Sunday, April 01, 2007

Recalled to Life

The 2007 Season starts under the lights at Busch Stadium, with the Amazins hosted by the Cardinals in a rematch of last season's NLCS.

You'll recall 2006 -- the Mets powered out the competition. The best team in their league, they ended a near-generation of consecutive division titles by the Braves. They were destined . . . . and met up with the Cardinals . . . . who, with barely 83 Ws during the 162-game regular schedule, barely had a right to lace up the spikes in October. Everyone in New York was looking forward to the World Series. (And, I do mean everybody, especially the owners of the best record in all of baseball that year.)

But it was the Cardinals they should have been looking out for. The Cards slapped down the Mets, went on to earn the Pennant that will be raised tonight in Busch Stadium, and the rings that will be awarded the players. All while the Mets, last year's great expectations behind them, get to watch.

But, this is a new season, new lime, freshly mown lawn, and, out there under the lights, Tom Glavine on the mound for possibly his last opening day. The Mets can have a redemption, of sorts. It's Opening Day and every team on the field and every fan in the seats knows, hopes, expects that THIS will be THE year. There is nothing like Opening Day.

That the first National League game of the 2007 Season pairs up the same teams who played the last '06 National League game is just one of the things that makes baseball, if not real life, the most life-like sport. The 2007 schedule was set before the Metsies were destined for the playoffs in 2006 -- it wasn't set up this way, it just happened that way. And so much of a major league season, so much of a major league game, happens just like that.

It's Opening Day, like the 130 Opening Days before this one. Except it is unlike any other -- just as every baseball game to be played this year and every baseball game played before this.

First pitch, 8:10 pm.

{UPDATE: Mets 6-1 over the Cards. }

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