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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Opening Day 2009 Part 2. Guest Post

Guest Post by John Scatamacchia

"Excited and anxious I await my dream,
to escape, applaud and praise my team.
Opening day I always can trust,
it's just for this high that I crazily lust."
- The Fan

Opening day is about 4 things for me:
  • Being a true opening day. Home openers just aren't the same. You no longer have the 6 months waiting to watch a meaningful game and the bitterness of the last loss is far far away.
  • Day game; just the way it is supposed to be.
  • Return to the old ballpark who's sights, sounds and smells have been missing all winter long.
  • The new high profile acquisition for who it is believed will be the savior that leads the Mets to the promise land.
April 13th 2009 had none of these. It was a home opener played at night not in Shea Stadium and the new acquisition, Francisco Rodriquez, would not enter the game in a save situation. Not only all this but it was against the San Diego Padres. The Padres! Really? Not a division rival. Not even a former division rival like the Cardinals or the Cubs. But the San Diego Padres to open a new ball park just didn’t do it for me.

After making my way through the new turn stiles, for which I had to scan my own ticket, I headed straight to my new seat. I found Section 520 Row 17 Seat 9 in the last row of the stadium with a P-Touch label #9 placed over the #10 because they had skipped #9 when numbering the row and now needed to place cheap labels over most seats in the row. Good job Mets, very classy. As I sat in my seat I didn’t know where I was. I felt like I was watching the Mets on the road. I turned around from my seat and could see the rubble of Shea Stadium. That was home and I missed it.

I wanted to make the game about the game and not the stadium. I had been in Citi Field twice already, visiting every nook and cranny to relieve my curiosity about the new confines. So I sat in my seat anxious to see who would get the first hit, run, RBI, and homerun. I did not expect the answer to all those to be Jody Gerut. Jody Gerut, who would only hit 9 homeruns with 35 RBIs in the 2009 season, actually it a homerun in the first official at bat in Citi Field. It was unbelievable. Although as a Mets fan “You Gotta Believe” because if it can happen it will happen. That at-bat gave you the feeling of typical Mets, here we go again. This season won’t be any different than the last two.

When the Mets got up in the bottom of the first and David Wright doubled to get the Mets first hit it seemed fitting at the time. Even more so when he hit a three-run homer in the fifth to tie the game. Ironic now with all the struggles David had in the new ballpark. That homerun brought magic into the ballpark for the first time. The hope was there that this would be a great evening. But it didn’t last long as they gave up the lead in the sixth. When Reyes flew out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth that was it for the Mets as they went 1-2-3 in the seventh, eighth, and ninth. They couldn’t even manage to get the tying run on base and give the fans some hope. Adding salt to the wound was that it was former Mets Duaner Sanchez and Heath Bell who closed out the game.

The disappointment did not match that of the last games in 2006, 2007, and 2008. After all the Mets were only 3-4 now with 80 more chances this year for a miracle in Citi Field. But another golden opportunity for a great memory eluded the Metropolitans.

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