Happy Opening Day
April 5th, 2010 by slangon

So it’s finally here. I guess technically yesterday was the season opener, but really who cares about the defending world champs playing against their bitter rivals at one of the oldest ballparks in the country. SNORE!

Right now as I type this, we’re looking at roughly 3 hours until Johan Santana throws the first pitch less than 10 miles from where I’m sitting right now, at work. Do you know I’ve never been to an opening day game? I really need to fix that. Today, sadly, even with its mid-70s forecasts and sunny sky’s, is not to be that day. I will be listening to the game on a pair of tinny sounding computer speakers, without a beer and most likely being distracted during key points of the game to “do my job”.

Either way, nothing can take the sheen off of my excitement today. This is probably the one day of the year that I’m not feeling bad about the Mets. Sure, I might feel bad about them in a few hours, but right now I know that Johan is heading to the park, getting ready to pitch. They haven’t lost a game yet. They’re tied for first. Things are looking good.

Even though I’m able to paint the Mets a rosy red on opening day, I am a realist and am aware what a potentially painful season is more than likely about to start. I will take this time to point out a few things that I’m looking forward to this coming season as well as a few things I’m very much hoping not to see this season.

I’ll start with the negatives, just so I can end this post on a positive note.

1) I am very much not looking forward to seeing anyone not named Johan pitching this year. I don’t mean to get down on Pelfrey, Ollie and Maine before they’ve even thrown an official pitch, but I just do not feel very good at all about any of those guys after this spring. I realize that Johan did not have the best spring either, but somehow I can never feel bad about him going to the mound. The one guy I did feel pretty good about after this spring was Nelson Figueroa, who inexplicably did not make the 25 man roster. That basically means that Nelsons career as a Met is over.

2) I am not looking forward to the team having to deal with any sort of media relations nightmare. Actually, it seems that any time they have to deal with the media for anything, it turns into a nightmare. The season hasn’t even started and us Mets fans have already had to suffer through the way they dealt with Beltran’s surgery and Reyes’ thyroid problem. You can look at the way they dealt with Ryan Church’s concussion(s) and the firing of Willie Randolph for further examples of how not to do things.

3) I am seriously not looking forward to hearing any more about David Wright’s power outage. I really don’t think this will be an issue for him again this year, but I fear that unless he starts off by hitting 30 homers in April, someone is going to bring it up again.

4) On the flip side, if David Wright does go home run crazy this year, I’m afraid of all the “D. Wright’s on ‘roids” rumors that will inevitably pop up. I’ve already heard some grumblings to that effect on the local sports talk radio, just because he showed up to spring training a little more muscly than he did last year.

I’m sure if I gave it a half second of thought I could come up with about a gazillion more things that I’m not looking forward to with the Mets this year, but I’m very much trying to not be depressed today. Let’s move on to what I am looking forward to.

1) I’m really looking forward to watching Johan take the hill every fifth day. In a sea of uncertainty and mediocrity and inconsistency, I always feel like the Mets have a really good shot at winning a game when he’s pitching. It sort of makes watching or listening to games a bit more fun when you start out feeling that way.

2) I look forward to watching a healthy Reyes, Wright and Beltran play together. That might sound like a simple request, but you try watching pretty much an entire season of your favorite team minus a bunch of its biggest stars. Wright is in fine shape and Reyes won’t miss more than a week it seems. From what I hear, Beltran will need 4 to 6 weeks to get ready once he’s cleared to return to baseball activities, with most estimates I’ve heard putting him back with the Mets around mid-May.

3) I look forward to seeing Jeff Francoeur play a full season as a Met. I really liked Ryan Church and always felt a little bit like the Mets were dicking him around a little, so I was a little bit bummed when I heard he was heading to Atlanta. I really enjoyed watching Frenchy play though, so I forgot about Ryan pretty quickly. For whatever reasons it seems like the problems Jeff was having during his last bit of time with the Braves did not follow him to New York. Hopefully he can continue that this season. If he can, and once Beltran returns, that’s not as bad a looking line up as people ould lead you to believe.

4) Mostly, whether they win or lose, I want to watch a relatively drama-free season of baseball. I’m well aware that the Mets as a team are not where they need to be to win championships. I’m well aware that Philly is a powerhouse team that unless something crazy happens will win the N.L. East yet again. I know all that, but I just want to watch my team go out there, day after day, and play the best baseball they can. If you lose, you lose. I’m just tired of watching them beat themselves.

Well, now it’s a little over 2 hours until first pitch and I still can’t wait. Happy Season, everybody.

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