There's a nice bit of symmetry to the fact that Nelson Figueroa will throw the first pitch of the first game of the rest of the Mets' lives on Tuesday afternoon in Port St. Lucie.
Figueroa threw a complete game shutout to end the 2009 season, a gem that was out of place amid the wreckage of the season but a gem nonetheless. Whether it was the team's intent or not, it's nice to give him a shot to throw a game in front of happy eyes instead of the few unhappy diehards who caught his last outing.
It doesn't really matter all that much who's pitching, though, does it? It's baseball! After going without for so long, no one is going to be picky about who is on the field. They're on the field, they're flashing signs and they're sliding into second. That's enough.
Charles Manson could be throwing to Pol Pot and we'd be watching with a big, dumb smile just because it meant that another season is getting underway. It's hard to imagine that there are any members of the Mets organization or fans of the team that feel any differently.
There's no more reason to discuss last year, no more reason to rehash old gripes and no more reason to wax pessimistic on the season to come. Today, all troubles get checked at the door and the only thing that matters are the sounds of a red-stitched ball slapping into a leather glove or flying off a wooden bat. It's an exciting day, treat it as such.
How exciting? Even the weather seems to know that there is important business to transact. It's been raining cats and dogs in Port St. Lucie all morning but the weather report calls for things to clear up in time for first pitch.
If you're the sort of person who likes a little symbolism with your Spring Training, you could even say that Mother Nature is providing the perfect introduction to this season. The clouds part to reveal a shining sun for the year to come. No one can ask for more than that. Not in March, anyway.