The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals brought last year’s Major League Baseball season to a close. Together again, they will open the new one. The Mets, who lost the 2015 World Series to the Royals in five games, will be the Royals’ 2016 opening day opponent in Kansas City Sunday, when the Royals will raise their World Series championship flag before the start of the game. If that’s not irritating enough for the Mets and their fans, the Royals will present their players with their championship rings before the start of Game 2 of the two-game home stand, scheduled for Tuesday.

Pitcher Matt Harvey is expected to start on opening day against the Royals, although he had a health scare concerning blood clots and a bladder infection earlier this week.

“When you heard the word clot, it can send some shivers through your skin,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “Fortunately, it worked out all right. He feels good.” Collins plans to ready Harvey for Sunday. “He’s got medical clearance to do whatever he has to do and he’ll be ready to go.”

The Mets will open up Citi Field to raise their fifth pennant in their franchise history next Friday, April 8, for a six-game, six-day home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies for the first three games and the Florida Marlins the next three.

There are several interesting trends, or dynamics, that will have to be played out this season. First, can the Royals, the defending champions who lost the World Series in seven games to the San Francisco Giants in 2014, repeat this year? And can the Mets at least defend their position as the National League champions?

The Giants are also in this equation. They’ve won the World Series every other year since 2010 (2012 and 2014). Will they be contenders this season? And what about the Chicago Cubs? The Cubs, who won seven more games than the Mets (97-65) last year, 2015, also beat them each of the seven times that they played during the regular season. Amazingly, Chicago was swept by the Mets, 4-0, in the National League Championship series. Will Chicago’s adjustments make them just as good, or better, during the regular season? What about the post season, October and November? And how can you talk about the Mets and not mention their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees, whose fans will not hesitate to remind you that they’ve won 27 World Series and 40 American League pennants over the years?

The Yankees, 87-75 last season, haven’t won a championship or pennant since beating the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Their first chip since defeating the Mets in 2000. They lost a one-game Wild Card playoff to the Houston Astros last year and will start their new season Monday at home in the Bronx against the Astros—a three-game series.

The Yanks are starting the season off amid controversy. Nearly a million homes surrounding the New York City tristate area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, will not be able to watch their games on television because of a dispute between the Yankees’ YES Network and Comcast, the cable provider, over fees. YES, one of the most expensive channels on cable systems, is seeking to raise their fee from $5.36 per month to approximately $6.00 per month per subscriber.

The Yankees claim that Comcast wants to raise prices and provide less service to its customers.

On the field, lefty relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who the Yankees acquired during the off-season from the Cincinnati Reds for four minor league prospects, must sit out the first 30 games of their 162-game schedule—discipline handed down by Major League Baseball because of a domestic violence incident that occurred between Chapman and his girlfriend in his home last October. Chapman is the first player to be penalized under Major League Baseball’s new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy.

“We acquired him understanding, knowing and expecting that there was a period of time that he would not be available to us,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, during a press conference to announce the signing and to specifically address and explain the situation at hand.

“We felt this was an opportunity for us to add a big arm to our bullpen, even though there are some things that are unresolved, and we will respect that process as it plays out,” Cashman further stated.

The Cuban born Chapman, 28, a National League All-Star the past four seasons, who defected in 2009, admitted to police that he fired eight gunshots into the wall of his garage after an argument with his girlfriend, who alleged that he choked her. Chapman was not arrested by police or charged with a crime. The suspension will cost him $1,856,557 of his $11,325,000 salary. He was able to work out with the Yankees during spring training but cannot appear on the team’s regular-season roster until May 9. Chapman will then join left-hander Andrew Miller and right-hander Dellin Betances in the late innings, 7th, 8th and 9th, giving the Yankees the top three strikeout relievers in the major leagues.

Chapman first attempted to defect from Cuba in the spring of 2008, but failed. Cuban President Raúl Castro gave him a conditional reprieve, suspending him from the Cuban baseball season and keeping him off Cuba’s national team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was allowed to play Cuban baseball in 2009 and to play in the World Baseball Classic.

Chapman successfully defected while in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the Cuban national team was then playing. On July 1, 2009, Chapman walked out of the front door of the team’s hotel and got into a waiting car driven by an acquaintance. He eventually established residency in Andorra, a sovereign state in southwestern Europe, bordered by Spain and France,and petitioned Major League Baseball to be granted free-agent status. Six months later, in January 2010, Chapman was signed to a six-year deal with the Reds. He made his major league debut Aug. 31, 2010, in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. His first pitch, a strike, was clocked at 98 miles per hour.

In a prepared statement, Chapman said, “I accepted a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 30, 2015. I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to my actions, and for that I am sorry.”

Chapman added, “I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family. I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title.”

From the most expensive seats behind the plate to the “bleacher creatures” out in right, Section 203, Yankee fans want their 28th.