Mets Sunday Brunch 4/9/17: Why Are We Playing Home Games This Early?

By Paul DiSclafani

As I sat shivering at Citi Field last night watching the Mets drop their second game in a row to the Marlins, a few thoughts came into my partially frozen brain.

I was looking at the out-of-town scoreboard and noticed that the Dodgers, who as far as I know still play in Southern California, were playing a night game in Colorado.  That was almost as ridiculous as the South Beach Miami Marlins playing up here against the Mets.

Why would Toronto, a team that plays in a dome, not be hosting a game this week?  What about Oakland, or the Anaheim Angels or even Atlanta, wouldn’t they be better hosts for early April games than Chicago, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh?

At least if they are going to make New York fans suffer through early home games in April, can we at least get the weekend games played during the day?  Can you give me one good reason – other than TV money – that the Mets and Major League Baseball are forcing Mets fans to test their loyalty by scheduling a Saturday night game followed by a Sunday night game before we even get to Tax Day?

Would it really be that much of a hardship for both the Mets and Yankees to have their home openers during the second week of the season?  It is not like both teams have never had home stands at the same time.  One team could have their Home Opener on a Monday and the other can have it on Tuesday.  Is that too much to ask?

There is a reason that football fans put up with wintry weather and inclement conditions during their season – they only get 8 home games.  That’s the nature of a football game and being a football fan.  It’s part of the experience.  Besides, most football fans attending games are getting “lubed” up in the parking lot for two hours, so mostly the temperature or the weather conditions are irrelevant.

People attending Citi Field this week (except for Opening Day) are most likely at the ball park because:

  • They got the tickets for free
  • These tickets were already part of a ticket plan they purchased (or split with someone), so they had to go
  • They live in Flushing and had nothing better to do
  • They are Uber die-hards

I am quite sure there wasn’t a high percentage of walk-up sales for any of the night games this week.  As I approached the stadium, I took the time to check the “Advanced Sale” ticket windows – it was a ghost town.  I didn’t even see any scalpers.

Please understand, in my book there is nothing like the in-game experience.  I have been going to Mets games since I was 10.  I can enjoy the game no matter what the temperature is.  You think I was going to miss any of the 2015 post season home games because it was cold?  For the record, it was REALLY cold every night.

I just think that baseball should start paying more attention to the customer experience in things that they can control, than worrying about the pace of the game and saving 15 seconds for every intentional walk.  You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can certainly avoid sticking your finger into her face and saying. “I dare you!”

THOUGHTS ON OPENING WEEK:

  • The Mets have played 48 innings in their five games and have scored runs in only eight of them. And in four of those eight innings, they scored only once.  They have just four runs in their three losses.
  • They have almost as many strikeouts (28) as hits (29). There aren’t many teams hitting worse than their .213 team average.
  • They have six starters hitting .200 or less: Granderson (.200), d’Arnaud (.200), Cespedes (.167), Duda (.167), Walker (.150) and Reyes (0.53).  Jay Bruce is hitting .250 and Asdrubal Cabrera (.286)
  • After setting a team record for home runs last year, they have just three this year.
  • The top three starters (Syndergaard, deGrom and Harvey) pitched 18.2 innings and only Harvey surrendered any runs (2 solo home runs to Matt Kemp). Out of the bullpen, Blevins, Salas, Reed and Edgin have combined for 11 shutout innings allowing just five hits and striking out 13.
  • Wheeler struggled (kind of expected) and Gsellman was brutal (not expected) and with Matz and Lugo sidelined, we will need better performances from the others or we may see more of Montero (please, no).
  • Not sure what to do with Montero, Robles and Smoker. They have combined for 8.2 innings and surrendered 8 runs on 13 hits.  More concerning are the 11 walks.  That’s 24 baserunners and only 26 outs.

THIS AND THAT:

Did you see that Tim Tebow hit a home run in his first AB for the Mets A-Ball Columbia Fireflies?  Did you also see that the very religious Tebow hit it off a guy that was drafted – wait for it – with the 666th pick?  You can’t make this stuff up.  In case you were wondering, he grounded out and struck out three times in his other four AB’s … Cespedes was robbed of a home run on Saturday night.  He changed his walk-up music to the theme from the Lion King … There were more people in the Foxwoods Lounge than actually sitting in the seats in the 300 section on Saturday … Pitcher Paul Sewals (yeah, that Paul Seward), made his major league debut on Saturday against the Marlins and gave up two runs and three hits.  At least he got an out, so he has a major league ERA (54.00) … Rafael Montero has walked six in 4.2 innings of work … Record crowd on Opening Day at Citi Field, capacity was 105% … Michael Conforto has not started a game yet, can we give Granderson and his .167 average a blow soon? … Started 2015 2-3 and then ripped off 11 in a row.  Just saying…

Paul DiSclafani is a featured writer on “A View From The Bench”, which has been recognized by Major League baseball as one of the top 100 blog s

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