NEW YORK - Willie Randolph mentioned it Sunday night: The Mets and Yankees are probably going to make up the May 16 Subway Series rainout with a day-night, two-stadium doubleheader later this month.
It'll be an event, Randolph said. It'll be fun. And we can't argue with him. But we've got something that will be even more of an event, even more fun. And it will have more meaning for New York than just the teams making a ton of money.
Play the game on Sept. 11. And donate 2 million bucks to 9/11 charities.
It's bad enough that both the Yankees and Mets are off on 9/11. Call that an error on Major League Baseball. Anyone who remembers how baseball added to the healing after the terrorist attacks knows how important it is to have one of our teams scheduled at home on Sept. 11. Is that too much to ask? But the MLB pooh-bahs on Park Avenue - that's in New York, by the way - forgot about that. Shame on them.
Usually you don't get a do-over in baseball. MLB can.
Schedule the rained out game for Sept. 11 at Yankee Stadium. Each team donates $500,000 from the proceeds and MLB matches the million for a cool $2 million.
What does $500,000 mean to the Yankees and Mets? Well, the Yankees are paying Morgan Ensberg $1.75 million and they just cut him.
The Mets are paying Orlando Hernandez $7 million and he hasn't thrown a pitch all season. The teams can afford to be generous with your ticket and hot-dog money.
And here's another benefit for the teams: Both of their club-owned TV networks will prosper with the switch. The current plan for the makeup game has it being played in the afternoon of Friday, June 27, when most TV viewers have to work.
Play the game at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 and the ratings will be through the roof, especially since momentum for the "event status" of the game will only grow and grow. And YES and SNY can help out by donating 10 or so public service announcements each for 9/11 charities.
Giuseppe Franco and those anti-smoking ads can take the night off. Full disclosure alert: This wasn't my idea. It was first mentioned on our Mets blog by Newsday beat writer David Lennon on May 16, the day of the rainout. And he got the idea from Newsday reader Ryan Mulholland.
Good job, guys. Good thinking. And Ryan points out how scheduling this game would be easy for both teams because, for some reason, both teams are home the weekend of Sept. 12-14.
On Sept. 11, the Mets are in the middle of a homestand. So we'd be asking them to give up a day at home. The Yankees play in Anaheim on Sept. 10, but it's an afternoon game. So they'd be back in New York with plenty of time to get 40 winks and do a little laundry before heading to the ballpark to help some people who really need it.
Should this be an annual event? I say why not. There are people with ties to 9/11 who are still suffering, both for the losses they suffered or for the health problems brought about from the cleanup. That kind of pain won't go away because of a baseball game.
But maybe seeing the stars of New York baseball wearing those NYPD and FDNY and PAPD hats and playing a game just for 9/11 families will make them feel a little better. And the money won't hurt. *