President Trump won’t play ball on opening day

There’s nothing that screams America like a president throwing out the first pitch for the first game of the baseball season.

So we weep into the sleeve of our Cleveland Indians 2016 American League Champions sweatshirt (see what I did there?) over the demise of America with word from the Washington Nationals that President Trump won’t do the honors this year.

The White House reportedly cites a scheduling conflict, but there are other possible reasons. First, presidents rarely look good throwing baseballs and, second, as President Obama found out in 2010, it’s a good way to be reminded how much the fans hate you.

Which category does President Trump fall into?

Tough question.

For the record, there’s an argument to be made that one’s effectiveness as president is in inverse proportion to one’s ability to throw a first pitch.

President Carter, however, is the only president since President Taft not to throw out a first pitch on opening day at any point in his presidency. Of course, his presidency was only one term and Washington didn’t have a team when he was in office.

President Bush had some game, but he owned a baseball team once.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

From the archive: The first pitch (NewsCut)

  • MrE85
  • Let a kid do the honors.

    Just like this:

    • John

      It is unfortunate that the first thing I wondered about when I saw this was whether the military funded this as a show.

      • Angry Jonny

        Yeah, me too.

  • Jeff C.

    It is a waste of tax-payer dollars to have Trump throw the first pitch. Think of the security costs!

    Oh, wait. If he was there it would mean that he wasn’t at Mar-a-lago…

    It will be a saving of tax-payer dollars to have Trump throw the first pitch! Do it!

  • Jack Ungerleider

    Just have the son-in-law do it, he seems to be doing everything else.

  • Karl Crabkiller

    Shame about the scheduling conflict, would have been the greatest Yugest presidential pitch ever thrown. A 400 mph rocket dead center over the plate.

    • Postal Customer

      “I never said it would be 400 mph”

      • kevins

        Great line.

      • jon

        400 mph was in quotes!

  • I was going to suggest that Don’s advanced age and glaring lack of physical fitness might affect his ability to throw from the mound to home plate, but then I found this video of a 77-year-old Ronald Regan throwing a first pitch. (The catcher is on the infield grass, but c’mon, 77!)

    • If this patriot can get out there, any president can. Completely without vanity.

      • Jerry

        With the Bushes, I think everybody, including them, would be happier if they had skipped the whole Presidency thing and gone straight to being ex-Presidents.

        • You should Jon Meacham’s book. It’s really good.

  • Zachary

    well… hrummff. Whatyathink o’ that? Won’t even throw out a first pitch to ‘America’s Pastime’. I may be a little premature in calling this out, but, Worst. President. Ever. hrummff…

    • kevins

      With emphasis on worst!

  • MrE85

    Here are great images of all the presidential “first pitches,” from Taft to Obama.

  • He might have trouble gripping the baseball given his tiny, tiny hands.

  • KenHoughton

    Had some game? With that release point?
    Had been hopeful that he would throw out the first pitch. Would have been the best one since Howard and the Mars Rover.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    Trump has small hands–he’s not used to handling balls that big…

    • Rob

      That sounds wrong…

    • AmiSchwab

      let him throw a golf ball

  • Rob

    I’d rather see Ivanka throw out the first pitch.

  • X.A. Smith

    Why doesn’t he just make Jared do it?