Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baseball and 9/11

Jose Reyes wore a first-responder cap
before the Mets game on  Sunday.
I'm not a Bud Selig hater. Without him there would be no team in Milwaukee, and while I don't like many of his decisions, I think he does love the game and is doing what he believes is the right thing. But his reaction to the flap over the New York Mets wardrobe choice for Sunday's game on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks has me mystified.

For whatever reason, Major League Baseball decided that teams had to wear their own caps with an American flag sewn on the side. This presented a problem for the Mets. The team famously hosted the first sporting event in New York after the attacks. Players wore hats representing many of the first responders—firefighters, police, EMS etc.—and were lionized for the gesture.

This year, Mets players wanted to repeat the gesture. But MLB said no. Joe Torre, now a member of the league office, explained that baseball wanted all the teams to do the same thing. Although that sounds more like the NFL than MLB, apparently the league has the authority to make that call.

The Mets weren't happy about it but complied under protest. The strange thing is that Selig is upset that the Mets went public with the dispute and "embarrassed" the league. Did he really think no one notice the Mets were wearing their regular caps or that no reporter would ask about it? And if Selig thought it was the right decision why is he embarrassed that it became public?

It seems obvious that in hindsight Selig knows the decision was wrong. No harm would have been done if the Mets had worn the special caps. The controversy was predictable and avoidable.

By the way, even the NFL allowed coaches to wear FDNY and other such hats on the sidelines of its game over the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I noticed the caps during the Dallas/Jets game and though it was a nice gesture. I can't believe the MLB had a problem, especially for a NY-based team! The only thing Selig should be embarassed about is not allowing the Mets to honor the NY police and fire fighters any way they wanted.


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