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Just to be clear, I have never started a season like this 2021.
Being on the plane from camp was so fun. The players, performance staff, and office people were all collectively giddy. Every one of us felt the excitement of a new season. We couldn’t wait to get the season started and actually play in front of people again. Then COVID left us out to dry in DC. To be honest, we had been scrimmaging ourselves and others for a whole seven weeks in Florida, and it was really difficult to get excited about splitting up and playing someone with the same jersey color. As the five days of practice and scrimmaging came to an end, I felt late to the party. Every team had been playing and competing while we were just hanging out at someone else’s ball park.
At last, we got to Philly and finally got our Opening Day out of the way. I can’t explain how appreciative and elated I was to see people in the seats. Yes I know we were in Philly, but playing there in front of people felt like serious progress because 2020 was a strange, difficult, and tumultuous year. 2020 will go down in history as a year that changed people’s lives forever. We have dealt with so much, but now it’s time to bounce back and have 2021 be a year of resilience.
2021: It’s our year. At 7:05 pm, when it was show time, I had the chills like never before. Last year brought a whole different level of appreciation for having fans in the stands and what “normal” was before. Being able to play on such a big stage with people there to watch is a blessing. It’s a blessing that people sacrifice sweat, blood, and tears for. I’m so grateful and thankful for that every day I’m out there between the lines. Once that first pitch was thrown, it was time to roll.
Here’s the kicker, we started our season, but it doesn’t really feel like we truly started it yet. In the month of April, we had 11 off-days because of COVID, terrible weather postponements, and regular scheduled off-days. That schedule is not very conducive for finding a rhythm and staying within a routine. Having team success is about finding that groove and riding the wave. We haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential yet. The month of April felt like being in the very back of a school bus and having the driver nicknamed Ol’ Lead Foot, checking the breaks any chance he got. The start and stop nature of this month hasn’t let us show what type of team we can be. We’re taking what the game is giving us and getting the most out of every day. We got the sauce. We have work ethic, the correct process, and the right attitude to have a special year.
This year is going to be special off the field too. After our home opener I had an opportunity to talk about the Citi Community Home Runs Program on Pix 11, and with the guys at Amazin’ Avenue, as this year’s ambassador to the program. I was joined by the program’s first ever ambassador and great Met, Curtis Granderson, and David Chubak from Citi to talk about the program’s impact on No Kid Hungry since 2016, turning Mets home runs into $1 million so far toward the fight to end childhood hunger. I am very excited to add more to that total through our home runs this year!
So Mets fans, if there’s one thing you take from this, this is it: sit back, relax, have some fun, and enjoy the show every night we play. We can’t win the World Series tomorrow, so let’s embark on a journey. It is and will be a fun year. And we will do something special.
As always, LFGM.