SBD/September 19, 2013/Franchises

Nationals Never Asked MLB To Wear Navy Hats During Game

Johnson (r) said the hats showed solidarity and respect for the victims
Nationals manager Davey Johnson yesterday said that players on the team "never asked to wear" Navy hats during a doubleheader against the Braves on Tuesday "partly because not all of them fit," according to Kilgore & Wagner of the WASHINGTON POST. The players "felt honored" when they received the caps in recognition of the Navy Yard shooting victims, and "called MLB to ask permission to wear them during batting practice." Johnson said, "Everybody cherished the hats. I just think it was a show of solidarity that we wear them through the anthem, in respect toward the military, tragedy and the service." Many Nationals players "wanted to keep them on for the games, but the decision was made above their heads." Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche "wanted to wear the caps during the night game so he tried spreading the word among teammates." He was "willing to wear the Navy cap during the game and gladly pay any accompanying fine," but LaRoche "feared he would send the message that he was drawing attention to himself, and preferred a team-wide effort." He said, "It would have been great. I think MLB throws all rules at the window at that point. I know they’re Under Armour, but whatever. None of that matters." The Nationals and other teams have "asked to wear non-standard issue gear during games to honor other causes and incidents, such as 9/11, this year and in the past and have been rejected." Nationals President of Baseball Operations & GM Mike Rizzo said, "We had asked several times before and were not allowed to do it. Knowing that, we requested that could we at least wear them for our pregame batting practice and the national anthem. We thought that we had a better chance of getting an okay for that than we did for the game" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/18).
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