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The Mets will wear first responder caps on 9/11, but not during the game

Sep 7, 2012, 9:43 AM EDT

Reyes cap

Last year there was a controversy in which the Mets wanted to wear first responder caps — FDNY and NYPD caps and the like, as we saw after 9/11 — but Major League Baseball told them they couldn’t.

In my view that was a stupid decision. I still haven’t heard a good rationale for it. It’s not like this opens the floodgates for other teams to wear unofficial caps. To suggest it would is to ignore the pretty obvious fact that 9/11 was far more significant — and especially significant to New York — than any other sort of tragedy that may inspire a team to wear irregular gear.  I know people feel uncomfortable with such distinctions, but you can draw a line between 9/11 and, say, a massacre that kills 20 people or something.

Anyway, that decision by MLB last year angered the Mets, who considered going rogue and wearing the FDNY/NYPD hats anyway, risking fines.  They ultimately relented, however.  This year there will be no such controversy, as the league and the team have reached an agreement:

To mark Tuesday’s 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Mets will continue their long-standing tradition of wearing first responder caps, though only during batting practice and the national anthem. The Mets will don their regular uniform caps for their game against the Washington Nationals.

Still nice, I suppose. But I think the Mets should be allowed to wear them during games when far more people can see them.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    This is such a douche bag stance by MLB and all of a sudden cool Bud. Why? because they can’t make any money off of this? If that’s the case, why not make a deal with the first responders and sell officially licensed first responder hats with the MLB logo on them?

    Why, for what good reason, can they not do this one day out of the year?

    I wish the players would go rogue. If the league were to fine them, man, that would be some outrage.

    It’s blindly ridiculous, total effing nonsense.

    • mattyflex - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      If I remember correctly the problem was with New Era, which of course is the official cap of MLB. It didn’t get much media because people were busy blaming the MLB for it. I don’t believe they were actually the driving force behind the issue. New Era and whoever they were trying to get a contract with couldn’t come to terms on a deal, for whatever reason on whichever side, and since New Era is the only hat that is licensed to be worn by the players in game, they scratched the idea all together.

      I agree that it is completely ridiculous, and nonsense, but I think New Era, or whoever holds graphical rights to whatever logo they were trying to use might actually be to blame in this instance.

      • paperlions - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Yep, and as you can read below….people still love blaming the wrong people for unpopular decisions.

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        Please tell me you’re not taking the baseball suits off the hook here. What would New Era do if MLB gave the OK to wear the hats? Sue? LMAO, can you imagine the PR nightmare?

        No, they’re *both* guilty parties here.

      • kevinleaptrot - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        I am shocked, SHOCKED, mattyflex, that you would infer that money somehow played into this boneheaded decision by MLB. This goes against everything that Bud Selig stands for.

    • cur68 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      hyeblue; this has my vote. I’d love it if one or all of the players raised the metaphorical finger at MLB and just kept the caps on whole game. What would MLB do? Look like utter A-Holes? Risk the outrage of a nation? I bet they do nothing. Not a thing. Darth Bud would “harraumph” once or twice. His Official Lackey, Torre would make some winding and contradictory comment to the press, but ultimately nothing would happen to punish anyone for it. And the police, fire department, EMT and the rest of the FRs would just love it. We’d all love it. The Mets would be known for something besides losing a butt-load of games, too. Something cool. For a change.

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        cur, it’s ass clownery at it’s best.

    • hojo20 - Sep 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      They’re the NY Mets, not the NYPD.

  2. beefytrout - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Absolute horsesh!t on the part of MLB.

    • natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      I don’t get this. The Nats have patriotic uniforms (which they would be wearing on Sept 11 if it were a home game), the Padres wear camo. This is stupid on MLB’s part. The Mets should put the First Responders caps into the mix as an “alternate” uni, period.

      • chill1184 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        Are those the Navy blue jerseys with the W logo in a US flag color scheme? If so those unis are pretty cool.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        Yup, that’s the jersey to which natslady referred.

      • Steve A - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        As mattyflex says above, it probably has more to do with New Era than anything else. Also, the alternate jerseys/uniforms are made by the official suppliers. The NYPD/FDNY hats most likely aren’t.

        Bud’s making a business decision to not upset his corporate partners. While unpopular, it’s probably the smarter decision for the future of the MLB business.

  3. kevinleaptrot - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Further proof for Selig that baseball fans aren’t interested in instant replay.

    • cur68 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      If only you were kidding….*sigh*

  4. antlerclaws - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    I first read this as “First Responder Capes” and I thought that would be awesome, because, you know…Batman.

  5. klink6224 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    (not directed just at you Craig) Stop calling the ones that responded that day First Responders. The heros that worked that day and many other days to follow we’re the Firefighters, Police and EMS professionals. First Responders is a minimum level of medical training just above John Q public about a 20-30 hour course compared to the EMTs that have 140+ hours of training with state and national testing which is far behind the university level 2plus year training to be a paramedic The use of the term first responder is an unintentional yet unexcuseable insult to the ones that served their duty during that time.

    And it’s total bullshit MLB won’t let them wear those caps to remember the biggest tragedy to hit our own soil yet will exploit the shit out of pink merchandise to support breast cancer awareness. Priorities are all fouled up.

    • heyblueyoustink - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      1) Point taken, i’ll remember the first responder bit in the future.

      2) Anything that goes towards the benefit of breast cancer research isn’t exploitation. It’s cool. I happen to like boobies personally.

      • Alex K - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Like boobies? I’ll take that one step further..I LOVE boobies.

      • Alex K - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        And yes, I know I just sounded like a 14 year old. Sue me.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        2) Anything that goes towards the benefit of breast cancer research isn’t exploitation. It’s cool. I happen to like boobies personally.

        Save the Ta-Tas, or:

    • natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      I’ll remember that, too. I always thought “First Responders” meant the people who were first (and brave) running into danger while the fire was burning or the shooter was blasting.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      I was unaware that the only people trying to save anyone that day were stopped at the doors and were asked if they had their 140 hours of training…

      What a total pretentious, ignorant thing to say. Way to hijack an event that wasn’t only an American tragedy, but also a moment of pure and unadulterated American fortitude. What is inexcusable (unexcusable isn’t a word, Captain Training Hours) is that you want to make this about a small segment of people, dividing everyone when the response to 9/11 was largely something that united Americans, many of whom sacrificed their time, lives and money.

      In the name of everyone who hasn’t met your standards, f— your revisionist and self-serving history. And f— your training hours. And f— your “well technically, blah blah blah.”

      • cur68 - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Easy there Tim. By and large I agree with your drift because my experience has been “‘taint no atheists in a foxhole” (IOW when things have gone to shit, any help is good help and who the f*** cares what uniform, if any at all, the helper is wearing? Pitch in, be of some use and I’m happy to call you a colleague). However, Mr. Training Hours there isn’t likely a bad person so I dunno if cussing him out for being pretentious and exclusitory is the right move. I tend to find that its the “New Guy” who talks like that. You can usually forgive the New Guy because in the execution of his duties he’ll get old fast. Then he will call every man his brother…

        But we in it shall be remembered,
        We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

      • Tim's Neighbor - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        I usually maintain a civil tone on here. However, there are some things that I feel strong language is needed. Of course, I know all about the psychology of the backfire effect and that I likely strengthened his/her resolve, but I get sensitive about egregious exercises in ego (especially revising history). I didn’t judge the person. Just noted how strongly I disagree with his/her weak and self-serving point.

      • klink6224 - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        It truly wasnt meant to come off as elitist or pretentious or any of the above. And it is not to take away from anyone that went and worked and risked their life to help during an indescribable time. Unfortunatelu in today’s world too many public safety jobs are being terminated and cut back on and a fair deal of it has to do with poor public education. The use of EMS professionals (not to mean the only professionals are paid) is more encompassing than the general use of First Responders. How things are termed and ultimately explained to the many that don’t know the differences can prove to be a positive and must remain consistent. I would never try to take away anything from anyone that went there that day to help those in need, never. I am sorry that it came across as a negative completely wasnt the intention.

    • heyblueyoustink - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      The men’s is in grey, and I have yet to get any flack over it when I wear it to the office. Money well spent.

  6. tannethrill - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    My issue with those hats is the gross amount of them I see being sold as knockoffs and cheap clothing.

    Some jerk is making money on that and it’s not the families of the fallen.

    So the Mets can dredge up sad memories and revamp the knockoff hat industry around the area just in time for some random screen printer to make his annual 30k around 9/11

    Teams should be allowed to print a message on official gear and any sold should benefit the families. All teams should have that ability because frankly drawing a line between one tragedy to another is in bad taste.

  7. illcomm - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    they should just keep the hard on out of protest n play the game. the other team wouldn’t say anything n I would hope the umps would just ignore it.

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      I understand you disagreeing with the decision, but to suggest the protest by the Mets be shown by playing with a hard on is ridiculous!

      … hilarious typo.

      • chadjones27 - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Wasn’t a typo. They are actually quite turned on while playing.

  8. willclarkgameface - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Said it before, I’ll say it again: Bud is slime.

    If he can’t put that damn logo on a hat and sell it to you for $40, it’s just not worth his time.

    Come on, Bud. Baseball is so “romantic”, America’s pastime, America’s game. And then when you have a team that is trying to display some patriotism and a general thank you to the public servants of New York, past, present, and future, he says no dice.

    I hate this guy. HATE him.

  9. js20011041 - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I’m only assuming that the reason the players aren’t allowed to wear them is that MLB hasn’t found a way to make money off of them.

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