Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Presidential First Pitch

The other day when The 43rd President of The United States attended a Nationals Baseball Game at RFK Stadium, I wrote how opportunity had arisen for Principal Owner Mark Lerner and Team President Stan Kasten to nudge George W. Bush into convincing him to Throw Out The Very First Pitch, Of The Very First Game--At New Nationals Park.

I ended my post with this comment: "Mr. Lerner & Mr. Kasten better have been leaning on The President this evening to throw out The VERY FIRST PITCH AT NEW NATIONALS PARK IN 2008. I don't care what side of the aisle you represent. The President of The United States needs to throw out that pitch. NO ONE ELSE NEED APPLY. NO ONE."

A certain Mr. Anonymous responded with the following commentary:

'Watching him get booed to smithereens should be fun. C'mon, SBF, think clearly here. DC and it's surrounding suburbs are mostly Democrat, and putting Bush out there would just start next season at the new park on a bad note. You saw what happened to Cheney when he threw out the first pitch in '06, which is why Bush was "not available" to do it this year.'

I don't agree with that statement and here's why.

As I mentioned to The African Queen on April 14, 2005 "That may well be the only time I ever clap for that man." We laughed, but enjoyed the moment. That night the 43rd President Of The United States threw out the first pitch of the very first Washington Nationals Home Game. There is a time when people need to step away from their personal beliefs, doubts and dislikes and look at the Big Picture. We live in the Most Important City in the World. We have the unique opportunity for The President of The United States to do something that can only be done once--Open Up Our Brand New BallPark. For that day--its time to RESPECT THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT and what it Represents. Not how its represented by the person in the office. There is A BIG DIFFERENCE. Sohna and I feel strongly about that.

No Matter Who The President of The United States is--that person should throw out The Very First Pitch At New Nationals Park. And, that tradition should continue each and every upcoming season with A Presidential First Pitch--if possible.

There is No Place Like Washington, DC. A Unique City, In A Unique Country--playing Our Most Unique of Games--Major League Baseball.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I couldn't disagree with you more. Sure, the President OUGHT to throw out the first pitch at the new park, but not THIS President.

The man is an unambiguous disgrace. The curse of The Bambino (or The Goat) will be nothing compared to the curse the Nats will have heaped upon them if this Son of a Bush is allowed to befoul our new sporting palace.

Hopefully, he'll be too busy by then fending off impeachment and/or a war crimes indictment. I say let Mayor Fenty have the honor. At least most people don't have any animosity towards him.

Anonymous said...

SBF, you are right on on this one.

Anonymous, you've got to be either living under a rock or not from this area if you think Fenty is not disliked by a large segment of the area. (He also was not in favor of the stadium or team)

The President (whomever it may be) is the leader of our country and as such would make a great statement by throwing out the first pitch at America's game.

My political 2 cents here--- There are times when we all need to step away from the name calling, hate,etc. People wonder why our society is less polite now than a few years ago. Look at the previous post and notice the need for name calling and inflamitory speech. Hope Anonymous is able to handle the same type of comments directed toward them when they do a less than acceptable job in their daily life.

Sometimes we all just need to be Americans!!! Like at the first pitch of the season.

And no, I did not vote for THIS president.

An Briosca Mor said...

I booed Cheney when he threw out the first pitch in 2006, but I would not boo Bush if he shows up to throw the first pitch in the new park. Frankly, I don't think very much of Bush, but I'll think even less of him if he doesn't embrace the opportunity to restore the tradition of the Presidential Opener in Washington DC, our Nation's Capital. SBF is right on with this one.

Anonymous said...

So, anonymous (the first), who should be the one who decides which president is worthy of throwing out the first pitch? You? Your rationale for opposing the idea of GWB throwing out the first pitch next year is one that would result in no president ever throwing out a first pitch at a game. All presidents, particularly those in the middle of a second term, on whom the public inevitably becomes burned out, will have detractors who insist that they are unworthy of that honor. Lord knows that there was no shortage of people who would have been equally opposed to Bill Clinton throwing out that pitch while he was in office. As SBF points out, it's the prestige of the office that is being honored with that opportunity, not the individual occupant. You really need to rethink your position on this because it's unsustainable if you ever want to see any president throw out the first pitch. For, the next time there's a president you'd support, someone else will surely raise the same objections that you have right now.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I sympathize with Anomynous II, but I have to correct him on something. In spite of the fact that he almost KILLED the return of baseball to D.C., Mayor Fenty was cheered by most of the crowd at Opening Day this year. If Bush were to attend Opening Day next year, not only would he be booed mercilessly by the crowd, but there would be so many anti-war and anti-Bush banners that it would detract from the home opener. I hate to say this, but I think it would be better to wait until 2009 when a new President is in office before asking him to throw out the first pitch.

Anonymous said...

You're certainly entitled to that opinion, Eddie, but you don't really know how GWB would be greeted next year if he were to throw out the first pitch. Perhaps you would boo him, but that doesn't mean that everyone would. And even everyone does, so what? That's democracy in action, which is what America is all about. It wouldn't bother me in the least.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Say what you will about Clinton...he had a thicker skin than Bush. I think he was booed at Opening Day at OPACY, but it seemingly didn't bother him and I think he may have returned the next year. But Bush does not like to appear at any appearance where there might be an unfavorable reception from the crowd. So even in the (unlikely) even that all National fans BEGGED him to throw out the first pitch next year, we'll probably have to wait until 2009 and even then probably only if the Democratic nominee were to win.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

BTW, I booed Cheney, but my reason was because I felt Bush was giving Washington the shaft by not showing up. I suspect everybody else in that crowd did it for partisan reasons.

Jim H said...

It's really pretty simple. Take Me Out to the Ball Game should be sung during the seventh inning stretch.

Hot dogs, peanuts, Crackerjack and beer should be widely available during any baseball game.

And the president of the United States should throw out the first pitch of the baseball season in Washington DC - new stadium or not.

Having 43 throw out the first pitch of the 2008 season at the new ballpark - assuming he's still the holder of the office - should be automatic.

SBF is right. We all should put the cynicism away long enough to respect the office and enjoy the tradition.

Jim H said...

Oh...and everyone should remove their caps during the playing of the National Anthem.


paul said...

I am getting agita thinking about this issue; let's get back to which journeyman should be playing center field! Seriously, I am going to Pac Bell in a few weeks to see the mighty Nats foil Bonds' many attempts at ***glory. I feel like I should file a report with epics, etc., since I have enjoyed so much the reporting this year. But does anyone have an in for tickets other than the usual scalper sites? I don't mind going on, but I just thought I'd ask . . . .

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear Mr. Needham over at Capitol Punishment thinks about all this. Someone who, you know, can be a voice of REASON when it comes to the Nats (instead of being a mouthpiece for Kasten, Bowden, etc.) I agree w/the first commenter. THIS president should not throw out the first pitch. People talk about tradition this, tradition that, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes you need not cowtow to tradition in order to do the right thing, which is get somebody who hasn't torn our country apart and ruined our standing with the world to throw out the first pitch.

An Briosca Mor said...

natsphan, you just don't understand. The President of the United States SHOULD throw out the first ball, in Washington, to start the baseball season. This should happen no matter who the individual holding the office is in any particular year. Indeed this DID happen, year after year, on a regular basis, until the tradition was broken when the Senators left town in 1971. The tradition should have resumed in 2005 when a team came back to Washington, and indeed it did to an extent because W threw out the first pitch that year, even though the game was not the season opener for all of MLB. The next year, the game was still not the MLB season opener, and W shirked the tradition to boot, sending Cheney in his place. This year, bowing to political pressure, both Bush and Cheney shirked the responsibility, even though the game was on the real MLB Opening Day. The tradition needs to be restored - even you and the first anonymous commenter seem to agree on that. You just say it shouldn't be THIS president who does it. Well, you see, the thing is that BASEBALL needs to re-learn this tradition as well. There should be no talk of the Nats and Orioles alternating the home opener from one year to the next. The MLB season should open in Washington DC with POTUS throwing out the first pitch, every single year. 2008, with the opening of a new park, provides the perfect opportunity for both MLB and the POTUS to get on the same page and properly restore the tradition. If either of them backs out in 2008, it will be that much easier for the tradition to never be restored in future years. It's imperative that this president, as despicable as he is, not shirk his responsibility to throw out the first pitch next year for any reason. If he gets booed, so be it. He will have done the right thing and restored the tradition as a proper thing for the holder of his office to be doing. And frankly, I for one think that he will not be booed as Cheney was. There is respect for the office of president, while the office of vice president (as one of its former incumbents famously said) is not worth a bucket of warm spit. That difference will be enough to get me to sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut if Bush shows up, whereas I booed Cheney lustfully last year. I think there are many other Bush haters out there who would do the same.

Anonymous said...

Nice Post! You were there... Maybe you can answer this question:

Who was boo'd more at a baseball game? Bush or Cheney?

Check out the comparison:

Bootiful! Who knew that Cheney's unfavorable status was even worse than Eliot Spitzer?!?!