Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig reportedly chewed out the New York Mets' front office Sunday night, accusing the team of throwing him "under the bus" by revealing that the league nixed the team's request to wear caps honoring first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The New York Post reported Tuesday that Selig made an "irate" phone call to the organization after the team said the league denied its request to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks by wearing the caps of emergency-services agencies that responded to the World Trade Center.
"[Selig] got embarrassed by it," a Mets official told the Post Monday night. "The game got moved into prime time because of 9/11, and [MLB] ended up getting embarrassed."
In 2001, the Mets, seen at left, shelved their traditional black caps with blue brims for the caps of police, firefighters and other responders during the first professional sporting event in New York City after the attacks.
A decade later, the league rejected the team's proposal to repeat its tribute during Sunday night's game against the Chicago Cubs.
"Certainly it's not a lack of respect," Joe Torre, the league's executive vice president for baseball operations, told The Associated Press Sunday. "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."
As previously written about in this space, this isn't the first time the league has used the unanimity argument to reject a team's request to pay tribute with its caps. Last month, the Washington Nationals were told theyto honor those killed in a helicopter attack on Aug. 6 in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, the Post reported that Torre changed his tune after outrage grew from the league's denial.
"Nothing was ordered," Torre told Sirius XM radio. "I think they were sent a memo, but in no way was it heavy-handed."
Torre also denied that the league was going to fine the Mets if they didn't obey its decision, which Mets player representative Josh Thole said the team faced Sunday.
"I don't think money was ever an issue or they were ever threatened with a heavy-fisted fine," Torre told Sirius XM. "If that's the case, I have no knowledge of it."