I’ve advocated David Wright as Mets captain several times on this blog, first at the end of the 2006 season. There’s nobody else remotely close to consider, but like the others this would be an awkward time.
Before, there was the fear of how much weight he would carry in a room that featured veterans Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. Jose Reyes, you might recall gravitated toward Delgado for advice despite his well publicized friendship with Reyes.
Then, when Beltran was injured and everybody knew he was leaving, there was the risk of alienating the temperamental Reyes.
Reyes is gone now, but the Mets still aren’t moving, and won’t do so until Wright’s contract is resolved. How embarrassing would it be for the Mets to name Wright captain and have him leave as a free agent? That could only happen to the Mets.
Every team has its hard luck pitchers and last year R.A. Dickey fell into that category in several respect with the Mets.
Today’s starter against the Braves held them to a .190 average in four starts last season, but only managed to win of them. Dickey also pitched to a 3.51 ERA in the vast confines of Citi Field, but was only 2-9. He deserved better.
Dickey got off to a slow start last year, but finished strong with a 2.69 ERA over his final 24 starts. He will start this afternoon against Atlanta.
“I’ve been looking forward to it,’’ Dickey told reporters on Opening Day. “I’ve felt like I had a good spring, really gotten better, and you’re always excited to get it in there when it counts for real. We’ve certainly put in a lot of hard work, so we’ll see where that hard work takes us.’’
Once he gets into his groove, and it takes some time because his knuckler has trouble in the cold and flattens out, Dickey has proven to be one of the Mets most reliable starters.
The expectations for this year’s Mets are low and April represents an unusually difficult schedule that includes two series against their traditional nemesis in the Braves. However, the Braves are without Chipper Jones at the start and did not play well during spring training. They are vulnerable now and this Mets have an opportunity to capitalize.
Some teams can overdo their Opening Day ceremonies. Last night, for example, the Marlins went overboard. And, what was that monstrosity in their outfield? Looks like a giant fruit basket with flying fish.
Anyway, today was nothing like that at Citi Field.
They could have gone overboard on Gary Carter, but opted for tasteful. The Kid logo on the outfield, I don’t quite understand. Is it for this year only or forever? If forever, are they going to do that with every player who passes? Seaver, Straw, Doc or Keith? Just wondering.
There’s no doubt Carter was a great player, a Hall of Famer, but most of his numbers were compiled as an Expo, despite how we remember his days with the Mets. That’s one of the reasons why his number wasn’t retired.
Despite the long and uneventful – at least in terms of player acquisitions – I am hopeful for an exciting season.
I suppose you could ask for a nicer day, but that would be greedy. It’s bright and sunny, a crispness in the air. The forecast is for more of the same this afternoon at Citi Field.
There should be two rules in baseball: Opening Day has beautiful weather and the home team wins.
Opening Day, it is written, is about renewal, about fresh starts, about optimism. It’s also about going home to your roots.
Wherever you are, and whatever your team, you tend to remember the team of your youth on Opening Day. I live in Connecticut, but the team of my youth was the Cleveland Indians. I follow the Mets now, but when I do glance at the standings, my eyes drift to the AL Central and the Indians. The AL Central, of course, didn’t exist when I was a kid.
Yes, I know. When I was a kid there were only two leagues and fire had just been invented.
The Indians I grew up with were just an average team at best, much like they are today. And, much like the Mets, I suppose. There’s the occasional good year, but most mediocrity. Enough spring promise to keep you interested.
I know many of you will have your favorite Opening Day memories. Maybe it was a Tom Seaver start. Perhaps it was Gary Carter’s first as a Met. It will be emotional today when Carter is remembered, but today is the perfect day to remember him. Afterall, there should be a lot of people in the stands today.
My favorite Opening Day memory was April 7, 1970, with the Indians losing 8-2 to Baltimore. I have thought about it a lot recently because this is the first Opening Day without my dad, who passed away at Christmas.
I remember this one particularly because my dad took my brother and myself out of school so he could take us to the game. He told the school we would remember that day because of the game more than anything we would learn in school that day. He was right.
This is a Mets blog, for baseball fans in general and Mets’ fans specifically. I presume most of you have always been passionate about the Mets, even lately when the prospects have been glum.
What is it about a baseball team that attracts you to it? Was it a player? Was it a moment with your dad or mom? Was it because you grew up in that town? Most of us can recall when we first started following a team, even your first day seeing them live.
I would be interested to know how and why you started following the Mets, along with your Opening Day memories.
I have kept this blog going because I am passionate about baseball and I appreciate my readers. I hope you’ll stop by again this year, regardless of how the Mets are doing, to share your thoughts and insights.
As always, they, and you, are appreciated. Have a great year.