The look on John Franco’s face pretty much told the whole story.
The lifelong New Yorker and former Met, just had disgust on his face when asked about Major League Baseball’s decision of not letting the Mets wear their first responders hats during the game.
“It’s up to you guys to say something about it,” he said to the media, knowing that’s the only way his opinion will be heard.
Ok, so let’s say something.
Shame on MLB for denying the Mets a chance to honor the first responders on 9/11 in a way of their choosing. And the lame excuse of uniformity by MLB VP Joe Torre just doesn’t cut it.
”Certainly it’s not a lack of respect,” Torre said. ”We just felt all the major leagues are honoring the same way with the American flag on the uniform and the cap. This is a unanimity thing.”
Oh come on, Joe. Say it ain’t so.
Seeing the Mets out there wearing the first responder caps allows all baseball fans to harken back to the days following the attacks. It reminds us of how we all felt during those weeks and then how the Mets defied baseball back then and wore those caps for the rest of the 2001 season.
But this is a different Met club. Unlike their counterparts from 10 years-ago, these Mets are generally younger players, who are pretty much happy to be in the big leagues. Manager Terry Collins is a company man, unlike Bobby Valentine, who had a certain rebellious side to say the least.
Then there’s the owners indebtedness to MLB. Back in 2001, Nelson Doubleday could just write a check to cover any losses and the Wilpons were still on the Madoff gravy train.
Now, everything has changed.
MLB, though, should have recognized a Met tradition and allowed the club to play an otherwise meaningless game with the hats. Yesterday was a day of honor, but the league made it a day of shame.
Maybe next year, MLB will realize the error of their ways and realize the other slippery slope out there. By not allowing this, it slowly takes away the remembrance of baseballs role in the aftermath.
And that’s the real shame. The NFL allowed sideline coaches and players a chance to wear those hats. MLB should have done the same.