I attended my 7th opening day yesterday. It was the perfect day for baseball, and the Mets looked great. David Wright floated back into the heavens and made everyone breathe a deep cleansing breath of relief, and Johan Santana looked almost like the vintage ace of old. So then why was I not completely ecstatic?
Sorry if I come off as a pessimist, but there was a very heavy sense of anxiety throughout the day. It started in the parking lot and continued in the stands, even after Wrights cathartic homerun. The buzz was there, but the unbridled confidence and excitement that usually accompanies opening day, was not.
I have lived through my fair share of disastrous Mets teams and seasons, but I must say I have never felt the level of apprehension that I felt in the stands Monday afternoon. Maybe it was my own personal feeling affecting my perception, but I really don’t see it that way.
I didn’t see one drunk twenty-something yell out LETS GO METS to anyone who would listen. There where very few Let’s Go Mets cheers, even when the crowd was prompted by the PA. The cowbell man looked a little bored because he wasn’t getting much support. Even the people around me weren’t talking much baseball. Everyone seemed very subdued and apprehensive.
I could swear at times you could hear a pin drop, which in a 2-0 opening day Mets game, against the rival Marlins, is unheard of. In fact, my inebriated friend (had maybe 3 or 4 too many) managed to pass out in his seat for about an inning. He wasn’t THAT drunk… it was that quiet!
This type of atmosphere didn’t really shock me, but it upset me. When it comes down to it, although sports tend to transcend mere entertainment, (I swear that the Mets mean more to me then certain people I care about), it’s mostly about having fun and being entertained. Seeing a beautiful stadium full of jaded fans (including myself) really made me angry at Mets ownership and management.
Forget the silly moves and wasted money on poor players. Forget the botched injuries, insane personnel decisions, and silly double talk from management. The NY Mets brain trust took the simple pleasure of watching a ballgame away from many fans on Monday. I’m sure plenty of people had fun at the game, I certainly enjoyed it. But to this opening day veteran, it simply did not have the buzz that it should have. I only hope the Wilpons where listening!