Headline: Barack Obama Says No To The Washington Nationals.
According to a cleverly-titled Washington Times' article published this morning by Times' writers Mark Zuckerman and Christina Bellantoni entitled, "Obama's out at home", the first pitch of the 2009 season in Nationals Park will not be thrown out by the sitting President, Barack Obama, who will be, "brushing back a presidential tradition that dates to 1910." (ed. note - "Nice.")
President Obama is hardly the first President to decline to do so. As the Times' writers reference, the first Presidential First Pitch was thrown by William Howard Taft in 1910, on April 14th, with the Washington Senators facing off against the Philadelphia Athletics in old National Park (which burned to the ground in 1911) in a game the Senators won 3-0. Taft threw out the first pitch in 1911 as well, but in 1912 he sent Vice President James S. Sherman, because Taft had lost a personal friend when the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, just four days before the DC Home Opener, which was again against the Philadelphia Athletics.
Woodrow Wilson passed the honor on to his Vice President Thomas Marshall in 1917 since the world was three years into World War I. Calvin Coolidge threw out four Presidential First pitches, but not in 1926 when he was mourning the death of his father. In 1939 Franklin Roosevelt chose to attend a "family gathering instead of attending the game" according to Wikipedia's Presidential First Pitches page. Dwight Eisenhower skipped the 1953 Opener to play golf.
So if President Obama's not going to throw out the first pitch who will? Vice President Joe Biden looked a little too cozy with the Orioles for my taste, and if the Washington Post writers can't even mention the O's on Nationals Journal without drawing criticism, I can't imagine the DC Faithful are going to want to see Biden throw out a second first pitch in DC? How about Frank Robinson? Or Frank Howard?
In case you missed Stephen Strasburg's 7th win of 2009, (SDSU 15 UNLV 4), check out the GameThread sdsuaztec4 put up last night so that we could all follow along and scout the prospective #1 pick in the '09 MLB Draft. Strasburg's line:
Strasburg - (W, 7-0), 1.49 ERA, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K's, 2 WP, 1 FO, 1 GO, 25 BF.
In an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal entitled by Ed Graney entitled, "Aztecs' Strasburg lives up to billing", Mr. Graney quotes an anonymous "American League scout" (one of many at the game), who gave this assessment of the 20-year-old SDSU flame-thrower:
"He (Strasburg) has the best curveball I've ever seen from an amateur. You get 98 (mph) on the fastball, and then you get that damn curve coming at your knees -- late, sharp and big at 84 (mph) -- and you buckle. Nobody in the big leagues throws a curve that hard. He could pitch in the big leagues today."
And the UNLV Coach offered this inspiring speech to his team before the game, according to Mr. Graney:
"'I told our players to embrace it,' UNLV coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. 'As a player, you should look at it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on the field with someone who is as dominant a pitcher as college has seen.'"
Go out there and enjoy it, kids. You're never going to beat him...Nice.
Washington vs Atlanta...Game 4 of 162. Shairon Martis vs Derek Lowe.
Derek Lowe, huh? The same Derek Lowe I watched dominate the Phillies on MLB's Opening Night last Sunday, throwing 8.0 scoreless in which he allowed just 2 hits. The same Derek Lowe who is (5-1) with 3 saves in 6 starts and 6 relief appearances against Washington/Montreal in his 13 year MLB career. The same Derek Lowe who held the Nationals to a .130 AVG in 16.0 IP against DC last season.
Derek Lowe makes his 257th career start, DC righty Shairon Martis makes start No. 5 of his MLB career. The 21-year-old native of Willemstad, Curacao debuted last September in a loss to these same Braves, allowing 4 hits, 5 walks and 2 runs in 5.0 IP. In just 3 appearances on the road so far, Martis is (0-2)...
Martis' '08 Splits...
Home - 2 G, 2 GS, (1-1), 8.1 IP, 10 H, 9 ER, 4 HR, 4 BB, 9 K's, 9.72 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, .294 BAA.
Away - 3 G, 2 GS, (0-2) , 12.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 14 K's, 2.92 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, .178 BAA.
Derek Lowe vs The Nationals...
Josh Bard - 3 for 21, .143 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Adam Dunn - 1 for 12, .083 AVG, 1 BB, 4 K's.
Cristian Guzman - 8 for 25, .320 AVG, 1 2B, 5 RBI's, 2 SB.
Nick Johnson - 5 for 20, .250 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Austin Kearns - 2 for 17, .118 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Lastings Milledge - 1 for 8, .125 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Josh Willingham - 2 for 9, .222 AVG, 2 HR's, 5 RBI's.
Ryan Zimmerman - 3 for 18, .167 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7 K's.
DC Starting Lineup...
- Leadoff Lasto - CF
- The Guzzzzz - SS
- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! - 3B
- Big Wilkie - LF
- Nick Nick Johnson Johnson - 1B
- Elijah "Super" Dukes - RF (Yeah!!!!)
- WWJD? - C
- TAWH - 2B
- Shairon Martis on the mound...
For A Braves Fans' Perspective, Check out the SBN's Atlanta Braves blog:
(ed. note - "In case you didn't see anything about this, I heard Nationals' team President Stan Kasten talking about this recently during an in-game interview on MASN, and MLB.com's Bill Ladson has a post about it on his blog entitled, "Nats launch unprecedented program", about the work the Nationals are going to be doing around DC with their DC Public High School Initiative...You might not agree with the Front Office's baseball decisions, but they're doing the right thing for the DC Faithful here.")
Game Time 7:35 pm EST in Atlanta, GA's Turner Field. Washington at Atlanta. A threat of rain in the forecast. Shairon Martis' '09 debut. The first game of the year against the Braves...
Who's Watching The Nationals?
After Tonight's Game, The Washington Nationals Will Be...
This poll is closed
1-3 - Can't Lose 4-Straight To Start The Season...
0-4 - Derek Lowe Owns The Nationals...