Opening Day starter Tylor Megill has the fans on his side

Jul 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill (38)
Jul 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill (38) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tylor Megill is set to do something pretty special. He’s going to start Opening Day for the New York Mets. And while some may think it’s a laughable LOLMETS moment, let’s give this a little context.

An Opening Day starter means practically nothing. It’s pizza day at work to motivate the staff when really what everyone wants is a raise. It’s the girl you’re in love with telling you she loves you too then adds “like a brother” before she stops and takes a breath. It’s pretty meaningless. It’s one game of 162. You don’t remember the first letter of your alphabet soup you ate.

Despite not being the top choice when the lockout ended, Megill has emerged as the most logical one given the short notice. Mets fans are wisely embracing it. He has the fans on his side.

Tylor Megill is hardly the most random Mets Opening Day starter

Everyone remembers Bartolo Colon in 2015. Even Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey got cracks at starting the first game of the season. A little further back, there was Randy Jones in 1982 and then Mike Torrez in 1984. While Jones had won a Cy Young in the past, he’s a forgettable Mets player. When you think of Opening Day starters, you don’t think of him.

Before Jones’ year, Pat Zachry got his chance to start for the Mets on Opening Day in 1981. He’s more than just the answer to a trivia question about who was traded for Tom Seaver, Mr. Opening Day Starter.

Megill entered camp hoping for a roster spot. Jacob deGrom’s injury cleared the way for far more than that. He became a virtual lock to make the roster once deGrom went down. With Max Scherzer also feeling his age, an opportunity opened up. Buck Showalter needed someone fresh and prepared for Thursday’s game. Megill swiped right on the idea.

Yeah, this wasn’t how anybody scripted it. But given how Megill was an unknown minor leaguer a year ago and is now the Opening Day starter seems to feed the sports fans who enjoy a good underdog story. I’m guilty of it.

Fans of other teams will rip the Mets when they realize who is getting the ball on Opening Day. Let them have it. Today is the only one where many of them will get to see their team in first place. Let’s allow those underdogs to be letdown by their own team.

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