NEW YORK -- Their fall from first place hasn't put the Mets in "wait till next year" mode. But now, though they don't know where they will be come October, they know what April will bring. The Mets will begin their 48th season in Cincinnati and not christen their new home, Citi Field, until April 13.
Those are first steps they are to take in 2009, according to the schedule released Wednesday by Major League Baseball. The Mets will play the Reds on Monday, April 6, in one of 14 games scheduled for the season's first day, move on to Miami after three games to play a weekend series against the Marlins and then open the new home, their third home, against the Padres at night on April 13.
Their '09 season opener will mark the third time the Mets have begun a season in Cincinnati. They did so in 1984 and 2005. They played the Padres in the first game of their 1997 season, but that game was in San Diego.
The schedule also includes their fourth-ever visit to Fenway Park (May 22-24), three games in Baltimore (June 16-18), a visit to Citi Fiield by the Rays (June 19-21) and, of course, two Interleague series against the Yankee. The Mets will make their first appearance the new Yankee Stadium June 12-14 and then play the Yankees in Queens June 26-28. Yankee Stadium is to open April 16. The Indians are to be the first visiting team in what will be the latest opening home game of the season.
The Blue Jays are the only American League East team the Mets are not scheduled to play.
The only other wrinkles in the Mets' 2009 schedule include an inordinately high number of four-game series -- seven; the Mets playing the Cardinals in three series -- the first in St. Louis in April and then at Citi Field in June and August -- and having their road series against the Cubs in late August linked to their visit to Denver in early September.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.