Morning Briefing: Opening Day!

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
5:15
AM ET
Mets fan Stewie Griffin always gets fed up on Opening Day, despite the team’s high rate of success in openers.

NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The 53rd Opening Day in franchise history has arrived.

Dillon Gee is scheduled to throw the season’s first pitch at Citi Field at roughly 1:10 p.m.

Gee, making his first career Opening Day start, opposes Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who starts Game 1 for the third straight season.

Washington won the 2013 season series, 12-7.

A pregame ceremony will honor the late Ralph Kiner, with four of his children participating.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio throws out the ceremonial first pitch.

Terry Collins also unveils his lineup, with the question marks being: Ike Davis or Lucas Duda at first base? And Eric Young Jr. or Juan Lagares in the outfield?

The Mets are 34-18 in franchise history on Opening Day … and that includes eight straight losses to begin their existence.

Monday also marks the official beginning of instant replay for the Mets.

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets set their roster Sunday by placing Jonathon Niese on the 15-day disabled list and Matt Harvey on the 60-day disabled list and by sending Eric Campbell, Kyle Farnsworth, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Anthony Seratelli and Taylor Teagarden to the minors.

The 25-man roster:

Starting pitchers (4): Gee, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia

Relievers (7): Bobby Parnell, Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice and John Lannan

Infielders (9): Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, Davis, Duda, Josh Satin, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla and David Wright

Outfielders (5): Chris Young, Lagares, EY Jr., Curtis Granderson and Andrew Brown

• Read Opening Day previews in the Post, Daily News, Times, Record and at MLB.com.

• Marc Carig in Newsday writes that Gee’s tryout for the Mets before being drafted in the 21st round in 2007 almost did not happen because of rain.

The field was unplayable. And now the Mets’ scout in charge was trying to send most of them home.

He told the group that the workout would be moved to a small indoor facility about 45 minutes up the road. Only 15 could go. Then he read aloud from the list of the chosen few.

Dillon Gee didn't hear his name.

Disappointed, he was ready to begin the long drive home. But before he made it to the car, his father made a beeline toward the scout, Ray Corbett.

“I was embarrassed,” Gee said last week. “But that’s kind of how my dad is. He was probably thinking, ‘I didn’t come here for nothing.’”

Read more on Gee in the Post and MLB.com.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal wonders when the next “Harvey Day” will be. Harvey, by the way, accompanied the team from Florida to Montreal and then on to New York and will be at Citi Field on Monday, including performing his rehab pregame by throwing on flat ground.

• Lannan, who made the team as a second left-hander in the bullpen, plans to spend the opening homestand living in the Long Beach, Long Island, house in which he grew up. Lannan will move to Manhattan when the apartment becomes available later this month. Read more in the Post.

• Shortstops Nick Franklin and Didi Gregorius both were demoted by their clubs and should still be available via trade, the Post’s Joel Sherman tweets.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post offers five reasons for optimism … and five reasons for pessimism.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes about four Mets who can make Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal become reality.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post notes the Mets are deep in starting pitching throughout the system.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger delves in the Mets’ recent home futility. Vorkunov notes the Mets were MLB’s only team with a winning road record and losing overall record last season.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing declares that on Opening Day, baseball is a metaphor for baseball, which is all it has to be. … The Eddie Kranepool Society opines on what to expect from the Mets, with emphasis on the bullpen being a determining factor in the team’s competitiveness.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Hausman, who pitched five seasons for the Mets, was born on this date in 1953.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What’s your ideal Mets lineup for Opening Day?
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .832
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180