Sunday afternoon was the official start to the 2016 MLB regular season, and I think the Royals may have missed the memo.
Though the Royals and Mets game wasn’t the first of the regular season, it was the most anticipated of them all. The marquee matchup took the primetime spot on Sunday night, and marked the first time there was a World Series rematch on Opening Day. In case you don’t remember, here’s a little refresher on what fueled the anticipation of this game.
The New York Mets shocked the baseball world last season with their journey all the way to the World Series. The Mets haven’t won a ring since 1986, and were certainly not favored to do so at the beginning of last season. Their quest for a ring was terminated in Game 5 of the series by the Royals, making Sunday’s game one of the most ironic matchups in baseball history.
What better way to start a new season fresh than to open against the team that crushed your dreams just months earlier? Imagine being Mets pitcher Matt Harvey on Sunday night. Preparing for your first start of the season by watching highlights of you blowing the game that ended your shot at a championship. Harvey started for the Mets while Edinson Volquez appeared on the mound for the Royals, further recreating Game 5 of the World Series.
To make matters worse, the Royals raised their championship banner Sunday, but decided to drag out the celebration as long as possible with the ring ceremony on Tuesday (Game 2 of the series with the Mets). Of course their celebrations are rightfully deserved, but is it necessary to extend said celebrations over the span of two days?
Apparently very necessary, and very important for Kansas City.
If anyone were to hold a grudge in this matchup, it would be the Mets. Instead, the Royals are seemingly still holding onto the past, treating their Sunday night 4-3 victory over the Mets as a cause for even more celebration. Call me crazy, but dumping Gatorade on players following a regular season, meaningless game victory seems a bit absurd and even embarrassing.
Mets fan and Barstool writer, @TheClemReport took to twitter to mock the Royals, “The Royals World Series ring ceremony is before tomorrow’s game, which will then be followed by a montage and celebration for last night’s win.”
The excessive post game celebration was even called awkward by Royals manager Ned Yost.
"It was just strange, the pregame ceremony. I think I would have enjoyed it more if we played another team. For them to relive that, it's a little awkward," Yost told Fox Sports.
The league is technically not to blame for Sunday’s uncomfortable pregame, as the next season’s schedule is made in September, before playoffs are even set. The Royals, however, are to blame for dragging out their celebrations, both in terms of the World Series and their apparent extreme pride in winning Sunday’s game.
Fortunately, the Mets are much better sports than me. Mets third baseman and captain David Wright said he was un-phased.
"They're the champs," Wright said. "They should celebrate it. If the outcome would have been a little different and we won, I'm sure we would have played a nice video as well. They're the champs. They deserve it."
Though the Royals won fair and square Sunday night, I think they need to be reminded that was Game 1 of 162, and they might want to save the Gatorade for later in the season.
Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.