Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mets Are Coming Home

In less than 24 hours, the Mets will take the field at home for the first time in 2011. Is it somewhat disappointing that the Mets will arrive home at 3-3 after starting 3-1. Yes. If I could've signed up for 3-3 after the first 6 games on the road (knowing that Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay were pitching two of the three), would I have? Yes. Can we base anything definitive off of the first six games of the season? No. Therefore, I'm not going to try. The Mets hit the ball well at times, not so well the rest of the time. They pitched brilliantly at times, not so brilliantly the rest of the time.

What I do know is this: Tomorrow around Noon, Mets fans will start trickling into the parking lots at Citi Field. I plan on leaving Brooklyn a bit after 12:30, so I should be there shortly after that. Mets fans will enter the lots with cars full of food, beer, and hope. Hope that the 2011 season may turn out to be special. No matter what happened in the seasons prior, or what the new season eventually turns into, there's always Opening Day at your ballpark.

During the offseason, it's common to pass the ballpark a few times on the highway, craning your neck as it disappears from view. It may be a brisk November day, a March day with snow still on the ground, or sometime in-between. Whenever you pass it, it's natural to wish that it was Opening Day, and not some Fall or Winter day that's completely devoid of baseball. Well, tomorrow is Opening Day. If you're one of the people who's lucky enough to be heading out to Citi Field tomorrow, remember that. Remember all the days from October through March where we would've given anything for there to be a Mets game to go to. Or a Mets game to watch. Or a Mets game to listen to.

As the parking lot morphs from empty concrete to a mass of fans dressed in orange and blue, and begins to smell like an enormous the smoke from the grills and the hops from the beers enters your nostrils, remember how you felt from October through March. Then remind yourself that it's April 8th, and the Mets are about to take the field at home for the first time this season. For those of you who will be partaking in the consumption of alcohol in the lots, remember to use Solo brand cups to conceal your drink - unless you want a ticket from an overzealous cop.

The pageantry will be on full display tomorrow at Citi Field, from the pre-game introductions to the unfurling of the giant American flag. The stands should be filled, and the fans should be loud. Tomorrow is not a time to attempt to draw conclusions off a 3-3 start, nor is it a time to dwell on 2009 or 2010 - or 2007 if you're still hung up on that. It's a time to simply enjoy the Mets. And revel in the fact that what you waited for all Winter is finally here. Baseball is back, and the Mets are home.

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