New York Mets Opening Day 2014

The good: I saw a cute little baby bundled up in Mets apparel.
The bad: He had to be bundled up because the temperature at first pitch was 44 degrees with strong winds.

The good: I, too, got to wear a Mets winter cap, one that was a promotional giveaway at a game last September.
The bad: I’m not sure I’ll ever get to wear the hat in Citi Field in October.

The good: They had pocket schedules at the stadium!
The bad: The fact that this is a cause for celebration. But it is, because in past years, there have been no schedules available at Citi for the first few home stands, as if the season snuck up on the organization.

The good: The Mets paid tribute to longtime broadcaster Ralph Kiner, who passed away in February at the age of 91. In a pregame ceremony, the Mets unveiled a microphone logo with his name on it on the left-field wall (and, temporarily, behind home plate), the same logo that players will wear on a uniform patch, as well as a Kiner’s Korner replica in the stadium’s museum.
The bad: It was the first season in franchise history that the Mets started without Kiner, who was part of the Mets’ broadcast team in some capacity from their inaugural season in 1962.

Ralph Kiner commemorative logo.

The good: Baseball was back. At 1:10 p.m., you could look around the diamond and see your nine guys and infinite possibilities.
The bad: There were only eight Mets on the field. Ike Davis wasn’t out there. I found out later he was sick, as the flu is going around the team. The first pitch was delayed for a couple of minutes before Ike emerged from the dugout.

The good: Daniel Murphy’s wife gave birth to their first child on Monday. As far as we know, no Mets team doctors were involved in the delivery.
The bad: Murphy’s replacement earned a Golden Sombrero. At the start of the day, nobody was happier for the Murphys than Eric Young, Jr., who after five seasons and 404 big league games made his first Opening Day start. He all but somersaulted out to his position at second base in the first inning. Then the game started and he went 0-4 with four strikeouts.

Just before Dillon Gee's first pitch. Look closely and you can see Ike is stretching (since he'd come on the field seconds earlier) and Young is so excited his feet are off the ground.
Just before Dillon Gee’s first pitch. Look closely and you can see Ike is stretching (since he’d come on the field seconds earlier) and Young is so excited his feet are off the ground. (Click to embiggen.)

The good: Juan Lagares went 2-3 with a sharp single, home run, and a walk.
The bad: It’s not clear if the Mets view him as their everyday center fielder, even though they should, or if he played because Young had to move to second and outfielder Chris Young had a strained quad that kept him out of the lineup.

The good: I saw Curtis Granderson’s Mets debut.
The bad: The former Yankee outfielder went 0-5 with three strikeouts, including a ʞ to end the game.

The good: After Grandy’s first strikeout, my dad sent an email with the subject line “Granderson” that simply read, “Another great pickup.” Overreacting to Opening Day results is a baseball tradition, especially when it comes to free agent signings.
The bad: My dad had to email me because he was stuck in traffic for four hours on the way to the park.

The good: The scoreboard has some new stuff.
The bad: I think. I’m not really sure. It has changed every year since the stadium opened in 2009 but I think they just move the same information around.

The good: Bryce Harper attempted to throw a beach ball that had come on to the field back into the stands. This went as well as you’d expect on a windy day.
The bad: Harper, a joy to watch on the baseball field, got kicked in the helmet while sliding into second to break up a double play. He was shaken up and took a few minutes to make his way to the dugout. (Back to the good: He did return.)

The good: I got to see a replay review, as Nationals manager Matt Williams challenged a call at first base.
The bad: The replay was not shown on the stadium scoreboard. It is supposed to be.

instant replay
I’d have rather seen the replay.

The good: The challenge came in the 10th inning. Extra innings on Opening Day!
The bad: The reason I got to see extra innings.

The good: The Mets held three separate leads.
The bad: They blew all of them, including a two-run lead in the seventh after two Mets relievers combined to throw eight consecutive balls, and a one-run lead in the ninth despite closer Bobby Parnell throwing five pitches with two strikes and two outs. Bonus bad: It was revealed the following day that Parnell has a partially torn MCL in his throwing elbow.

The good: The Mets entered with a 34-18 (.654) record on Opening Day, the highest winning percentage in baseball. They’d won 7 of their 8 last openers. The Mets are not so good in the other 161 games, but you can expect to see a win on Opening Day.
The bad: The Mets lost 9-7 in 10 innings.

The good: Remember that cute little baby bundled up in Mets apparel?
The bad: He began his life as a Mets fan with a loss. Get used to it, kid.

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