Well the 2016 MLB season has finally arrived. We already got a preview of this opening series last November. It’s 2015 World Series rematch time. The scheduling gods somehow miraculously put this one on the calendar well before we even faced off for the championship. And then those same gods for some reason gave us only two games in the first five calendar days of the season really screwing up our rotation. God giveth, God taketh away.
Rumors leaked this week that despite winning the World Series and getting the ultimate revenge, the Royals are still upset with Noah Syndergaard for throwing up and in at Alcides Escobar to start off Game 3. Apparently, they plan to retaliate in the opening series. When asked about this, the Royals were pretty united in denying the rumor and emphasizing that they already got revenge when they won the championship. Ned Yost called the New York reporter who wrote it a “buffoon”.
Former Met Dillon Gee who now plays for KC said, “That’s the New York media for you. I’ve been here all spring and I don’t think anyone has even brought up the Mets.” Ooh really Dillon? Nobody asked you all spring what team you came from? They probably assumed you wouldn’t make the opening day roster.
Game 1: It’ll be Matt Harvey vs. Edinson Volquez in game 1. Let’s see if Matt Harvey looks like himself on Opening Day. I know everyone has joked about it, but the guy had a real medical issue this week. He was scared. He was weak for a few days. Harvey had his typical nasty fastball and command this spring, but it always takes some time for pitchers to get into shape in the early part of the season. I’m sure the Mets will be closely monitoring his performance considering he’s been pissing blood all week.
When they both played for the Reds, I always thought of Volquez as Scrappy Doo and Johnny Cueto as Scooby Doo. A lil sidekick with a similar delivery and comparable stuff but in a big moment, it was obvious who was the number one dog. I think that dynamic was clear in the World Series as Cueto outshined all of the Royals starting pitchers with his Game 2 performance. Well now Volquez gets the Opening Day nod for the world champion Royals, and Cueto is on the Giants. Some of the current Mets have good career numbers against Volquez. Asdrubal Cabrera has 4 hits in 13 ABs including a home run. Juan Lagares has 3 hits in 8 ABs. However, David Wright is 2 for 13 and Neil Walker is 3 for 17. So clearly mixed results against Volquez historically. Hopefully we can get something going early against him.
Game 2: Thor was originally supposed to face off against new arrival Ian Kennedy in game 2. Kennedy is a classic doofy ginger that eats innings for a living. However, he tweaked his hammy in his last spring start. So now former Met Chris Young gets the nod. Chris Young has had so many reconstructive shoulder surgeries, they should name the procedure after him. But he’s still managed to overcome his injury problems and be effective at the major league level. The Royals signed him this offseason to a two year deal. The Mets don’t have a lot of career ABs against him, but he’s a middle of the rotation flyball pitcher. We have Thor. We should win 99 out of 100 times. And we’re playing in the AL park, so Thor should be able to be nice and aggressive on the mound and keep the stupid Royals from getting too comfortable in the box.
Things To Look For:
World Series Ceremonies: The Royals are doing all their World Series ceremonies during the opening series. They are going to hurt. Don’t look away. Soak it in. Watch it. Let it burn your eyes. Let it drive us this season as fans. Keep us focused. The Royals said they have a 30 second video clip honoring the Mets or something. I’m sure it’s just going to be the clip of Duda overthrowing d’Arnaud at home plate in Game 5 on a loop for 30 seconds.
Fight Club: The Royals may have denied the retaliation rumors, but they got into fights and brawls many times last season. It’s the reason everyone laughed in their face when they complained during the World Series about Thor’s pitch. The Royals are classless dicks, and they love to fight. Ned Yost almost fought the reporters for even mentioning the idea that they wanted to retaliate.
I mean Jesus, look at these MLB file photos of Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Kelvin Herrera, and Luke Hochevar. They look like mugshots of four guys who robbed the local convenience store, beat the hell out of the clerk and his son, and then jumped in their pickup truck firing their guns in the air as they fled from the scene.
With ESPN We All Lose: We lost the World Series. But now the Mets are so mainstream. And as a result, we get to be on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. We are all going to have to suffer through their awful broadcast. Despite his retirement, Jon Miller saying “Carlos Beltrán” on a loop still haunts my nightmares. I would give anything to watch this game on SNY with Gary, Keith, and Ron doing the broadcast. But baseball is finally back. So I will make do.