The Mets’ wearing of commemorative 9/11 cleats Wednesday night — a bold, team-wide move orchestrated by rookie Pete Alonso — will not draw punishment from Major League Baseball.
When the Mets decided collectively to wear the shoes, gifted by Alonso to his teammates, against the Diamondbacks on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, they knew a fine was possible and decided the risk was worth it.
But MLB will not impose fines on Alonso or any of the Mets.
Generally, MLB asks teams to limit the honoring of tragedies via apparel to batting practice/pregame activities. Commissioner Rob Manfred and his office don’t want to get into the business of judging tragedies or evaluating which ones deserve in-game recognition. MLB does, though, sell team hats with a 9/11 remembrance ribbon and says it donates the royalties to 9/11-related organizations.
The Mets through the years haven’t been allowed to wear hats honoring NYPD, FDNY and other first-responder groups. Alonso said Wednesday night that he initially asked MLB about wearing special hats, but his request was denied. The Mets wore first-responder caps during their game on Sept. 21, 2001 — their first after the attacks — but have been banned from doing so since.
So when he pursued the custom-made cleats, Alonso didn’t ask for permission.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of red tape with Major League Baseball and they kind of shot that [hats] idea down and I think it’s kind of sad that since that day, the first game back, they shut it down every single year since,” Alonso said Wednesday. “I think that’s really unfortunate, so the way to get around that was the cleats.”
The Mets wore first-responder hats during batting practice Wednesday, as they do every 9/11. MLB-organized 9/11 remembrances through the majors include moments of silence, pregame ceremonies and “We Shall Not Forget” ribbons on in-game caps.
Stony Brook native Steven Matz is the Mets’ nominee for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s top philanthropic honor. Matz works with and raises money for first responders through his Tru32 charity. … With Wilson Ramos out of the lineup Thursday — after catching four days in a row, his Mets-imposed limit — there is a “high probability” he catches Noah Syndergaard on Friday, Mickey Callaway said.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.