After a winter of discontent — signs brazenly stolen; titles shadily retained; postseasons potentially diluted ; owners who never quite sell — baseball’s redeeming feature comes to the fore today: baseball, or something very much like it.
A reasonable facsimile of the 2020 Mets will take a field or two in Florida. One group of them will be broadcast to their incurable followers in New York and wherever Mets fans hook up intravenously to screens and speakers. A split squad of Mets versus a random school of Fish, live from Yet Another Sponsor Stadium in Port St. Lucie, 1:05 PM LGMT.
Rick Porcello will throw, followed by others. Our pitchers will be clad in Mets uniforms. Many of them will look familiar. Same for our hitters and fielders. By afternoon’s end, the numbers on their backs will soar and their names will be as fleeting as our attention, but their mission will have been accomplished. Mets-ish baseball will remind us why we return to this annually and distract us for a spell from the aspects of it we consider chronically mishandled.
That’s plenty for day one’s one-day moratorium (or Melvin Moratorium) on whatever ails our great game and adversely affects our favorite franchise. The Mets already look pretty good on paper. They’ll look even better on TV and sound terrific on radio.
Flight 2020 is more than a month from its scheduled departure time, yet we are ready to begin preboarding.