Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Opening Day - Mets

Chicago Cubs 15, Mets 2

The optimism and enthusiasm about the new season ended abruptly with the click of a button. Having gone home to catch as much of the Mets' opener as possible, I turned on the game in the bottom of the 1st. Cubs 4, Mets 0. Optimism and enthusiasm were replaced by familiar disappointment, which was later supplanted by utter frustration, which soon gave way to comic mockery. The Tom Glavine era kicked off with a burst of mediocrity (3.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER), while Kerry Wood made the New York hitters just look silly. Meanwhile, the 1-2-3 spots set the table with an 0-for-9 day, and the pitchers allowed 2 HRs and 7 RBI to light-hitting Corey "Light-Hitting" Patterson while issuing a dozen free passes in aggravating fashion. The comedic portion of the program featured Art Howe leaving poor (in every sense of the word) Mike Bacsik in to clean up his own mess for two innings and nine runs worth of pounding, the outfielders showing the kids what they were missing at the circus, and pinch-hitting ex-Met Lenny Harris getting as many cheers from the Shea "faithful" as Glavine got boos when he was chased. [Lenny went 1-for-1.]

Though Glavine was right when he later commented that it was only one game, you can't help but wonder whether it was a tone setter for the entire season. For just as the Red Sox may have previewed a possible theme of a season of heartbreak and disappointment (misery loves the Sox giving up 5 in the ninth), the Mets may well have given us a glimpse of what is to come for the next 161 games: ineptitude, misery, and a little bit of comedy. (Dark comedy.) That optimism has proved elusive, I guess. So why am I thinking we'll bounce back in Game 2 on Wednesday?

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