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Mets still have ‘several thousand’ tickets available for Opening Day against Braves

Remember the days when an Opening Day game between the Mets and Braves was all you could ask for? Two of the National League’s most exciting teams — even if one of them is a perennial heart breaker — squaring off to signal the official end of winter and the return of our favorite past time. At Shea Stadium, Opening Day sellouts were the norm. The Mets sold out their first two home openers at Citi Field, but unless something changes that streak may end on Thursday.

According to the NY Post, Mets executive vice president of business operations Dave Howard says ‘several thousand’ tickets remain available for New York’s game against Atlanta on Thursday. He remains optimistic that they can still sell out the 41,800-seat stadium, however.

“I think we have got a chance,” Howard said. “Tickets have been selling well, and since Johan (Santana) was announced as our starting pitcher it has given us a surge of energy. We have a shot at selling out. If not, we’ll be close to it.”

Howard says the Mets will need solid sales Tuesday and Wednesday with about 2,000 to 4,000 walk-ups on Thursday in order to sell out. If they don’t, it would be the first time a Mets home opener failed to sell out since 1997. The cheapest ticket for the game right now is $40, which may have to come down if all the seats are going to be filled. #NewYorkMetsProblems

Photo credit: Brian J. Myers-US PRESSWIRE

Mets get ‘Underdog’ t-shirts courtesy of Jeff Wilpon (Picture)

If there’s any team in baseball that fits the underdog description, it is without question a franchise playing in the country’s largest media market. Yup, the New York Mets are easily one of the biggest underdog franchises in sports. Well, at least that’s what out-of-touch COO Jeff Wilpon believes.

Wilpon, already known as a feisty character, had t-shirts with the U logo from the cartoon Underdog sitting in each Mets player’s locker Monday.

Manager Terry Collins is either kissing up to his boss, or he likes the idea.

“I thought Jeff had a great idea. He made some T-shirts up — ‘Underdog’ stuff,” said Collins. “You know what? If it ticks you off, then we’re doing our job. You’ve got to know how you’re being felt out there.”

Third baseman David Wright was less of a fan, but he understands the message.

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Mets Going Back to Retro-Look Uniforms for 50th Anniversary in 2012 (Picture)

The New York Mets will be celebrating their 50th anniversary next season.  Considering they have won less than 80 games in each of the last three seasons, a 50th anniversary celebration might be an opportune time for a little identity change.  What better way to start than with a uniform tweak?  As Uni Watch shared with us, the Mets have decided to take some of the black out of their jerseys and unveil more classic-looking uniforms for 2012.  Take a gander:

You can have a look here at the old uniforms for comparison.  It looks like the Miami Marlins won’t be the only NL East team with a new look when baseball resumes.  Considering New York and Miami finished fourth and fifth respectively in the division last season, I suppose a change certainly can’t hurt.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk for the heads up on the picture.

Mets Had a Porn Room at Shea Stadium?

The Boston Red Sox have been scrutinized ever since collapsing in September. Initially we heard about some internal problems they may have had, which included pitchers drinking in the clubhouse during games. A more elaborate report was published by the Boston Globe, saying that some pitchers drank, ate junk food, and played video games while their team competed.

While nobody thinks that is a good approach for a team during games, most people understand that this is part of the environment in clubhouses.

In an effort to prove that the Red Sox clubhouse environment is nothing new, Dan Patrick referenced a supposed “porn room” the Mets had at Shea Stadium.

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Mets Pull Jose Reyes After Bunt Single in 1st Inning to Preserve Batting Title

On a normal day, I could not possibly care any less about a New York Mets baseball game. At the moment, the Mets are nothing more than a team that is widely mocked, and run by an owner who does not believe in them.  Today, however, I felt the need to pay attention.

Heading into the final game of the regular season on Wednesday, Jose Reyes held a one-point lead over Ryan Braun for the National League batting title.  Reyes was hitting .336 with an upcoming afternoon game against the Reds while Braun and his .335 average will play the Pirates Wednesday night.  Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we heard some rumblings about the Mets considering pulling Reyes in Wednesday’s game if he got a hit early.  Even the Mets wouldn’t be that classless, would they?

Of course they would; we’re talking about the New York Mets.  In fact, they went a step further.  Reyes dropped down a bunt single in the first inning and was immediately replaced with a pinch runner. The maneuver solidified Reyes’ place ahead of Braun for the time being, and the Brewers left fielder needs to increase his average by two points to surpass Reyes.  Can you say bush league?

When Ted Williams set the all-time batting record by hitting .406, he had the record on lock after game one of a double header.  Rather than sit out the second game and guarantee that his average remain above .400, Williams went about his normal business and ended up increasing his average even further.  I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope Braun somehow manages to go 4-for-4 in tonight’s game.

Mets’ Angel Pagan Was on the Can While on Deck, Almost Missed At-Bat

Frankly, I’m shocked this type of situation does not occur more often.  People like me who have to go when they have to go have always wondered what athletes do when nature calls abruptly at an inopportune moment.  In a world full of Steve DelVecchios, pitchers would be leaving the mound in the middle of games and quarterbacks would be bailing in the middle of the two-minute drill.  In other words I know exactly how you feel, Angel Pagan.

According to the NY Daily News, Pagan was nowhere to be found when he was on deck in the top of the fifth inning Monday night.  Had he pulled a Carlos Zambrano and exited the stadium? Not quite. Pagan simply had a bathroom emergency. When Nick Evans walked and it was time for Pagan to step to the plate, home plate umpire Mike DiMuro had to go walking over to the Mets dugout to see what was going on.

“I told the trainer, I have to go to the bathroom,” Pagan said. “When you’re up fourth in the inning and you have to do that, it’s just not fun.”

Pagan said he was on the can and had just finished when he looked at the TV and saw that the count was full to Evans.  He made it out onto the field in time — albeit a little tardy — and grounded out to end the inning.  Take it from a person who once had to relieve himself in a back alley of one of toughest suburbs outside of Boston: I ain’t mad at ya, Angel.

Fist pound to Deadspin for the story.

Jeff Wilpon Reportedly Got on Mets for Not Retaliating After Hit-by-Pitch

Bean ball wars are one of the most uncomfortable aspects of baseball. An ode to Hammurabi’s Code, this aspect of the unwritten rules of the game mandates an eye for an eye — hit my guy and we’ll hit yours. Often times these wars can get out of hand because the process will continue until one team decides not to respond or the umpires put a stop to it. After Mets infielder Justin Turner was hit by a pitch Thursday and the team didn’t respond, COO Jeff Wilpon reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the club.

Turner was hit in the 13th inning on Wednesday night to force in the winning run. The A’s were apparently upset he made little effort to move out of the way of the ball (it grazed him on his jersey), so they hit him in the leg in the first inning the next day. The Mets’ lack of response upset Wilpon who reportedly chided the team after the game Thursday.

If that is the case, then Wilpon was wrong for his reaction. He needs to keep in mind that Turner leaned into the pitch, barely was touched, and that allowed the Mets to win the game. It was a cheap way to win a game, so if the A’s wanted to respond by dosing him in the leg the next day, let them. What’s more important? Throwing back at another team for one guy getting hit, or getting a call in your favor after winning a game? Come on Wilpon, get your priorities straight.