Mets and Marlins leave the field after misunderstanding over Manfred’s support

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NEW YORK – The New York Mets and Miami Marlins jointly left the field after a moment of silence, draping a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on home plate as they chose not to play on Thursday night.

After other baseball games were postponed to protest social injustice, the Mets were late to take the field Thursday and none of the starting pitchers threw any warm-up pitches. The teams stood around their shelters in full uniforms shortly before the scheduled first pitch at 7:10 p.m., and the national anthem was played and all players and coaches stood up.

Mets outfielder Dominic Smith – a black man who cried Wednesday night as he discussed the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin over the weekend – then drove New York to the field. The players took up their positions, then the reservists and coaches left the two canoes and remained silent for 42 seconds.

Both teams then returned to their clubs, leaving only the black T-shirt at home.

“After seeing Dom’s comments last night, it’s not just about Dom, but it really touched us all in the clubhouse,” said Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a leaked video Thursday on the league’s official website that his players did not want to play and were waiting to hear from the Marlins on coordinating a postponement.

Van Wagenen also criticized the way Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred handled player protests this week and alleged Manfred was pressuring New York City to stage a token strike against the players’ wishes, rather than a full postponement.

“It’s Rob’s instinct,” Van Wagenen said in a conversation he didn’t seem to know she was showing on MLB.com. “At the leadership level, he doesn’t understand. He just doesn’t understand.

Van Wagenen said in the video – after specifying the conversation ‘cannot leave this room’ – that Manfred wanted the Mets and Marlins to leave the field together shortly before the scheduled first pitch at 7:10 p.m. and then return to play at 8:10 p.m.

Van Wagenen apologized for his comments later on Thursday, saying the idea of ​​leaving and returning was actually conceived by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.

“Jeff Wilpon called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to inform him that our players had voted not to play,” Van Wagenen said. “They discussed the challenges of postponing the game. Jeff came up with an idea to play the game an hour late. I misunderstood that was the commissioner’s idea. In fact, that was Jeff’s suggestion.

“The players had already made their decision, so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and lack of judgment in misrepresenting the content of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon.

In a statement, Manfred said he had not tried “to prevent players from speaking out by not playing, and I have not suggested any alternative form of protest.”

With files from Sportsnet



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