Opening Day is two weeks away. My wife and I will head up North next Friday, see some old friends, get some great pizza and bagels, and meet up Monday morning to head over to Shea for Opening Day 2006! We'll have to make sure to get there on time, as the Mets have planned a pretty cool treat for the ceremonial first pitch. Jesse Orosco is going to throw to Gary Carter, commemorating the 1986 World Championship winning battery. Expect a loooong standing ovation, especially if Gary makes good on his promise to jump into Jesse's arms, a la '86.
As for the actual game, the Opening Day lineup is shaking up as such:
RF: Xavier Nady
I'm thinking Nady and Hernandez have won their battles for their respective positions at this point. Nady and Victor Diaz have put up similar stats this Spring, with Nady faring slightly better, but Nady's experience will probably land him the Opening Day job. Keppinger has outslugged Hernandez thus far this Spring, but the statements made by Willy lead most reporters to assume Keppinger won't be given the job out the gate.
As for the pitcher, Pedro Martinez doesn't seem to think pitching Game One is that big of a deal, and Glavine's schedule is geared towards pitching that day. Lord Forbid the Mets mess with Glavine's precious schedule again, so I expect to see Glavine on the hill that day, with plenty of quotes about his goal to reach 300 wins in the papers that day.
From a financial standpoint for the Mets, it's actually better for Pedro to start the second or third game. Opening Day is sold out anyway, with or without Martinez, but they might sell more tickets one of the later games with Martinez pitching than they would otherwise. I'll just have to accept that I won't see him pitch that day, and will be resigned to coming home and watching him pitch on TV. If I am willing to fork over the cash, that is.
I have DirecTV, which hasn't announced plans to carry SNY yet, but I'm outside the local region so I'll have to subscribe to Extra Innings to get the game. If I sign up by April 2nd, it's $160 for the season. Man, that's expensive. It stinks to have to pay for 60 games a week when I only want 7. I might go with MLBTV again. It's half the price, at $80 for the season, or $15 a month, and I can watch the games from my laptop when I travel as well. I'll also surely get the Gameday Audio package from MLB.com, which is the best bargain of all. For $15 I get every team's radio broadcast, for the whole season.
The thing is, I've always loved listening to baseball in the car, and an internet subscription won't help me with that. So I'm also still thinking about getting XM Radio, which for $13 a month gets me every game, plus all the music channels as well.
I am very indecisive about this. I feel torn about spending so much for the Extra Innings package, when living in North Carolina allows me to see at least 33 games anyway (whenever the Mets play the Braves or the Washington Nationals). What should I do? Speaking of the Nationals, I will be traveling to D.C. on April 12th to see The Mets play a road game there. Maybe I'll get lucky and see Martinez pitch that game?