Another storyline to add to this Sunday’s Opening Night showdown between the Mets and Royals is making waves in the news today. According to to Newsday’s Marc Carig, multiple industry sources have told him, that the Royals are planning to seek retribution against the Mets and Noah Syndergaard on Opening Night. The Royals still seem to be upset over Syndergaard’s fastball thrown over the head of Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, in Game 3 of the World Series.
While the Royals have reason to protect one of their own, it seems a bit foolish for them to consider retaliating against the Mets now. The Royals had three opportunities to retaliate against Syndergaard and the Mets in the World Series if they weren’t happy with the high and tight pitch. They could’ve thrown inside to a Mets hitter if they felt the need to deliver a message back. It shouldn’t even matter at this point, because the bigger message sent by the Royals was the Mets being on the losing end of the World Series in their own house. Now the Royals get to raise their World Series banner on Opening Night in all of it’s glory in front of the Mets, and receive their World Series rings on Tuesday in front of the Mets. For them to want to add injury to insult just seems a bit petty and low to me if indeed true. And by injury I mean the inevitable plunking of a Mets hitter.
Syndergaard had claimed ahead of Game 3 that he was going to take control of the inside part of the plate, and Escobar had a habit of having his body comfortably over the plate during the first two games of the series. Syndergaard did not hit Escobar, and simply threw him high and tight to move him off the plate. This does not deserve a retaliation of Chase Utley proportions, who had broken Ruben Tejada’s leg last postseason on a clearly dirty but deemed legal slide.
The Royals were also in numerous bench clearing brawls last season, and while I absolutely love the grind it out, gritty approach they have, the fighting act is getting a bit old from them. It is reported that Mets officials have heard of the threat, but it hasn’t made its way to the clubhouse yet. Expect it to reach the clubhouse by the end of today’s game against the Marlins.
The Mets have shown as of last season they will not be pushed around by opposing teams, and I don’t believe they will allow themselves to be bullied by the champions. If the Royals want to add gasoline to the Mets burning fire of having to be in that stadium with all the celebrations going on in front of them, the first two games will be surrounded with even more intrigue than expected.