It’s been reported that the Royals will be seeking retribution against the New York Mets for Thor’s WS Game 3 up-and-in pitch.
The 2016 New York Mets season will start the very same way it ended in 2015: A Sunday night matchup of aces between New York’s Matt Harvey and Kansas City’s Edinson Volquez.
While this should be the story heading into Opening Night, it certainly won’t be.
As if a World Series triumph wasn’t enough for the Royals, Marc Carig of Newsday reported Kansas City and its players have yet to forget about the actions of another Mets flamethrower.
That would be 23-year-old Noah Syndergaard, who made a heated (pun intended) statement to kick off Game 3 of the World Series by throwing a 98 mph fastball high-and-tight to new-found Met-killer Alcides Escobar, and, subsequently putting Escobar on his butt.
Sure, who can forgot that ‘fateful’ moment.
It was intimidating.
It was adrenaline-inducing.
It was nearly expected.
And, most importantly, it had much to do with Syndergaard and the Mets winning that game at Citi Field, their only win of the heartbreaking series.
There’s more to this story, though: The Royals intend to retaliate, and they may look to do so Sunday night, even though Thor is not expected to start on the mound.
What is Kansas City planning to do?
Flash their championship rings in the Mets’ faces over their two-game long celebration?
This brings up the seemingly endless issue of “old school” vs. “new school.” To bat-flip or not to bat-flip? To beam he who hurt my teammate, or not?
Listen, there’s simply no problem with plucking a player every now and again as a means of revenge and defending your teammates.
However, there is a big problem when reports detail a team’s desire for vengeance from a pitch that didn’t touch anything other than the palm of Syndergaard’s right hand and the net behind home plate.
This talk of retribution is nonsense. It’s spiteful. It’s petty.
Not one player was injured during that play, or over the course of the game. The only thing left hurting were the feelings of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Heck, who wouldn’t wet their pants when the fastest-pitching starter in the Bigs is gunning for your head?
In the moment, Thor wisely refused to shy away from his decision to brush Escobar off the plate, saying:
“If they have a problem with me throwing inside, they can meet me 60 feet, six inches away.”
Now, there’s a chance he, or his peers, will pay for his actions, and the Mets have no problem with that.
Maybe, it’s some sort of fake-out. Maybe, the Royals are simply trying to get in New York’s Big Apple-sized head.
Still, Mets Manager Terry Collins did say he would like all his starters to get some work in the first two games of the season. With Harvey and Jacob deGrom slated to start games one and two, don’t be shocked to see Syndergaard take his talents to the bullpen on Opening Night.
If Collins does so happen to decide baseball fans deserve this controversial appearance, hopefully Thor will pluck a few Royals while he’s at it.
So, Royals, do what you wish. Do what you, as an organization, think is the moral thing to do.
Just don’t apologize and regret the moment you lit a fire under this New York Mets team.
The Metropolitans are on a 162+ game mission to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy, and will get there by any means necessary.
About the Opening Night festivities: The Royals have created a salute to the Mets for their 2015 accomplishments, to be unveiled pre-game.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 29, 2016
By the way, the Mets don’t want your pregame salute, they want to win.