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Disgraceful

I try to like the MLB. I really do.

I can live with the quaint opposition to instant replay in an attempt to keep the game as it was back in the day. I can live with the postseason creeping further and further into November, thereby extending the season far past what it had ever gone before. I can even live with things like not fixing the botched call that nullified Armando Galarraga's perfect game because everyone will remember that as a perfect outing, regardless.

But, what Bud Selig and the MLB did with regards to the Mets Sunday crosses a line. I might never watch another baseball game again.

If you missed it, or were living under an incredibly large rock, Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Mets, in an attempt to commemorate the victims of the attacks, planned to wear hats that read "FDNY" and "NYPD," just like they did in their first game back after a brief hiatus following the tragedy.

Except they were told they could not.

Bud Selig and his new czar of discipline Joe Torre - who, coincidentally, wore one of these hats 10 years ago when he was coaching the Yankees - would not allow them to commemorate the event in this way. They threatened to fine the Mets' players if they wore the special hats on the field.

The players weren't going to take this lying down, however, as they told the MLB that they still planned to wear the hats and would pay the fine. Then Selig and Torre decided the fine would be so excessive - hundreds of thousands of dollars per hat - as to deter such blatant disobedience.

Still, the Mets' players refused to sit back and do nothing. So, David Wright, among others, wore the hats out before the game and in the dugout between innings.

After determining they weren't callous enough, the MLB sent a representative into the dugout to confiscate the hats after the fourth inning. The players, understandably upset that their efforts to commemorate the first responders and other heroes of Sept. 11 were being thwarted, expressed frustration to the media following Sunday's matchup against the Cubs. Selig followed up later that evening with an irate phone call to Mets' management regarding the exposure of the media to the issue.

I simply don't understand how exactly Selig or Torre or anyone at the MLB offices thought this would work out in a positive way. How on earth do you think preventing a baseball team from New York from commemorating Sept. 11 the same way they honored the victims 10 years earlier was a smart idea?

Oh wait, I forgot. The Mets did wear the MLB-issued Authentic Alternate Performance 59FIFTY on-Field cap with U.S. flag patch, a special edition of the standard Mets already possessed, available now on MLB.com for $36.99 with shipping and handling.

It is one thing to insist on proper uniforms. It is one thing to deny a team the right to commemorate some members of its fanbase who tragically lost their lives. It is a completely new and totally despicable thing to do so just so you can sell some stupid hats on your website for nearly twice the price of regular ones.

We all have experience with traditions. There probably is no other university in the country that has as many weird ones as we do - see "Grounds," "first years," "guys in ties." These are all traditions, and I think good ones at that. But, when you are at a place with a lot of traditions, it's also important to realize that sometimes, things need to change. We now accept students of every race; we now accept students of both genders. We've changed with the times and for the better.

I understand the MLB and Bud Selig want to cling to traditions and keep things uniform and standard. I really do. Just don't be a disgrace.

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