KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The historic Opening Day World Series rematch between the Mets and Royals was a happy accident. The 2016 schedule was released in early September, before anyone knew the teams would meet in late October.
(The game originally was scheduled for Monday, April 4, before being moved to Sunday night.)
But as far as SNY analyst Ron Darling is concerned, it should not require a fortunate quirk.
Asked before Sunday night’s game whether he thinks the rematch is “cool,” Darling said, “I think it’s way more than cool. I think it should happen every year.
“Instead of having the schedule come out in September so someone can have a hotel ready in Kansas City, whoever plays in the World Series, make that first interleague game be the World Series [rematch], every year. Simple.
“I wish Major League Baseball would wait until Nov. 1 to release the schedule, to see who is in the World Series. That’s who plays in a two-game mini-set starting Sunday night on ESPN.”
Darling’s SNY partner and former Mets teammate Keith Hernandez said he finds the matchup “amazing.”
“This just happened,” he said. “There are 30 teams and the dice rolled out like this. It’s incredible.”
Hernandez is no fan of interleague play in general, but he acknowledged the specialness of the situation.
Speaking of interesting, what would it have been like to have the Mets and Red Sox open the 1987 regular season against one another after their epic meeting in the ’86 Series?
“It would have been very interesting, that’s for sure,” Hernandez said. “It would have been a barnburner. It would have been [Roger] Clemens against Doc [Gooden].” (Actually, Gooden began the ‘87 season in rehab.)
Said Darling: “That would have been unbelievably cool.”