As everyone was aware of, Sunday marked the ten year anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack that brought down the Twin Towers and forever changed the perception of safety across America. To honor those that fell in the attacks and those that stepped up, sports teams across the country chipped in with their own remembrances and tokens of honor. Unfortunately, not every planned act was allowed as the New York Mets found out first hand before their game Sunday.
Apparently, the New York Mets, whose game was moved to primetime because of 9-11, was wanting to wear a special hat to commemorate those who were the first responders on that fateful day. The MLB, more specifically Commissioner Bud Selig, apparently took offense with the act and decided that the hats were not to be worn.
The degree of which the MLB offices protested it is being reported as lightly. Apparently, according to MLB disciplinary czar Joe Torre, all the league did was sent a memo to the Mets saying that they should wear the supplied hats that bore the small flag on the side and not the commemorative ones.
"Nothing was ordered," Torre said during an interview on Sirius XM Radio. "I think they were sent a memo, but in no way was it heavy-handed. I don't think money was ever an issue or they were ever threatened with a heavy-fisted fine. If that's the case, I have no knowledge of it."
This story was leaked to the New York Post by Mets officials on Monday and has blown up on the MLB nationwide. It has become a major public gaffe for the league and has even got to the point where it is a major distraction for the Mets themselves.
"What's the attention been since we walked into the ballpark today? It's not on who we're playing, it's not on who's pitching. We all want to know which kind of hat we're going to wear tonight. And that takes away from the game," Manager Terry Collins said Monday. "It all takes away from their preparation. They're all being asked questions that they're afraid to make an answer, they're afraid to say the wrong thing. We've got to start focusing on what the game is, because, when it's all said and done, that's all that matters."
While it is sad that the New York Mets of all teams couldn't wear the hats they wanted, it's even more sad that this story has blown up to the point where it overshadows the people they were supposed to be honoring. They are just hats people, the real tribute is the sentiment behind them.
For the record though, the now infamous hats were put on a table in the clubhouse and were signed for charity so at least something good came of them.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS