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Major League Baseball denies the Mets the right to wear 9/11 tribute caps

Sep 11, 2011, 8:59 PM EDT

Reyes cap

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Exhibit A, Major League Baseball.

The Mets — the team which in many ways served as the focal point of baseball’s return after 9/11 — had petitioned to allow players to wear NYPD and NYFD tribute caps in honor of the 10th anniversary. Just as they did after 9/11 itself.  MLB denied it, however, issuing a league-wide memo on uniforms, saying teams must wear their everyday caps with a small flag on the side instead. A no-go for the Mets. A ruling to which they adhered for tonight’s game (the Mets lost to the Cubs 10-6  in 11 innings). A stupid, stupid ruling to which they adhered.

Yes, Major League Baseball routinely denies the requests of teams to alter their caps in any way and yes, it’s understandable. There was a trend several years ago of players writing messages to injured teammates and friends and stuff, and baseball felt the need to crack down lest caps turn into the next generation of Jim McMahon headbands. I get it.

But this is just idiotic.  No one’s sensibilities would have been offended by this. Given that the tribute was to be tied to this, the anniversary of a date set in time, it would not open the door to other unofficial hats or “tributes” to more questionable causes. Baseball’s decision here makes no sense to me. It’s mindless adherence to a rule and, ultimately, it’s heartless in effect.

Bad move, Bud. Bad move.

  1. shawon0meter - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    I saw David Wright wearing an NYPD hat in the dugout at least…good for him.

  2. Old Gator - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    The problem with Torre’s stupid decision is that the terrorists attacked New York and Washington; they weren’t “consistent” about hitting every major league city equally, you know?

    Boy, it didn’t take Joe Torre very long to turn into a bureaucratic bagman for Bus Light’s imbecility, did it?

  3. hank10 - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    So instead of allowing the Mets to wear tribute caps once a year, MLB subjects the players and fans to those atrocious red white and blue caps on those ‘special days’. Which, by the way, is technically a desecration of the American flag. Of course, let’s not forget that the NYPD hats do not bring in $$$$ to MLB’s coffers. Instead of a field of blue with white stars, MLB would rather see a sea of green with white dollar signs.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Found this on Twitter…they allowed this in PIttsburgh a couple years back, but not the NYPD/FYPD caps? Why?

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    The Mets should have done it anyway. Seriously, what was Selig and his minions going to do about it?

    • bleedgreen - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      I know, right? Would they REALLY have the balls to fine them? That would be the WORST PR you could imagine. Yeah… go ahead Bud. That’ll go over well with your boys in Congress…

    • gammagammahey - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      Dickey said on Twitter that they were going to but MLB got word and came down to literally confiscate the hats.

  6. gmf1991 - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    The Mets vendors are selling the hats in the stadium. Just makes no sense.

    • kellyb9 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      I imagine it has more to do with the uniform vendors (new era and so forth) than anything else. I remember when Chad Ochocinco changes his name a few years back, but couldn’t change it on his jersey because a lot of people would lose money on the Chad Johnson jerseys they had already made. He had to wait a year.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Hey, what Bud did was sort of lame, but it’s not like he denied proper healthcare to those NYPD and NYFD first responders who are suffering from cancer related to the toxic environment on 9/11. Now THAT would be crazy…

    • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:24 AM

      If Bud had the power to deny it, he probably would have. Staunch Republican that he is, he’d’ve viewed it as “socialism.” Fortunately, he only had power over the caps in this particular instance.

  8. hook2435 - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    I thought baseball was suppose to be as American Apple Pie. MLB official should be reminded of this. All these players wanted to do was show that unlike the MLB, they did NOT forget 09/11…

  9. tuftsb - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Coaches for football teams in New Jersey were wearing NYPD and FDNY hats while a baseball team in NYC was not allowed to do so. Huh?

  10. bbk1000 - Sep 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Do you really expect anything else from Selig? Between his disheveled, almost dirty appearance and his condescending way of speaking to the public to his twisted outlook of the game this guy shows time and time again he is severely lacking in common sense.

    You would think someone who wants more than anything else to leave a “legacy” as commissioner he would have given the thumbs up on this request.

  11. bambam08 - Sep 12, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    E- MLB

  12. kellyb9 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    In Major League Baseball’s defense, they only had 10 years to plan for this.

    • trevorb06 - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Comment of the day. Oakland fans cringe at this.


  13. shaggylocks - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    I hereby award one Stargell Star to Bud Selig, ironically.

  14. southpaw2k - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    So why exactly could the Yankees and Mets wear NYPD and FDNY hats in 2001 immediately following the attacks and not now? Did they act in defiance over Selig and MLB back then, or did the league grant them permission to wear the hats? And if they did act in defiance, why did the Mets tuck tail now?

    I think drmonkeyarmy was right – the Mets should have just gone ahead and worn the hats. Lance Briggs went on record last week that he was going to wear red, white, and blue cleats at the Bears game Sunday despite the NFL’s dress code (this was before the NFL gave the formal okay for any player to wear the alternate cleats for yesterday’s games). It would’ve been a classy move on the Mets’ part and they would’ve been untouchable by the empty suits.

    • gammagammahey - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      The Mets did act in defiance of MLB in 2001. And the players said said they were going to again last night before MLB physically stepped in and stopped them.

  15. mozart56 - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    This is just another sign that Baseball is Americas pastime . . . WAY Past it’s Time!

    • trevorb06 - Sep 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      Go to the football blog with the rest of the meatheads.

      Note: I don’t believe all commenters on the football blog are meatheads… I just believe the meatheads congregate there. We already have our meatheads here, we just call them Phillies Phans.

  16. The Baseball Idiot - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Bud should have let them wear the hats. He said no. End of story. This isn’t a big deal.

    There are lots of ways to honor people and events.

    Respect isn’t something you wear. It’s something you feel.

    No one’s opinion of what those guys did that day is going to change either way because of a baseball cap.

    • gammagammahey - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      Exactly. MLB goofed this one up but it shouldn’t be the takeaway from this game. Chris Schwinden (Mets pitcher) said it really well on Twitter last night after explaining how the hats were taken away from them by MLB.

      “Sorry to disappoint you guys. That ceremony was unbelievable. I don’t need a hat to show that I am respectful of every unit that was there. Wish I could of worn the hat though.”

  17. peed1 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Leave it to MLB to be idiotic. So out of step with the country

  18. bbk1000 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    HBT should make this thread a sticky, there should be some that don’t go away until a satisfactory answer is received….

  19. The Rabbit - Sep 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    This is why you are a blogger and I’m not. This would be my entire post.
    When I heard this last night during the Mets game, my immediate reaction was, “MLB Management. What a bunch of A**holes! Why would MLB deliberately alienate its fanbase over a “rule” that is irrelevant in this unique situation?”
    I could only arrrive at two conclusions, both of which make me want to barf:
    1) MLB owners couldn’t make a buck off of the caps.
    2) MLB doesn’t see first responders/public service employees as its target demographic; therefore, it doesn’t care if it pissed them off. In addition, MLB ownership is so out of touch with the average citizen that it couldn’t foresee any negative impact.
    We know that MLB ownership representatives targets large corporations and the wealthy. All I can say is see how well that worked out for the economy, mid-size businesses, and this country when politicians sold out to those groups’ lobbyists. Just plain stupid!

  20. colonialcylon - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Worst commish in sports. Ever.

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