Apparently, ‘Never Forget’ doesn’t apply to MLB hierarchy
Call this retroactive fury, if you will, but my personal world was in a bit of turmoil back on Monday, July 22, so I missed the news that the Astros that evening, while crushing the Athletics 11-1 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, tweaked their uniform a little bit.
They wore an alternate hat.
The logo that generally dons the front of the cap — the classic “H” superimposed on an orange star — was shifted to the right side. On the front was the Apollo 11 logo, dominated by an eagle. It was a nice gesture, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It was an inspired idea.
And should be celebrated.
But we can’t celebrate that.
Because for us, in New York City, that cap is the equivalent of Major League Baseball extending two middle fingers. To you. To me. To the Mets. To the Yankees.
To all of us who Remember.
To we who will Never Forget.
Because we can’t forget.
Once more this week, we were reminded at how soulless and lacking in character MLB can be when, once again, it denied a request by one of New York’s baseball teams to commemorate 9/11 by wearing caps that, for one day, would replace the dueling interlocking “NY” logos with the corresponding insignias of the NYPD, FDNY, Port Authority and EMT first-responders.
This time the appeal came from Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, and for the 17th consecutive year it was turned down, so Alonso went with a sneak attack — buying custom-designed shoes for each of his teammates to salute the victims of 9/11 and, also, their survivors.
Said Alonso: “I just wanted to show recognition to all the ordinary people who felt a sense of urgency and an admirable call of duty. It’s for all the people that lost their lives and all the people that did so much to help.”
Which means that Pete Alonso — who was 6 years old on Sept 11, 2001, and living in Tampa — has a stronger conscience and a greater conscientiousness than commissioner Rob Manfred, who was MLB’s executive vice president of economics and league affairs that day.
Baseball’s office is at 245 Park Avenue. That’s six subway stops away from where the Twin Towers used to stand.
That is unconscionable and it is inexcusable and it happens year after year after year — to the point where we simply shrug our shoulders and accept this as the way things are, and if we do yell we sound like the old men either yelling at clouds or at the kids to get off the damned lawn.
But what MLB allowed on July 22?
Well, it’s just further proof how adrift in hypocrisy it is on this whole subject. MLB has already provided waivers for the red-white-and-blue alternate caps teams wear on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. That was bad enough.
It already allows those insulting alternate caps and uniforms on the Players Weekend that turned 45 games over the course of a weekend not long ago into 45 matchups of Spy vs. Spy. That was egregious.
The Apollo 11 hat? Look, it’s no offense to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin or Michael Collins. Baseball should allow its teams to celebrate important moments in its city’s culture, and other than the Rockets’ two titles and the Astros’ World Series in 2017, the moon landing was the most remarkable moment in Houston’s history. Heck, they should allow the Phillies to wear the Liberty Bell on their caps every July 4. If the Yankees wanted to commemorate Woodstock’s anniversary with a peace symbol or a picture of Max Yasgur’s face when they played the Indians at home Aug. 15-17, groovy.
We get it. Commerce is commerce.
But by denying, stubbornly, year after year, the requests of the Mets and the Yankees to honor the heroes of 9/11 not only denies an emotional salute that nobody could possibly dispute, it prevents baseball from celebrating its own notable place in the healing of 9/11 — the active participation of both teams in the days and weeks after, the 2001 postseason that allowed a sense of normalcy to return. It is impossible to justify.
And it is impossible to ignore just how ignorant MLB is on this issue. So don’t stop. Keep criticizing MLB. Keep up the guilt trip. At some point, maybe, mercifully, MLB will relent. One day a year, let us remember. Because we cannot forget.
Because we will not forget.
The fact the suits at WFAN parted ways with Chris Carlin this week says a lot more about those suits than it does about Carlin, one of the most talented and hard-working broadcasters to work a mic in this town.
College football is about 10 percent more interesting with Les Miles back under a headset anyway. It’s a little bit more when his Jayhawks do something like the trucking of BC they pulled off Friday night.
Can’t we waive usual playoff procedure and just have one long Yankees vs. Astros series, best of 15?
One last reminder: Next Thursday, Paley Center for Media, ’69 Mets Art Shamsky, Ron Swoboda and Ed Kranepool along with me and moderator Gary Apple, 6:30 p.m. For tickets: paleycenter.org/2019-mets, offer code NYPOST.
Whack Back at Vac
Alan Hirschberg: More than anything else, what I want to see Monday night is a Jets defender trying to tackle Odell and scoring a direct hit — helmet to watch.
Vac: Gives a whole new meaning to the old saying “time is money,” no?
Richard Ievoli: Whenever I hear Bill Belichick talk to reporters, my first thought is, “Your honor, permission to treat the witness as hostile?”
Vac: “We’re on to Miami/Buffalo/Kansas City/Pittsburgh should heretofore be known as “Taking the 5¹/₂th Amendment.”
@knishboy: Thank you, Mike, for single-handedly turning around Todd Frazier’s season.
@MikeVacc: Let’s see if this phenomenon crosses over to other things: Trevor Siemian has no shot of beating the Browns on Monday night. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Chic Shuler: Maybe the Jets should give Carli Lloyd a tryout.
Vac: As everyone’s mother has always said: “Couldn’t hurt
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