For baseball fans, every Opening Day brings a sense of optimism, an expectation that this will be the year that our team comes through. "Every team's tied for first right now," we say, "We all have 0-0 records." Even fans of teams in small markets, teams that can't (or won't) spend money on free agents like the big boys, try and hold on to some hope for a miracle.
Then the first game is played and, depending on the result, people begin jumping on or off the bandwagon. It's just the way fans are. Some people are kind of fickle. Others are so passionate that it's difficult to look at the big picture. So it will be interesting to see how fans of New York's baseball teams react to their teams' beginnings.
Starting with the good news: the Mets' new bullpen successfully shut the door. After Sean Green pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, the highly touted offseason pickups did their jobs in the last two innings. J.J. Putz took care of the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez got the save, giving Johan Santana and the Mets a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Yankees' expensive new acquisitions weren't nearly as good. CC Sabathia's line: 4.1 innings, 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 5 walks, no strikeouts, 2 wild pitches in the Yanks' 10-5 loss to the Orioles. Mark Teixeira went 0 for 4 with a walk and left 5 men on base, and was jeered all day by the Baltimore crowd. (Can't imagine why, just because the hometown boy spurned the O's to take the Yankees' money.)
Remember, it's always a mistake to make snap judgments about a season based on just one game. Case in point: the last Mets' free-agent closer, Billy Wagner. He picked up the save in his first Mets game...and served up a game-tying homer in his second.