Along with the Mets, I'll be watching two teams this year, though I'm unsure what attitude to bring to either of them.
To the north, my two favorite players of the past decade will doff their hats to "O, Canada" and play baseball on carpet in a hotel. This stirs up many feelings.
According to my inner child, Jose Reyes is a Met like David Wright is a Met or I am a Met fan. Last year he barnstormed with colorfully-costumed scamps and their player-king "Ozzie," and like you I found it hilarious.
But now the estrangement feels real. Watching Reyes contend with a legitimate team will be painful because I dreamed of him contending with this team.
I pictured him meringue dancing with that spiky trophy. I pictured him as an old guy with lots of wrinkles hugging Wright on some anniversary.
I really did. But he'll age elsewhere, and hug others.
R.A. Dickey is a different story. R.A. Dickey is the girl who suddenly came to town and showed me a world of happiness, before transferring to some different school.
I'll break all records for wistfulness checking his box scores under the covers. But he's gone.
Now if I ran the Mets, both these men would be on the roster today. I wouldn't have been able to help it.
What attitude will I take now that they've moved on? Probably the all-too-human view: I wish them the best, so long as I'm happy someday too.
To the west, almost the opposite has happened. The Seattle Mariners have united Oliver Perez and Jason Bay under a single banner.
In a city known for composting, maybe they can grow something from this pile of shit. I hear Ollie is not a half-bad lefty reliever if paid like one. Jason Bay I can't picture turning around, but then mankind has surprised me before.
It'd be hard to look into either player's doe eyes and wish them bad luck.
But if they perform well? If they become a story? I think I could manage a sardonic laugh. But one doesn't always know one's breaking point.
Then, there are the real Mets, of the metropole. As always they're a blend of North and West, of good friends and suspect strangers.
This opening day, I'm thankful that for all the ways we've gotten smarter, the baseline illogic of fandom has stuck around for another year. Players have come. Players have gone. My favorite Met is a Blue Jay. But as per the eternal mysteries, the orange-and-blue soul of Metdom has changed not a whit.
And I know that like a praying man knows Mr. Met is listening .
It's opening day, I'm a 30-year-old expectant father, and I'm unreasonably excited for the 2013 season.
Let's Go Mets.