Delgado to stand with Mets during 'God Bless America'

Updated: November 28, 2005, 3:18 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Now that he's been traded to the New York Mets, Carlos Delgado says he is willing to stand on the field during the playing of "God Bless America."

After putting on a Mets jersey at a Shea Stadium news conference Monday, Delgado said he spoke about his anti-war protest with New York chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.

"I gave him my views on that subject and I also said I would not put myself in front of the team," Delgado said. "The Mets have a policy that everybody should stand for 'God Bless America' and I will be there. I will not cause any distractions to the ballclub."

While playing for the Toronto Blue Jays and then with the Florida Marlins last year, Delgado avoided standing on the field when "God Bless America" was played, staying in the dugout, runway or clubhouse.

"The reason why I didn't stand for 'God Bless America' was because I didn't like the way they tied 'God Bless America' and 9-11 to the war in Iraq, in baseball," he said when he joined the Marlins in January.

Wilpon said the matter had been discussed during negotiations when Delgado was a free agent after the 2004 season. Wilpon said Delgado promised to follow whatever policy was set by manager Willie Randolph.

"His comment was: If Willie and the Mets have rules, he will follow the team rule," Wilpon said Monday. "He's not going to put himself before the team. So he's going to have his own political views, which he's going to keep to himself."

Delgado said there will be a transition for New York fans and their feelings about him.

"I'm sure there are going to be times where they're going to cheer, I'm sure they're going to be times when they're going to boo," he said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press