Mets cap worn by Pettitte's son rankles Yankees brassPosted: Sunday March 03, 2002 7:15 PM
Updated: Sunday March 03, 2002 10:28 PM
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Andy Pettitte hardly counted on causing a cap flap.
Yet that's exactly what happened recently when one of the pitcher's sons was photographed wearing a New York Mets hat in the Yankees' spring training dugout. Dad's team was not amused.
Last Monday, before exhibition games began, Pettitte brought sons Josh and Jared into the dugout at Legends Field. While there, a news photographer took a nice picture of them.
Innocent enough, Pettitte thought. In fact, he made sure to get a copy of the photo.
Only one problem: 7-year-old Josh's Mets cap.
It turns out there was a logical reason. Back home in Texas, he plays for a Little League team called the Mets, and they wear the same style of blue-and-orange caps as the big leaguers.
No matter. Because when the picture appeared in a local paper the next day, well, the reaction was predictable -- and swift.
"Apparently, someone was upset. I don't know who," Pettitte said Saturday. "But they didn't like it."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman definitely wanted an explanation.
"I was made aware of the picture," he said. "I went to the player and inquired about the circumstances, and he told me it was his son's Little League team."
Neither Pettitte nor Cashman described details of the discussion, though it seemed clear their talk took on a serious tone.
Ever since George Steinbrenner bought the team, the Yankees have placed great importance on their rivalry with the Mets.
Whether it's beating them in Subway Series games or topping them for attention on the back pages of New York's tabloids, the Yankees want to win.
The competition shows up in more subtle ways, too.
For years, Mets games were kept off the television in the press dining room at Yankee Stadium. Team officials still keenly track attendance totals on the rare occasions when both clubs play at home on the same date.
Pettitte, meanwhile, was asked to be more selective in where his son's Mets hat shows up. Not that he's getting caught up in any cap flap.
"To me, it's a non-issue," Pettitte said.