How irked was President Donald Trump that Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch of the Major League Baseball season? Irked enough to make up his own first pitch, apparently.
The New York Times reported late Monday that when Trump said at a White House briefing last Thursday that he would throw out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game Aug. 15, it was news to everyone — including the Yankees.
According to the Times, Trump was so annoyed by the spotlight being on Fauci — who threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ season opener Thursday evening — that he had told his aides to schedule a first pitch of his own at an upcoming Yankees game. The Times said that while Yankees President Randy Levine had in the past extended an open invitation for Trump to throw out a first pitch, nothing had been finalized, and both the Yankees and Trump’s staff were surprised by the announcement.
Aides later told Trump he was already booked for Aug. 15, the Times said, and Trump canceled in a tweet Sunday. It was unclear what is on his schedule for that date.
“Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15,” Trump tweeted after spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course. “We will make it later in the season!”
Trump has not thrown a ceremonial Opening Day first pitch, the first president not to do so since Jimmy Carter.
The Times report said the relationship between Trump and Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious-disease expert, remains tense, largely because of the attention Fauci gets from the national media.
It probably wouldn’t help Fauci’s cause that his limited-edition trading card from Opening Day set an all-time sales record by Topps.
As for Fauci’s first pitch, he told the Times he was chagrined by how bad it was, and said he hurt his arm practicing. When asked if he has pitching advice for Trump, he said to throw it “high” with “big loft.”
“The worst thing to do is bounce it like I did,” Fauci said.