As most teams play their second game of the season on Saturday, the Mets are still yet to have their own Opening Day.
But after the season-opening series against Washington was postponed due to COVID concerns within the Nationals’ team, the Mets will now open their season on Monday night in Philadelphia.
Before that, the Mets will play a two-hour sim game on Saturday afternoon so that the team stays fresh. Manager Luis Rojas spoke to reporters before the sim game, and explained that that the Mets are making the most of the situation after the initial letdown of not playing on MLB’s Opening Day Thursday.
“The first few moments or whatever it is, it’s not great what’s happening, but you’ve got to bounce and you’ve got to do what you need to do to be ready. I think we’re at that point right now,” Rojas said. “The guys are out there having fun, they’re getting ready for Monday. You can’t just sit down and dwell on not playing … I think we’re back up and we’re ready to go Monday.
“I like how things are, like the energy. We’re playing a little game today and then we’re departing for Philly. The focus right now is Monday, but the guys are past any type of letdown they found out at the moment we were not going to play this weekend.”
J.D. Davis said that the Washington series being postponed felt like “a punch to the stomach,” and Rojas echoed that sentiment. But all he and the Mets can do is do their best to stay game-ready, so they can take the field for the first time on Monday and be at their best.
“It’s a letdown at the beginning once you break the news, because you want to play. Opening Day is exciting. Everybody was looking forward to April 1, I don’t know since when,” Rojas said. “We went through a really good camp, and then to get hat news, it can be a little bit of a letdown, but I think everyone here has done a good job to shift gears to what we need to do. We’ve got to have the ability to do that, 162-game season and all the ups and downs that you see in baseball. This game teaches us a lot of things.
“It’s a moment here, we’re going through a situation where we can use some of those tools that we’ve learned in this game, and the guys are doing it right. We’re ready to keep practicing, keep getting ready. We’re gonna have this game today and then have a practice tomorrow and we should be ready to go Monday.”
The Mets players have been doing everything they can to stay prepared, practicing, playing a sim game on Saturday, and even using VR technology to stay sharp, per Rojas.
And Rojas has used the opportunity to watch as many other MLB games as possible, even taking notes on teams that he hopes will help this season.
“It is weird. We’re watching games and we see everybody playing in the league. But at the same time, we understand the situation that’s happening,” Rojas said. “It’s been happening since last year and it’s just really tough to control once it happens. What can you do? We’re trying to do the best facing the circumstances right now.
“I watched a ton of games last night and highlights. I think we can take something out of it. You watch, you see some of the things that you can tell from other teams you’re going to see down the road, you can write it down, take notes. There’s some opportunities even though it’s kind of weird. We’re doing our best even though the circumstances are not the desired ones.”