As I wrote on Twitter, there was no logical reason — none — for baseball forbidding the Mets to wear caps honoring the New York City uniformed service departments on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
Joe Torre, baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations, gave a reason — that the sport wanted all players to look consistent with the American flag on the uniform and cap — but I’m not buying.
As one of my followers, Zach Asman, pointed out, baseball allowed the Pirates to wear special caps honoring slain police officers during their home opener in 2009. So much for consistency.
Yes, baseball is selling the special-edition caps the players wore, the ones featuring a U.S. flag on the left side, for $36.99. Yes, a portion of the proceeds will go to a worthy cause, the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.
Well, I’m guessing the good people from the Memorial would not have had a problem with the Mets’ gesture. And I’m guessing the caps still would have sold quite well.
Maybe the Mets should have just gone ahead and worn the caps honoring the service departments to highlight baseball’s pettiness and paid the threatened fine. But the issue never should have gotten to the point where it was even a discussion.
The National Football League, normally a study in anal, nonsensical behavior, relaxed its uniform rules to allow players to wear special red, white and blue shoes and gloves produced by Reebok on 9/11.
Baseball couldn’t follow suit?
Torre pointed to his 2001 Yankees, who wore the special caps during batting practice but switched to their regular ones for games. OK, fine. Baseball still looked needlessly insensitive on Sunday night.
Players who wish to honor their community should be celebrated, not threatened. All over the country, there were fitting, lovely commemorations of 9/11.
There was no logical reason — none — for telling the Mets no.