New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Spring Training Opener: 8 Bold Predictions

Michael BaltonCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2011

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves Spring Training Opener: 8 Bold Predictions

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    SARASOTA, FL - APRIL 03:  Spring Training baseballs sit on the field prior to the start of the Grapefruit League Spring Training Game between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Mets at Ed Smith Stadium on April 3, 2010 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    It may be just a spring training exhibition match, but the opening game of the season could set the tone for the entire year. 

     

    That’s why Bleacher Report assembled its crack team of analysts, correspondents, featured columnists, and tea leaf readers to predict precisely what will happen before, during and after the game between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

     

    Here are the highlights of their analysis:

Pregame: Perez Panic

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    NEW YORK - MAY 10:  Oliver Perez #46 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals on May 10, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Oliver Perez loses his wallet on the way to the park. 

     

    It’s discovered lying in the center lane of I-95, creating a six-mile traffic jam.

     

Opening Ceremony: Visit from an Old Friend

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    NORDERSTEDT, GERMANY - JUNE 06:  A young USA fan watches during a training session for the United States National Team on June 6, 2006 at Edmund Plambeck Stadium in Norderstedt, Germany.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    An audio hookup is established, enabling #1 Mets fan Bernie Madoff, now retired in North Carolina, to sing the national anthem over the PA system. 

     

    Madoff forgets the words and goes instead into a heartbreaking rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man.”

First Inning: A Mix-Up At Second

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets poses for a portrait during the New York Mets Photo Day on February 24, 2011 at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    A fistfight breaks out at second base between Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada, when they are both assigned to the position due to a lineup card malfunction. 

     

    Tejada exhibits a surprisingly quick left jab. Murphy is out for the season with a black eye.


Third Inning: Self-Serve Stimulus

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Owner Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets talks on the phone during spring training at Tradition Field on February 17, 2011 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Braves discover that their new gloves, batting helmets and bats are missing, minutes after Fred Wilpon was seen driving away from Digital Domain Park in a U-Haul.

     

Fifth Inning: Tribute To A Hero

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 10: Carlos Beltran #15 and Angel Pagan #16 of the New York Mets celebrate aftrer scoring in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 10, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New Yo
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Angel Pagan agrees to cede both center field and right field to Carlos Beltran, while he plays his position from the bleachers.


Sixth Inning: Mañana Minaya

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24:  New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya looks on from the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Former Mets GM Omar Minaya sneaks into the game as a hot-dog vendor. 

     

    He blows his cover when he’s not able to make change for a five. “Looks like my math skills have let me down again,” he’s heard murmuring while being led away.


Eighth Inning: Slapshot

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    UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 13:  Trevor Gillies #14 of the New York Islanders celebrates scoring a goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum on January 13, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Paul Be
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    The Mets tryout Trevor Gillies at second, taking advantage of his break from playing forward for the New York Islanders. 

     

    His assignment: to beat the crap out of opposing players as they’re rounding the bag, making sure that no one ever gets to third. 

     

    (Gillies plans to co-author a book with Sandy Alderson about the strategy. Working title: “Goonie Ball.”)

Post Game: Naming Names

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Owner Fred Wilpon (3L) of the New York Mets watches his team during spring training at Tradition Field on February 17, 2011 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Mets announce that they are changing the name of their spring training facility from Digital Domain Park to Server Error Stadium. 


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