Citi Field officially opened for business as home to the 2009 New York Mets last night, and it already has some memories that the Mets and the fans would probably like to forget.
More importantly, these are the early games of the season in which a lot of mechanical and fundamental adjustments are made and the Mets have the ability to learn from their mistakes and move on to prepare for the rest of the season.
Even though the Mets lost to the Padres 6-5, mainly due to a dropped ball by Ryan Church and balks by Pedro Feliciano, two of the Mets firsts on the positive side belonged to David Wright, the unofficial captain of the Mets, the other belonging to Brian Schneider.
In the first inning with two outs, Wright laced a double down the right field line for the Mets first hit at Citi Field.
With two on and two out in the fifth inning, Wright roped a line-drive home run into the left field seats that went about 390 feet, showing the crowd the brand new home run apple that has become a recognizable landmark of Mets baseball.
Wright had been in a offensive funk for the first week of the season on the road, and is racking up the strikeouts, as is typical when he is struggling with mechanics and timing so it was great to see him get some clutch hits. All 4 of his RBI's so far this season came with 2 out, this is good for his confidence in his ability with RISP, something he struggled with last year.
Citi Field has batting cages that Wright has been frequenting on his own since late last fall and into the holiday season.
Wright was in Florida for the Super Bowl and worked out in Port St Lucie under Howard Johnson's watchful eye until it was time to leave for the WBC.
Both Johnson and Jerry Manuel are impressed with his unequaled work ethic and progress at this stage.
During the first stages of construction at Citi Field, Wright hit a home run, and it was jokingly declared the first home run of Citi Field.
Last September, Wright, along with Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy, was brought to Citi Field before a game, and all three managed to hit at least one ball out of the park, the first one belonging to Wright.
There will be many more memories in the years to come, but you can expect Wright to be in the middle of many, both good and bad. The kid makes his mark wherever he plays, he also had the highest batting average, .320 of any Met in the history of the franchise at Shea Stadium, only two other Mets had achieved a batting average of 300 or more at Shea Stadium, and these records cannot be broken.
Most likely, No. 5 will be retired at Citi Field, well after Wright eventually retires in about 10-12 years. This would be appropriate as very few players have made the impact on a team and a city the way that Wright has before his 27th birthday, which is not until late December.