Monday, April 5, 2010

Mets didn't need Jack Bauer on Opening Day

SNY could not have picked a better way to start the Opening Day telecast - reviewing the nightmares of last year in the style of the opening of an episode of "24." The TV show is filled with disturbing events and a high body count - kind of like the 2009 Mets. SNY's recreation of a "24"-style recap was missing only one thing - a solemn voice warning that "viewer discretion is advised" - a warning all too necessary for last season's hapless squad.

SNY then switched to the present, announcing, in "24" style: "The following takes place starting April 5, 2010." The first two players shown after that were Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, who are, uh, not exactly starting on April 5.

But the promise of much better things in 2010 was quickly fulfilled. Johan Santana pitched like Johan Santana, David Wright homered, Jason Bay had two hits and all the miscues in the field were made by the other team.

I only had one flashback to last year - when the Mets loaded the bases with none out but were quickly out of the inning when Santana popped up and Alex Cora lined to Hanley Ramirez, who stepped on second for an unassisted double play. But this year, it was not a game-ending unassisted triple play. In fact, the Mets, up 2-0 at the time, would not even need any more runs, but would get them anyway on the way to a 7-1 win over the Marlins.

Florida paid for pitching Josh Johnson against the Mets in a preseason game five days ago, instead of using him against minor leaguers as the Mets did with Santana. So Wright, who homered off of Johnson last week, was able to do so again.

SNY misspelled Gaby Sanchez' first name in the starting lineup as "Gabby," but the Florida first baseman was probably not in a talkative mood after botching several plays. Sanchez did have two hits, so let's hope Omar Minaya does not try to trade for another player who has some hitting ability but can't field.

Speaking of which, Mike Jacobs went 0 for 4 in his undeserved cleanup spot. I hope Jerry Manuel comes to his senses soon and bats Bay cleanup. I also wanted to see Angel Pagan in center instead of Gary Matthews Jr., though Matthews did get two hits and a walk.

Aside from batting Jacobs fourth, about the only thing the Mets did wrong all day was to introduce the trainers first during the opening ceremonies. The time to introduce them was during the flyover, to drown out the boos.

While it takes Jack Bauer only 24 hours to resolve every crisis, the challenges the Mets face will take a lot more time to overcome. But you could not ask for more in the first 24 hours of the Mets' new season.

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