Bobby Valentine talked about the raw feelings his Mets players had toward the Yankees in the days and weeks following the 9/11 attacks. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine said Wednesday during a radio interview with WFAN that his Mets players were frustrated with the way the general public supposedly heralded the Yankees in the days and weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks. He said his players responded with community outreach projects while the Yankees were virtually nowhere in the city to be found.
Valentine said Wednesday on the 12th anniversary of the attacks that there was a sense of jealousy on the part of the Mets players in the days after the attacks because they felt that the Yankees were being credited for "bringing baseball back" even though it was the Mets players who reached out to New Yorkers by going to funerals and firehouses, he said. Valentine added that when his players were frustrated for supposedly being overlooked for their efforts, he told his team that it's not about getting credit but about "doing the right thing."
"Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were (not around). 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...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.’"
The 63-year-old Valentine, who last served as the Boston Red Sox manager in 2012, is currently the athletic director at Sacred Heart University. He was with the Mets from 1996 - 2002.
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Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Joe Torre and other current and former members of the organization visited rescue staging areas set up at a New York hospital and other locations throughout the city in the days after the attacks.
Valentine said that Mike Piazza's home run for a Mets game in New York against the Atlanta Braves 10 days after the attacks helped people "return to normalcy."
"We put on a good face. We tried to smile, we tried to laugh, we tried to be normal. But nothing could have set the tone more properly than Mike’s line drive over the left-field fence that I think really began to allow people to return to normalcy.”JAFFE: MLB returning to Montreal with two-game set between Blue Jays and Mets next March