With myriad games postponed across the sporting landscape, the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins were still scheduled to square off on Thursday evening. Though there was buzz that the two teams may elect not to play, the Mets and Marlins took the field near the scheduled time of first pitch. Instead of beginning the game, however, the two teams engaged in 42 seconds of silence and protest, honoring Jackie Robinson on the eve of Jackie Robinson Day for the sport, and then all of the players exited the field.
After a moment of silence, the Mets and the Marlins have left the field.
The only thing remaining on the field is a Black Lives Matter shirt. pic.twitter.com/t7QfWwofOS
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 27, 2020
The Mets and Marlins did leave behind a symbolic gesture, though, with a t-shirt positioned at home plate that read “Black Lives Matter.”
Though the message was clear in what the two sides chose to do, noise permeated the proceedings, dating back to earlier in the day. Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was caught in a hot mic moment, referring to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred in a less than stellar light on account of an idea to play the game after an hour delay to allow the players to make a statement.
Holy shit Rob Manfred is trying to force the Mets to pull a social justice awareness stunt tonight by having the players symbolically leave the field at 7:10 before returning an hour later to play at 8:10 even though the players don’t want to play tonight pic.twitter.com/4BJLaPUkoy
— Nick Albicocco (@NickCocco18) August 27, 2020
Full transcript of the video: pic.twitter.com/me5s6xpbXv
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 27, 2020
Moments after the Mets and Marlins left the field on Thursday, Van Wagenen issued a statement clarifying what transpired. While he did apologize, Van Wagenen also shifted the focus to Mets owner Jeff Wilpon, saying instead that the idea to push back the first pitch was his and not the proposal of Manfred.
Brodie Van Wagenen says in a statement that the idea he was ripping Rob Manfred for was not Manfred’s, but Jeff Wilpon’s. pic.twitter.com/m9QekmdftC
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 27, 2020
The statement, and the entire hot mic moment, is bizarre to say the least. Whether the sentiment expressed by Van Wagenen on the video or within the apology are more indicative of reality remains unclear, with the potential for a response from the commissioner’s office at some point in the future.