Contradicting himself by saying "This isn’t about credit," former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine complained Wednesday that the New York Yankees got too much credit in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the city that both teams share.
Talking to WFAN radio on the attacks' 12th anniversary, Valentine understandably was emotional in detailing events as he remembered them in the days after the World Trade Center was destroyed, the United States was shaken and Major League Baseball season was put on pause. After giving some touching remarks about those horrible and awkward times, Valentine took a left turn and slapped down the Yankees. And some of Valentine's facts seem out of whack as they pertain to how 9/11 should be remembered. Via CBS in New York:
“Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were (not around),” Valentine told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Wednesday. “You couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets of New York City. You couldn’t find a Yankee down at Ground Zero, talking to the guys who were working 24/7.”
He added: “Many of them didn’t live here, and so it wasn’t their fault. And many of them did not partake in all that, so there was some of that jealousy going around. Like, ‘Why are we so tired? Why are we wasted? Why have we been to the funerals and the firehouses, and the Yankees are getting all the credit for bringing baseball back?’ And I said ‘This isn’t about credit, guys. This is about doing the right thing.’”
Oh, really? Has Valentine lost his mind? Now that he's the director of athletics at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., he seems to be getting foggy in the head.
As the very next paragraph of the CBS post says, "Members of the Yankees, including Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter and manager Joe Torre, visited rescue staging areas at the Jacob Javits Center, the Armory and St. Vincent’s Hospital five days after the attacks."
Update: Yankees president Randy Levine called Valentine's comments "sad."
It's true that many of the public's post-9/11 memories, as they relate to baseball, involve the Yankees. Mostly, that's because they played in the World Series.
But how can Valentine think we didn't know, or forgot, how the Mets lent a hand at Shea Stadium, which was used as a staging area for rescue, cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Or how the players, led by Robin Ventura, Valentine also recalled, began wearing NYPD and FDNY caps? Or how the Mike Piazza home run game at Shea, reintroduced MLB in New York when so many people needed something else to worry about?
Who — as MLB remembers 9/11 at ballgames across the country Wednesday — who could forget about the Mets in September 2001?
People remember what the Mets did, Bobby. We also remember what the Yankees did. Not that it's about credit.