New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard didn't mince words when asked about his team's opening-week schedule, which involves a three-hour bus ride to Sarasota, Florida, and a flight to Syracuse, New York, before landing in Washington, D.C., for Opening Day on Thursday.
"I don't think that's what championship teams do," Syndergaard told reporters.
Tim Britton of The Athletic provided the full comments:
The Mets are playing a split-squad game in their spring training home of Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Sunday. They are then taking a three-hour bus ride across the state to Sarasota, where they will face the Baltimore Orioles for their final spring training game.
New York is then headed to Syracuse for a team workout at the Carrier Dome designed to promote the team's new Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Mets.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon further explained the rationale behind the trip March 12.
"This extraordinary event will kick off our wonderful partnership with Onondaga County," Wilpon said. "We are thrilled the Syracuse community will have a chance to connect with our players up close and personal."
The Mets' travel schedule isn't exactly what Steve Martin and John Candy endured in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but Syndergaard has a good point. Using the big league club for a promotional event isn't a bad idea, but the timing leaves a lot to be desired from a player's perspective.
Of course, this all may be water under the bridge if the Mets get off to a hot start. However, it could also be the talk of New York sports media if the Mets jump out of the gate slowly.
New York opens against the Washington Nationals on Thursday. Jacob deGrom will get the starting nod for the Mets.