The Red Sox recognized the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the service of our troops on Monday in the wake of Osama bin Laden being killed. There was a flag unfurled on the Green Monster, a moment of silence and Army Ranger Sgt. Lucas Carr of South Boston threw out the first pitch.
In the clubhouse that day, there was a note on the door that said, “Be in the dugout for the National Anthem!”
Then Tuesday came and when the National Anthem was performed, there were eight people standing outside the dugout, most of them Terry Francona and his coaches. The Angels had a few more, maybe 11. The note on the clubhouse door had been erased.
I’m not picking on the Sox and Angels. It’s like that for most teams. According to Major League Baseball, there is no official rule regarding whether players should be on the field for the National Anthem. There is a memo sent to teams each year “suggesting” that all uniformed personnel assemble during the anthem.
Maybe there should be a rule.
The Seattle Mariners have a rule. All three days they were at Fenway over the weekend, all of their uniformed personnel stood in a straight line in front of the dugout for the Anthem. They even remained in place until the color guard came off the field.
To me, it’s not asking too much for every player to on the field for the National Anthem and stand in something of a straight line for two minutes. I understand that MLB has players from countries across the globe and that the the song may not mean much, if anything, to some of them. Others have pre-game routines they religiously adhere to.
I get all that. But do it anyway. Showing respect shouldn’t be something that is occasional.