They should have worn the hats.
Even more so - they should have been allowed to wear the hats. But baseball never gets it right. Time and again, it’s rather unfortunate that such a beautiful game has to be ruined by those who run it.
On a night when the 2011 Mets could have continued a legacy established by their predecessors back in 2001 to honor, thank and respect the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and other first responders, baseball emphatically said no way. The National Football League is often referred to as the “No Fun League” because of its stringent policies on uniform use and decorum. Yet even the N.F.L. on Sunday relaxed its policies and allowed players to wear red, white and blue cleats and the like in order to honor those who had tragically lost their lives on 9/11 ten years ago. But baseball said no.
Over the weekend, Todd Zeile, the player rep for the 2001 Mets, explained the genesis of the team proudly wearing the hats.
It was one team, one time, one night, playing in the city where the attacks took place ten years ago - and baseball still said no. Sad.
Jason Bay was a minor leaguer back home in Washington state when the Twin Towers fell in 2001. I asked him about being here in New York on the 10th anniversary and, predictably, he understood the significance and the meaning.
And special is the right word. For New Yorkers, this was personal. It may have happened 10 years ago, but to me - and many others - it seems and feels like yesterday. It still hurts. It won’t go away. There’s not a chance of forgetting because it’s indelibly etched.
I was talking yesterday with one of my favorite former Mets, Robin Ventura, and we discovered we had something in common. We both love the sound of bagpipes. And neither of us can listen comfortably right now. Ventura explained that having heard the pipes all too often at the funerals for the fallen heroes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, it was extremely hard not to tear up. I agreed. And it all came rushing back hearing the bagpipes at the very moving ceremony that was held at CitiField on Sunday night.
They should have worn the hats. They should have been allowed to wear the hats. Those are things that baseball should grasp and understand. But they don’t. And it seems like they never will.
C U soon