Mets Are Good Boys About Hats
You may be aware that the Mets players wanted to wear the hats of first responders to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11. You may also know they were denied the request. How do you feel about the Mets players’ decision to respect MLB’s denial?
The Mets wanted to wear caps honoring police, firefighters and other first responders like the ones they wore on Sept. 21, 2001, in the first professional sporting event in New York after the World Trade Center collapsed 10 days earlier. And they spoke with Torre on several occasions over the course of the last month.
“They certainly understood and respected,” baseball’s decision, Torre said. “I certainly understood what they wanted to do in regards to wearing the hats. I used my history with the fact that we were in the World Series 10 years ago.”
During the 2001 World Series, the Yankees wore caps with emergency service logos during a pregame ceremony, but wore their blue hats with a white interlocking “NY” for the games.
Torre also said there was recent precedence for the policy. The Washington Nationals wanted to wear caps honoring the Navy SEALs that were killed in Afghanistan in early August and the team was allowed to wear them pregame.
The Mets said in a statement Sunday they followed the guidelines set in a league-wide memo issued by MLB for games played on Sept 11.
Some Mets wore caps, such as “NYPD” and “FDNY,” during batting practice. Player representative Josh Thole said he and his teammates were contemplated wearing those caps during the game.
“I think it will be a nice gesture,” Thole said. “What are they going to do fine us?”
Several minutes later he returned and said the caps were a “no-go” because he was told the league was adamant.
“If we got a vote in, I think we’d want to wear the hats,” David Wright said, “but at the end of the day Major League Baseball makes that call, and we’re going to respect that.”
Instead, the Mets wore their black caps with blue brims and a blue-and-orange interlocking “NY” when they took the field to face the Cubs.
I don’t get it — why didn’t anyone (or everyone) rail against the ruling and step out on the field with a NYPD, NYFD, or similar hat? What was going to happen if they did? Get fined? This was an opportunity for someone (David Wright, I’m talking to you) to stand up for something, unite the team, and emerge as a true leader.
Torre talked about using his “history”; well, the Mets could have used theirs in this situation. It was ten years ago that Todd Zeile, Robin Ventura, and other Mets decided that they were going to wear hats collected from first responders at Ground Zero. MLB told them “no way”. As Zeile related during the ESPN telecast last night, “We told them that someone is going to have to come down on to the field and rip the hats from our heads — and we meant it, because that’s how we felt.” And guess what? The Mets continued to wear those hats for the rest of the season — despite MLB not wavering from their ruling. What happened? Nothing. MLB did nothing, because they couldn’t. If they did, there would be a massive public outcry.
Granted, the feelings — of everyone — ten years ago were much stronger. And the hats that Zeile, Ventura, Edgardo Alfonzo, and others wore were actual hats from Ground Zero. But this was a special occasion, being the 10-year anniversary. It’s not like the Mets try to wear the responders hats every year on 9/11 (though I think they should). David Wright had the “audacity” to wear a NYPD hat in the dugout, between innings. Woopty-doo. What if Wright ran out to his third base position with the NYPD hat still on his head? What would have possibly happened? Was an umpire going to tell David to take it off? Maybe. Was Terry Collins going to scream at David? Unlikely. Would the Citi Field crowd have given Wright a standing ovation? Probably. Would Wright have established himself as the true leader of this young ballclub, and earned the respect of his teammates? Absolutely.
I have to wonder, if R.A. Dickey were pitching last night, might he have had the gumption to walk on to the mound wearing a NYPD hat?
But instead, all the Mets were good little boys, following the rules set forth by big bad Bud Selig and his “muscle” Joe Torre. We are so proud of them, making sure to do as they are told. Very good corporate boys, respecting the corporate standards. It’s good business, because you never know when you might need MLB to bail you out with a $25M loan or something.
What do you think? Should the Mets have worn the responders hats, if that’s what they wanted to do? And if they did, do you think that MLB could have gotten away with fining them, in the court of public opinion?