If you live in the tri-state area or in the general vicinity of Citi Field, it’s a beautiful day for baseball on Thursday. It’s a little cloudy, but the sun is out, and the temperature is in the 60s and expected to reach the 70s. Considering how cold April baseball can be in the northeast, this is perfect for Mets Opening Day!
Except, they’re not playing. Instead of facing off against the Miami Marlins at 1:10 p.m. ET, the club decided to postpone the festivities by 24 hours shortly after their game ended against the Brewers on Wednesday.
The stated reasoning behind this decision? Well, there’s rain in the forecast. And if you check out what it’s doing in Flushing on your weather app, the chance for rain is sitting at about 70% for the day. Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
There’s a chance of rain throughout the afternoon. But according to forecasts — and people way more knowledgeable than me about this — New York had more than a decent shot of getting the game in.
Forecast still on track for the Home Opener tomorrow. Main line of thunderstorms should hold off until after the game. While some rain ahead of this line can't be completely ruled out, they should be able to get the game in.
Before the rain, temps reach into the lower 70s! #LGM pic.twitter.com/4xTRWGnkZ4
— Mets Weather (@WxMets) April 5, 2023
The response on Twitter to this decision has been the definition of mixed. Without officially tallying up the reactions, it feels like more people are annoyed than thankful. Some of the common gripes include no longer being able to attend because of work or childcare situations, and others are mad because the game was moved to Good Friday.
I understand the reasoning behind making a decision earlier rather than later. If there’s legitimate worry about a game getting rained out, you don’t want people arriving at the ballpark before a decision is made. I can appreciate the desire to inform the fans as early as possible.
But at no time in the forecast — at least from what I had seen — was there a significant chance of rain leading up to the game. As you can see from the above tweet, things were actually looking better as we kept creeping closer to Thursday.
Was Mets Opening Day really canceled because of the weather? Or, was there something else going on? I feel like being a conspiracy theorist for a moment. Below are three things that have come to mind since New York officially announced the postponement. I’m not mentioning the bullpen needing a rest, though. It’s a very valid reason given the situation, but it’s just lame. Well, more lame than the other possibilities listed below (to me, at least). They could’ve used the day, but it’s the big leagues, folks — figure it out.
Now, I feel like this has to be expressly said: this is nothing but speculation on my part. I’d like to think there’s no funny business going on here.
The Big Drip Delay. It’s common for teams to send the following day’s starting pitcher out of town early so they can be well-rested for their start. The Mets attempted to do that Wednesday by getting Tylor Megill an early flight back to New York.
Like most of what happened in Milwaukee this week, it didn’t work out. Megill’s flight was delayed so many times that he ended up on the flight back home with the rest of the team anyways.
The Catcher Conundrum. Reports began surfacing Wednesday night that top prospect Francisco Alvarez was headed to New York in case the Mets needed to activate him. Omar Narvaez left the series finale against the Brewers early with a calf injury. Maybe the Mets wanted extra time to figure out if Narvaez needs to hit the IL.
And we already have an update. Right after this article was originally published, it was announced that Narvaez was headed to the IL, and for much longer than 10 days.
New York’s jersey patch announcement. The Mets made an announcement on Thursday saying they’ve entered a long-term agreement with NewYork-Presbyterian. Among the things included is an advertisement patch on uniforms, which will be ready for Friday.
Now, this announcement has probably been planned for a while. It’s not like Nasdaq Exchange takes last-minute requests to ring the opening bell, ya know. Since Thursday was the original Mets Opening Day game, it would’ve been part of all the festivities. But still, that’s probably not enough for the skeptics in the house.
So, was it the weather or not? We’ll never know for sure, folks. If I was forced to pick one situation, it’d be the decision to put Narvaez on the IL and activate Alvarez.
It’s unfortunate that a perfectly good day for baseball isn’t happening, though. At least we’ll get baseball back in Queens on Friday.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.