traffic in the pouring rain was made bearable listening to Mike and the Mad Dog deciphering Wagner’s intro song. A two hour ride with the hosts and callers going back and forth on an issue that is laughable made it just that. It was entertaining and made the time pass. They did manage to squeeze in a call or two about the actual game. The least that they could do on opening day.