SNY Analyst Bobby Valentine refuses to back down from comments he made yesterday that the Yankees were nowhere to be found in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, 2001.
His remarks led to this statement from New York Yankees president, Randy Levine:
Bobby Valentine should know better than to be pointing fingers on a day like today. Today is a day of reflection and prayer. The Yankees, as has been well documented, visited Ground Zero, the Armory, the Javits Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital and many other places during that time. We continue to honor the 9/11 victims and responders. On this day, he would have been better to have kept his thoughts to himself rather than seeking credit, which is very sad to me.
Today, Valentine appeared on the Erik Kuselias Show on the NBC Radio Network, and while most thought he would take back his comments, he instead refused to back down and asked that the Yankees should present photographic proof they were out comforting victims, helping first responders or aiding in some capacity as the New York Mets were.
Bobby Valentine response to Randy Levine: "There weren't any Yankees out there. If there were, Mr. Levine can come up with a photograph…"
— Erik Kuselias Show (@EKShow) September 12, 2013
“All I remember is people asking for the Yankees and me making excuses for them not being there,” he told Kuselias.
This is outrageous to me…
Honestly, I’m shocked that SNY has not stepped in and issued an apology or better yet, fire Bobby Valentine…
This has nothing to do with the Mets or baseball and goes to the heart of showing some solemn respect for the tragedy of 9/11. I don’t understand what his angle is…
It’s been 12 years and now after all this time he’s pointing fingers and blame at the New York Yankees?
(Updated by Joe D.)
Bobby Valentine was a loose cannon when he managed the New York Mets and not much has changed.
Yesterday, on a day that should be about reflection and remembrance of those lost their lives, did we really need Valentine to open old wounds and accentuate pettiness?
That’s exactly what Valentine did while speaking on WFAN, the soon to be ex-flagship station of the Mets. The former manager who doesn’t always have a filter between his brain and mouth, was at it again. The only thing missing were the fake glasses and mustache.
The Mets, as I wrote earlier, should be commended for their actions following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Mets were certainly visible as Shea Stadium was used as a staging ground for trucks unloading supplies.
Valentine and his players, in uniform, maintained a high profile helping unload those supply trucks. The Mets also made numerous public appearances to police and fire stations, as well as visiting the injured. And, with the Mike Piazza homer, no single post September 11 baseball moment was as emotional and unifying.
The Mets were to be commended, but Valentine came off as petty, not to mention wrong, when he fired a shot at the Yankees 12 years later.
“Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were [not around],’’ Valentine said. “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.’’
What did he have to gain by saying this?
Let it be said Valentine is totally wrong and came off as reminding us why, in large part, he lost his job managing the Mets. Valentine, quite simply, has a tendency of rubbing people the wrong way. As knowledgeable as he is as an analyst, he’s way off base on this one, and tyesterday was not the day to inflame old wounds.
The old Yankee Stadium, because of logistics, wasn’t ideal for a staging ground, but I covered the Yankees then, and I know they made their share of appearances to fire and police stations. Roger Clemens, as creature of habit as there is for a pitcher, made appearances on the day he pitched.
As if Valentine couldn’t get his foot in his mouth any deeper, he sure tried.
“Many of them didn’t live here, and so it wasn’t their fault,’’ Valentine said. “And many of them did not partake in all that, so there was some of that jealousy going around. Like, ‘Why are we [the Mets] 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.’’
The way it sounds coming from Valentine, it does seem about credit. When you do something, volunteer as the Mets did, you do it without fanfare. It sounds as if Valentine is seeking a pat on the back. It comes off sounding like the Mets made all those appearances for the public relations impact. I know this isn’t true because the Mets are as generous any New York team when it comes to giving back to the community, but Valentine’s comments come off as acknowledgement.
If it really is about doing the right thing, Valentine should extend a formal apology to the Yankees, because he’s wrong. The Yankees got credit for bringing baseball back because they played in an emotional World Series that season, and let’s face it, they are more high-profile nationally than the Mets.
They were 82-80 in 2001 and largely irrelevant after Piazza’s ball cleared the wall. That’s something Valentine conveniently forgot, but when you operate without a filter, that happens.