The Mets come up with an Opening Day surprise for the fans, after all

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Citi Field. (paul.hadsall, via flickr)
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The Mets' new pricing plan for Opening Day is ... really something.

Twitter, and even some of the more patient and good-natured Mets blogs, came alive on Monday when the team buried a bit of good news—their decision to make single-game and small ticket packs available months earlier than in previous seasons—beneath a massive jump in prices for Opening Day, Monday April 1 against the San Diego Padres.

Last season, $42 got you a ticket in Promenade Reserved on Opening Day, which is the fancy name for the cheap seats at Citi Field. This season, those seats are going for $63, an increase of 50 percent. Promenade Reserved Infield, $55 in 2012 for Opening Day, is $84 this season, a 53 percent jump. And even the more expensive seats increased in price, with Metropolitan Box, for instance, moving from $215 per ticket to $245.

It's an odd decision, and one which seems to fly in the face of the basic rules of supply and demand.

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For many years, Opening Day was an easy sellout for the New York Mets, the way it is for teams across Major League Baseball. Even the Marlins used to draw strong crowds on Opening Day in their old stadium.

But that was not the case in 2012, when the Mets struggled to sell out Opening Day last season at their old prices. Now, they'll be asking fans to pay much more, but they're doing so months earlier.

This reflects what seems to be a club policy heading into 2013, with season ticket prices going up, some plan prices increasing dramatically, and all of it tied to access to the 2013 All-Star Game. (They're not included, of course: the perk is the right to purchase those tickets, for a lot of money.)

It will be fascinating to see just how close the 2013 Mets come to selling out Opening Day, or how many tickets will need to be given away late to pad the crowd and the announced total (which is tickets sold, not fans in seats), whatever it looks like inside the stadium.

What else are the Mets doing to get their fans excited for next season? The best-case scenario for the off-season now seems to be the one in which they retain the two best players from a 74-win team. And that prospect remains very much up in the air, with the Post reporting David Wright is only a 50-50 bet to return to the team, with R.A. Dickey still unsigned as well.

My daughter, who accompanied me to that magical season finale in September, told me this morning she wanted to go to a baseball game "and see David Wright and R.A. Dickey!"

I told her I'd love to take her, but I didn't know if we'd be seeing Wright and Dickey.

"OK daddy," she replied. "Let's just watch the rest of them."

If only the grown-ups were so understanding.

Elsewhere in New York sports:

KNICKS

The 7-1 start has a lot to do with a lack of turnovers.

NETS

The Nets see what might have been when they face Dwight Howard's Lakers Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

SOCCER

The New York Cosmos have a coach, and it is Metrostars great Giovanni Savarese.

The New York Red Bulls don't have a coach, and let much of their disappointing 2012 team go Monday.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Top-ranked Indiana beat Georgia, while a Shabazz Muhammad-powered U.C.L.A. lost to Georgetown at the Barclays Center Monday night. Indiana will face Georgetown at Barclays Tuesday night.

In Maui, Butler beat Marquette, 72-71, on this shot.