One Week Until Opening Day!
Today’s flashback… Monday, March 31st, 3003 vs. Chicago Cubs
Loss, by score of 15-2, to go 0-1 on the season.
2003 was supposed to be a new beginning for the Mets. New ace pitcher Tom Glavine had been lured away from the Braves; new manager Art Howe lit up the room in his interview with the Wilpons; Cliff Floyd had been signed; David Cone was back; Tsuyoshi Shinjo was here with all his flair, and 53,586 showed up at Shea to turn the page on 2002.
The Kahn’s Magnetic schedule given out on Opening Day featured the very generic slogan, “Experience it!,” and told us about the promotions planned for the year. On Saturday June 7th the Mets would hand out Russian Tea Dolls presented by Toyota, and on Sunday September 21st they’d give us an Etch-A-Sketch, courtesy of Tropicana. On Saturday July 12th they would hand out Wiffle balls and bats to the kids, courtesy of Fox Sports Net, while their counterpart MSG would sponsor Mets cap day on April 26th. Those paying attention will also notice the calendar dates featuring home games had different colors for the first time. While in 2002, all the home games were orange, as an example, in 2003 they were orange, yellow (sorry, ‘gold’), silver or bronze. That’s because in 2002 the Mets decided that not all games were created equal and they should change higher amounts for more attractive dates. On Opening Day, a “gold” date, it cost $16 to sit in the Mezzanine, Section 3 (right behind home plate).
Tom Glavine was on the hill on an absolutely freezing March afternoon to make his Mets debut and came up flat. Glavine walked Mark Grudzielanek to leadoff the game and promptly gave up four runs in the first inning. He would give up five runs in total, lasting just 3 2/3 innings before handing it off to the bullpen. Mike Bacsik imploded, giving up 9 earned runs in two innings of work. The 15 runs scored would be the most runs scored against them during an Opening Day, and the Mets managed just two runs in the 15-2 loss.
The 2003 Mets would finish in last place, losing 95 games, and Tom Glavine pitched to a record of 9-14.