The Mets were already facing an insanely quick turnaround from Wednesday to Thursday -- having to play a 6:10 p.m. game in Miami on Wednesday before flying home for a 1:10 p.m. home opener on Thursday. And then they were delayed even further.
After defeating the Marlins on Wednesday night, the Mets were forced to undergo random drug testing -- administered on behalf of MLB by a third-party. That random testing kept them at the ballpark until 11 p.m., and they didn't arrive back at Citi Field until roughly 2:45 a.m.
And the usually happy Brandon Nimmo was not pleased -- nor were most of his teammates.
"We were like, well, that really tops things off," Nimmo said, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. "[Mets players were] definitely upset about it. It's random and you gotta to do what you gotta do. It's just part of the game. It was unfortunate. It's bad timing. It made a short night even shorter -- especially for the home opener. But it's part of baseball, you just have to roll with the punches."
Nimmo added that the Mets had to wait longer than expected because they couldn't leave until Dominic Smith had to pee so he could provide his sample. That didn't happen until slightly before 11 p.m.
Home teams have the ability to choose which time their games start, and knowing that the Marlins chose a 6:10 p.m. game for getaway day, the Mets could've chosen months ago to play a night game on Opening Day. Or a 4:10 p.m. game. But they shouldn't have had to. Opening Day is traditionally an afternoon game, and the Mets shouldn't have been forced to alter that. Instead, the league should've stepped in and forced the Marlins to change their Wednesday game to a day game.
But arguably more egregious than the Mets being forced to play a night game before flying home for a day game is the fact that they were forced to undergo random drug testing afterwards. Literally any other day or night should have been chosen.
Through the whole mess, though, one player who was not impacted was Pete Alonso. He was amped up before the game. "I didn't need coffee this morning," he said. "I'm real excited."