Here’s how long Mets owner Fred Wilpon conversation should have been with Bud Selig regarding September 11th first responder hats on the 10th anniversary.
WILPON: Mr. Commissioner. We want to wear hats honoring the NYPD, fire department and Port Authority on September 11th.
SELIG: During the game?
SELIG: Well all the teams are wearing special September 11th hats that day already. We don’t like having teams wearing unofficial uniforms during a game.
WILPON: I understand, but we are a New York team and there will no doubt be fire fighters, police officers, rescue workers who were at the Towers that day at CitiField. And also relatives and friends of those who didn’t make it. And we’d like to show a sign of solidarity on this 10th anniversary.
SELIG: What if we had every team change their hats on a whim?
WILPON: What other city had a September 11th? If the Nationals wanted to do something, they should. That’s up to them. But September 11th was unique and this is the 10th anniversary and we are the only team playing in New York. I think an exception can be made.
SELIG: You aren’t going to sell the hats or try any September 11th merchandise, are you?
WILPON: No. Certainly not.
SELIG: And it is JUST for September 11th, not the whole weekend?
WILPON: Just the Sunday night game.
SELIG: Well, I can’t see how that’s a problem. It’s a nice gesture. Go ahead.
WILPON: Thank you Mr. Commissioner.
All the bases covered.
That conversation would last, what? A minute? 90 seconds?
The fact that it WASN’T that simple and it has turned into a “He Said… She Said” spat involving rules that may or may not have been enforced, fines the Mets were worried they had to pay and Bud Selig was mad that it became public shows how incompetent the two parties.
Those parties of course being the Mets organization, who took every baseball advantage in the world and ran the team into the ground… and Bud Selig who every day finds new reasons to want to throw him out of office. How could Selig not see this was the right thing to do?
And of course Joe Torre was thrown into the middle of this, trying to destroy whatever good will is left for him in New York.
A simple thoughtful act of wearing a hat to honor the memories of brave men and women instead became a nice barometer of people who have lost perspective.
And frankly it is kind of fascinating.