Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball. Which is not to be confused with yesterday’s Opening Night, consisting of only a single game that portends a further century of futility on the north side of Chicago. And with Opening Day comes the opening of a new era in New York Mets history. Mets fans hope it is the end of six seasons of losing baseball and the beginning of something called “meaningful games in September,” which have not been seen since the year 2008. But this is not the new era to which we refer. Nor are we talking about the much more important “era of being consistently better than the Yankees,” for whose predecessor you will have to go back more than 20 years, as the year 2000 does not count—for one, eras must last more than one year, unless it is the Bobby Valentine era in Boston, which felt very much longer than its actual 10 months, and, secondly, because superior regular-season records are erased when one loses to the inferior record-holder in the World Series. Nor, sadly, do we refer to the Steve Cohen era, which promised decades of consecutive championships before it was cruelly snuffed out for eternity by Yankees fan Preet Bharara prior to his own recent (and apparently permanent) ruin, precluding him from buying the letters that announced the name of his favorite team’s former home.
No, if it were possible, we refer to an even more tragic turn of events in Mets history. For this season marks the opening of a dark and eternal chapter in the story of the Flushing Metropolitans: the bullpen-cart-is-definitely-never-coming-back era. Because said bullpen cart has been sold, by a hedge-fund recruiter who once saw it sitting around a Long Island body shop, obviously, and probably not to the Mets, although Bartolo Colon could probably use the ride this afternoon in D.C.
A historic New York Mets bullpen cart was purchased for $112,500 at auction on Wednesday night at Sotheby's….
"Immortalized by its dramatic appearance at the monumental 1986 World Series Championship in which it entered the field of play following the culmination of the Game 7 win, it promptly ran out of power, adding further delight to the victory celebration.
Its failure to return home is, like the Cubs’ defeat last night, a dark omen. For while the Mets may return to winning more games than they lose this year, they shall never hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy while the bullpen cart remains exiled to some guy’s garage to be micturated upon by wild dogs.