As we get ready for opening day tomorrow, our reporter Dylan Kuhn was in Syracuse with the Mets on Tuesday to see how their busy preseason travel schedule is affecting them for the season.
To celebrate the Mets new Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Mets, the big league club traveled up to Central New York and held their final spring training practice at the Carrier Dome open to fans.
Not everyone was thrilled about the unique event.
While players, specifically starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard were very vocal about their displeasure of having to come to Syracuse 2 days before opening day, fans had a very different outlook on the event.
“It’s really exciting for me to see the Big Leaguers in action without having to go to New York City. I think it’s great that they’re doing this for our city,” said Syracuse resident Mark Watson.
“Very excited it’s awesome I get to meet all the young players that are going up and all the old players that are gonna be up and down all year,” Evan Brockway says.
Part of Noah’s complaint was having to travel from Sarasota on Monday, to Syracuse on Tuesday, and then having to go to D.C on Thursday for opening day without settling in at home.
Despite the travel, outfielder Brandon Nimmo had a positive view of the trip.
“We all have our own opinions and we’re allowed to express them but I was excited to get here. I think it turned out real well and Noah embraced it,” says Nimmo.
After spending some time in the dome and interacting with fans, Syndergaard seemed to come around.
At the end of the practice, he took a Syracuse Orange flag around the whole football field before bringing it in to the logo at midfield.
“That’s Noah, that’s Noah, he’s great I think that he understands how special this was for all the fans and he wanted to do something special for them,” Manager Mickey Callaway said.
The Mets plane was delayed over three hours Monday night, making the players that weren’t excited to go to Syracuse a little more upset initially.
But after experiencing everything baseball in the dome had to offer, the mood shifted.
“Actually now that it’s happened I’d say it was a better thing than leaving on time. Because a lot of guys got to express their opinions and kind of decide how we want to approach the season,” Nimmo added.
“It was pretty neat. I think that anytime you get to do something a little different and still get a lot of work out of it, it’s pretty special. I know the guys kind of walked out there and were like wow they did a great job of preparing that,” says Callaway. “To see kids happy and smiling because they get to see Noah Syndergaard or guys like that, that’s what this is all about.”
We’ll see how the extra travel affected the Mets on Thursday against the Nationals.
In Syracuse, Dylan Kuhn, NewsChannel 34.