March 15, 2024

Five Star Sport

Sports Tips & Best Gear Reviews

Both Citi Field — and the Mets — Look Slick in Victory Over Marlins

4 min read
Both Citi Field — and the Mets — Look Slick in Victory Over Marlins

Tylor Megill guided the Mets to a 9-3 victory in their home debut as Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso all hit home runs.

Steven A. was seated on the Mets bench, facing the wall of the home dugout. The notepads and cameras in front of Cohen on Friday morning were being examined by Cohen. His brand-new scoreboard, which was practically a sixth borough of New York City, was there, covering 17,400 square feet of LED brilliance.

Every king needs a castle worthy of his majesty, and Cohen, the richest owner in baseball, is having fun with Citi Field.

“What I want to do is create a master plan,” On the night before the Mets’ home debut, Cohen said. “I don’t want to design a stadium renovation where nothing really ties in.”

The Mets now have the largest scoreboard in the majors as Cohen has transformed them into a high-end brand. The team’s record payroll of $370 million, plus another $100 million or so in luxury taxes, has coincided with a swankier ballpark, with new flourishes big and small: a 100-seat field-level club in right; a tequila bar above center; a disc honoring Bob Murphy, the Hall of Fame Mets broadcaster, on the roof above left.

The World Series flags have also undergone changes: the three National League banners are now blue, while the two championship banners remain white. The only ode to last season is a 2022 notation on an “N.L. Wild Card” placard above section 504.

After 101 regular-season victories, last season’s quick playoff exit was not in Cohen’s grand design. Neither was the fact that Tylor Megill started the home opener; Justin Verlander, a free-agent prize, was scheduled to take the mound, but shoulder inflammation has reduced him to playing catch.

“Very mild,” Verlander said of the injury, “but I still experience a tiny bit of something.”

It’s really for the best that Verlander anticipates returning before the end of April. In October, the Mets will need him and Max Scherzer, their other veteran pitcher earning $43.3 million annually, to be strong and resilient. The next six months are a preamble, and Friday’s victory over the sloppy Miami Marlins (9-3) was encouraging.

Even with 18 strikeouts, 16 walks, and 11 pitchers, the game only lasted 3 hours, 1 minute in the pitch-clock era of baseball. It would have taken forever in more recent times.

“The ball’s slick this time of year; we saw it from the other side,” said the Brandon Nimmo of the Mets performed his sprint to first on a walk four times. “But Tylor was able to fill up the zone, get strikes, and send them chasing.”

Until Verlander’s setback in late March, Megill was supposed to be Class AAA Syracuse’s ace. In five starts in April of last year, he went 4-0, but a shoulder strain derailed the rest of his season. He now owns two of the Mets’ four victories, along with a little more good fortune.

Fri.’s fourth-inning comebacker from Jean Segura went into right field for a single after bouncing off Megill. Fortunately, Megill later remarked, the ball hit him in the ideal place—the top of the foot—and he was able to stay in to blank Miami for six innings, saving his lone curveball for Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s final-pitch strikeout.

Prior to Daniel Vogelbach’s infield single as the designated hitter, the Mets drew seven walks. However, soon after that, home runs started to fly for Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso. Even though the Mets’ seasons are frequently unpredictable, they typically get off to a smooth start: the team is currently 41-21 in home openers, including 11-4 at Citi Field.

Even in the introductions, this opener provided a sneak peek at what would come next. The Mets promoted Francisco Alvarez, their top prospect, on Friday morning because catcher Omar Narvaez was out with a calf injury. Alvarez, 21, will get some at-bats behind the plate, but Tomas Nido is more likely to make more starts.

“It’s kind of like a backup quarterback that gets drafted out of college,” Alvarez’s manager, Buck Showalter, said. “Everyone anticipates that he will develop into a very talented player, but his time as a backup player is also very valuable. Tom’s is not too bad.”

The fourth inning started with a single from Nido, who then advanced to third on a single to left field by Alonso. Except for third baseman Eduardo Escobar, every Met in the starting lineup reached base through a hit or a walk, and despite the day’s blustery, raw weather, the 43,590 spectators got what they came for.

Sadly, the Mets’ tacky new logo patch, which is nearly the size of the scoreboard but not quite, was the only negative aspect. Cohen declined to disclose the amount of money the Mets are receiving in exchange for selling sleeve space to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, but he did agree that their red-and-white colors must change.

“I corresponded via email with the CEO., Steve Corwin, and we agreed to change the patch already,” Cohen said. “He and I agreed that it ought to be more appropriately Met-appropriate because they are Phillie colors.”

Currently, and really in any iteration, the patch marries the Mets’ otherwise pristine, slick home uniform. When asked what he thought of the scoreboard, Lindor replied, “You might call it a pimple. Lindor explained that he’ll need to take better care of his skin with such a large screen beaming his face to the audience.

“I’ve got to eat less chocolate now,” he said, smiling as he held his 2-year-old daughter, Kalina was consuming a chocolate ice cream bar at the time.

Lindor grinned as he stole a lick. A little indulgence was perfectly acceptable on a day intended for a joyful return home.


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