So this is how it is. I am a fan of the New York Mets. I have been since I was a wee lad and I will be until I am interred. I feel that Mets fans do have a sense of self-pity, often exclaiming, “I am asked how I cheer for this team…” Well, look, at least we are not the Cubs, right?
But I am not here to discuss the ineptitude of my beloved franchise. There is much negative to discuss (whether it be ownership or talent). There is also a whole world of unrepresented optimism (burgeoning farm system, young star quality). Let’s put all of the sabermetrics and notorious Mets-related pessimism aside for a moment. Let’s just talk about Opening Day.
I’ve always had a special relationship with Opening Day. It is an American representation of Spring’s beginning. While it is chilly in New York, the weather doesn’t matter. Baseball is back. The fields are neatly manicured, the basepaths chalked with fine white spray, the bats sticky with tar, and gloves stiff with anticipation. Even if the game is not sold out (looking at you Mets), the bright-eyed youngsters and beleaguered old fans are together, are one, to celebrate the time-honored tradition of welcoming baseball back to the city. And, well, it’s a simple beauty.
The Mets are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and most fans are prepared for a disappointing season where the Mets will struggle mightily to keep up with the talent in their division. Most fans are already looking ahead to 2014 and the maturation of prospects starting their own opening day this year in Binghamton or Buffalo (or Florida still). Take a second, though, even if you cannot muster up the excitement (not even a small grin) for the beginning of the season. Come on Mets fans. I beckon you. I behoove you. It’s opening day. I know your heart is blue and orange. Let it shine through and cheer for the mighty metropolitans, the miracle mets, the Amazins, the team you grew up with and cheered for when you were a kid, the team that can turn a dull person passionate. Cheer for our New York Mets.
Remember. You have to play the games. So let’s do just that. Join me in a nationwide chorus to say the two greatest words in modern sport. Play Ball!