The Yankees have a tough schedule to open the season. Starting Friday, they play eighteen games in nineteen days. But at least they can ease into it by playing one more Florida exhibition game, then have a day off before starting the season in Tampa against the Rays right in the same place they have been training all spring. How convenient is that? But for the Mets, they have to play this game, then pack everything up for a flight to New York to begin the regular season tomorrow against the Atlanta Braves. Whose idea was that?
The Mets will have to stagger into New York without the benefit of working out in their reconfigured Citi Field. They will have little chance for their outfielders to get to know how the new walls will deflect baseballs. In effect, they will have no advantage over the Braves to start the season other than having their own fans in the stands to cheer for them. And as mentioned by the Mets’ broadcasters in yesterday’s game, even something small like fitting uniforms will be rushed and a hassle.
And just like yesterday, an endless string of minor league players will parade before our eyes after the regulars play a few innings. Tamar must have been in glory yesterday to see all those players. But for most of us, other than a glimpse of the Pat Venditte sideshow of throwing pitches with both arms, the feeling is, “Let’s get this over with!” Our school year is always one day too long and our summer really begins after it is over. But hey, maybe we can at least see Andy for an inning. At least there is that. Today ends Spring Training and it is not a moment too soon.