President Donald Trump is refusing to participate in a time-honored tradition of presidents throwing the first pitch on the first day of the Major League Baseball season, denying us the chance to see that he’s a much better pitcher than President Barack Obama.
Early on Tuesday rumors flew that the president was “in talks” to throw out the first pitch for the hometown Washington Nationals. Politico broke the news, adding that “He also might spend an inning in the announcing booth with MASN,” the team’s cable channel.
The cable-TV appearance would give him an opportunity to talk about whatever he wanted to, which isn’t always a great idea. As president-elect, Trump in December made an appearance at the Army-Navy Game, a historic football game that celebrates the academies of the two military branches; Trump said that he didn’t “know if it’s necessarily the best football.” That was back then. Imagine what he would say now.
Obama has thrown the first pitch a number of times, with varying degrees of success. Here he is in 2010, being booed by a partisan audience on opening day before airmailing a weak pitch and nearly taking out the Washington Nationals’ mascot, Nuke LaLoosh style:
Reactions to Obama’s throw were pretty negative. The Daily Caller rehashed Obama’s first pitches last year, saying, “he is the leader of the free world, which means you’d expect him to know how to throw a baseball in honor of America’s pastime” in an article titled “Quick reminder that President Obama has no idea how to throw a baseball.”
A year earlier Obama had tossed the ceremonial first pitch at the 2009 All-Star Game and at least was able to get the ball over the plate with a looping pitch that barely made it to the catcher’s glove.
Obama was more of a basketball player, anyway.
Trump, who, according to reports, had at one time considered purchasing the New York Mets, blasted the ownership of the Chicago Cubs last year before the season, saying the team that would eventually win the World Series was “terribly run.”