Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mets Opening Day

April 5th 2012

Another baseball season is upon us and yet I still try to believe that there is some kind of miracle awaiting me in the 2012 season for the Mets. It is this burning hope that continues to force me to purchase tickets to Opening Day. I usually purchase the “Opening day five pack” with my fellow Met fan Laurie (I have referred to her in previous blogs as the Mets Jinx) which consists of you guessed it opening day and tickets to 4 other games at a discounted price. The seats for this package are baseline box which are on the field and Opening day runs for about $98 a ticket. Getting to all the games last year was an epic fail due to scheduling issues with the both of us so we opt to just buy opening day. I look to find baseline box seats and apparently the front office is smoking some good sh*t and want to charge me about $130 a ticket. I am sorry but you are aware that you have pissed off basically your whole fan base by now and now you are trying to rape us as well. I purchase seats for $55.00 each that are in section 401  1st row I will later find out that these are really sweet seats . Of course after I purchase these seats the Mets send me a lovely email a week later how they are offering a free game with every opening day ticket purchase. Why do I even like you still??? Let the opening day festivities begin….

I am told to arrive at Laurie’s house at 8:45 am that was a big mistake on her part because Serena will be the first one to tell you all that I am late to everything. They say I will find a way to be late to my own funeral. I arrive at her house at 9:15 am and we head out to Citi Field. I am super excited to see Johan Santana back on the mound after his surgery. The Mets need him, I need him. We pull into the Citi Field parking lot at around 10:15 and is charged $20 for I don’t know what a place to park my car I guess maybe if they included a car wash I would not be so opposed to this fee. That is a dollar more then last year. We park next to Laurie’s friend Jeff and his family.

We start unloading the truck for our traditional tailgate party. I look around and see a sea of blue and orange and the aroma of barbeque fills my nostrils. As I inhale I get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Most all food does that to me. While Jeff and I were cooking his wife threw him under the bus and pointed out that Jeff is a trader now and no longer supports the Mets. I quickly give a stare as he is clearly is in blue and orange so I am confused. Jeff explains that he does not support the Mets organization and their decisions. He goes on to say that if no one bought tickets and they had an empty stadium that it would make some kind of statement to the evil owners. He then went on to call himself a hypocrite for while he is so against the Mets he is standing in front of me in blue and orange about to go watch a game that he purchased and the money did go to the evil owners. Well played Jeff.
The three S’ were in full effect. Sunshine galore, stuffing of the face and Santana on the mound. What more could I ask for? Oh yes maybe a win! Our feast included flank steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, giant pretzels, Chips and dip, a cheese platter and Booze. How cool is this beer can?
Game time was set for 1:10 pm and it was about 12:20 pm when we decided to start packing it up. Prior to the game the Mets would be having a tribute to catcher Gary Carter who passed away this year from cancer and we did not want to miss it. As I walk to the main entrance I spot this awesome ride.
Laurie and I enter the stadium at the main entrance and we receive our free giveaway which is a magnetic schedule. I wish it was something better like a light up pen or just about anything with Mr. Met plastered on it would have been great. We part ways with Jeff and his family and head to our seats. I guess the line to get into the stadium must have been longer then I thought and cost us some valuable time because when we finally reached our seats they were already done with honoring Gary Carter. This is what I got a glimpse of as the tribute ended. I am extremely disappointed that I did not get to see the tribute and I apologize that I could not tell you more in depth detail about it.
As part of the tribute, The Carter family which included wife Sandy, daughters Kimmy and Christy and son D.J. unveiled on the outfield wall in left-center a black and white home- shaped decal that reads the “Kid 8”.
The Carter family also threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Serving as the catchers was Gary’s former teammates –Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Mookie Wilsion.
The cheaper seats I had purchased turned out to be a great decision for my pockets as well as enjoying the game 
The Mets were playing against there division rivals the Braves. Our pitching matchup was Johan Santana and Braves starter Tommy Hanson. It was great to see Johan Santana on the mound again. The sight of him calms my nerves immediately. I wish he could pitch everyday. I know he may not win every game he pitches(usually because the Mets never score runs for him) but I enjoy watching someone that puts in 100%. Santana looked amazing.  In his first appearance in 19 months he delivered five shout out innings. I think one of the key moments of the game that gave a lot of confidence that  Johan was back was when he loaded the bases on a double and two walks, including one to the pitcher, Santana then ran a 3-1 count on Braves center fielder Michael Bourn. He nailed the strike zone with fastball at the knees, before inducing a groundout on what would be his last pitch of the day. I have to say I was annoyed when I realized he would not be returning to the mound  but then common sense finally awoke me and  realized we need to save his arm after all it is only the first game of the season.

The game went on with what seem to be a pitchers dual going on. Both sides were having trouble scoring off each others pitching. Nobody hit a homerun despite the new outfield dimensions. It was not until when the Mets were up in the 6th that Andres Torres drew a leadoff walk which then followed by Daniel Murphy to single moving Torres to third. The scoreboard lit up with shamrocks while it flashed “Murphys’ Pub”. Serena will most definitely enjoy this indeed when we go to our annual Met game. The next batter that was up was my future husband who tends to ignore my ever existence. David Wright lined Tommy Hanson’s first-pitch fastball into left field for the Mets’ only run. Laurie and I decide to take a picture of us in our section. We ask a nice man to snap the shot.
It’s a one run game and Laurie and I are already stressing. They took Santana out so that leaves our bullpen. Laurie looks and me and goes “You do realize this is where we are going to lose” I reply back to her “No need for negative energy we need to be positive”, and besides if there is any reason we are losing it’s because you are the Met killer. You seem to be a jinx why do I still go to games with you. As we watch it unfold we left it to our new relief pitching which consisted of Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Tim Byrdak along with closer Frank Francisco( who eerily looks like Armando Beneitz.) That alone scared the crap out of us. However there is a happy ending to this story.  With the reliefs’ combined 3 1/3 scoreless innings we have ourselves our first Met win of the season. Put it in the books. For a brief moment we are in first place. Laurie and I along with the estimated 42,000 in the stadium erupt in cheers and the scoreboard flashes with this.
As we travel down the packed stairs with our fellow fans chants of “Let’s go Mets echo in the stairwells. It feels good that team spirit is back. Laurie is walking on cloud 9 as she proves the jinx of her might be over. While this is going on a feeling comes over me and I think this might be a good year and I actually believe it. I am no way saying that they will be winning the division or anything but for me a good season is just keeping in the running and playing quality baseball. I guess I will sit back, bite my nails and watch the Met season unfold.

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