New York Mets manager Terry Collins says "hat flap" has become a distraction. Bud Selig would reportedly take it a step further.
Major League Baseball's commissioner called the Mets on Sunday night irate that the club had gone public with the news that his office had prevented players from wearing the caps of Sept. 11 first responders for that night's game at Citi Field, the New York Post reported.
A Mets official told the newspaper that the commissioner said the team threw the league "under the bus."
"Selig got embarrassed by it," the official told the Post. "The game got moved into prime time (on ESPN) because of 9/11, and MLB ended up getting embarrassed."
Collins said he wants the whole situation to go away.
"What's the attention been since we walked into the ballpark today? It's not on who we're playing, it's not on who's pitching. We all want to know which kind of hat we're going to wear tonight. And that takes away from the game," he said Monday. "It all takes away from their preparation. They're all being asked questions that they're afraid to make an answer, they're afraid to say the wrong thing. We've got to start focusing on what the game is, because, when it's all said and done, that's all that matters."
MLB disciplinary czar Joe Torre claims that the league didn't lean that heavily on the Mets.
"Nothing was ordered," he said during an interview on Sirius XM Radio. "I think they were sent a memo, but in no way was it heavy-handed. I don't think money was ever an issue or they were ever threatened with a heavy-fisted fine. If that's the case, I have no knowledge of it."
Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey had tweeted Sunday night that the players planned to defy MLB and wear the hats during the game against the Cubs, but MLB confiscated the caps after a pregame ceremony. A source told the Post that that wasn't accurate. The hats were put on a table in the clubhouse and were signed for charity.
Players on Sunday wore the official 9/11 Mets cap, with a small American flag adorning the side, during the game.