3836417NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The excitement is growing for baseball fans as the Mets open their season Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.
They’ll send ace Noah Syndergaard to the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Amazins’ are hoping to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish and make good on their goal of getting back to the World Series for the first time since 2015.
Mickey Callaway will be making his debut as Mets manager. The former coach with the Cleveland Indians has been hailed as a pitcher whisperer.
“We had a really nice spring training, so everybody did the things they were supposed to do,” he said. “I feel like everyone’s prepared and more importantly, they feel prepared.”
Another first this year involves Yoenis Cespedes. The slugging outfielder did his first big group interview in English without a translator. He said Thursday is all about adapting to change right off the bat.
“If it’s going to be the best for the team, I’ll do it. So I’ll handle that,” Cespedes said.
Another big change was the addition of Todd Frazier, who helped the Yankees get within one win of the World Series last year.
“Being a Met right now, I’m juiced, I’m excited,” Frazier said. “We got a real good team, so let’s just keep on having fun and I’m a New York Met. It’s pretty cool to say.”
A team that was plagued by injuries last season is now fresh, ready to go and with a look to match.
“Not much has really changed since the last time I spoke about opening day,” Syndergaard said. “Got a haircut, that’s about it.”
For fans, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering a vintage subway ride to Citi Field. The Mets’ opening day tradition was to take riders non-stop from Hudson Yards up to Flushing.
The train was scheduled to leave the yard at 11:30 a.m. and arrive with plenty of time before the first pitch.