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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals invite Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw out first pitch on Opening Day 2020

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for tonight’s game with the O’s in D.C. (6:05 PM ET on MASN).

US-POLITICS-HEALTH-VIRUS-HEARING Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/AFP via Getty Images

Washington’s Nationals announced on Monday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, well-known Nats fan, and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, accepted their invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before their season opener with New York’s Yankees in D.C. this coming Thursday night.

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career,” the Nats wrote in a press release announcing the news.

“So it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title.”

Good choice? Will he throw a strike? From the mound or in front of it? Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Fauci, Fauci, Fauci:

Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw out first pitch for Nationals' opening day - (Washington Times)
"Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch for opening day at Nationals Park on Thursday before the Nationals’ game against the New York Yankees."

Anthony Fauci to throw ceremonial first pitch at Nationals’ opener - (WaPost)
“Fauci, 79, looked up to Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio as a Yankees fan growing up in Brooklyn, but the Nationals have since become his No. 1 team.”

Nats announce Fauci will throw first pitch at Thursday opener - (MASN)
"Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been seen in public appearances wearing a Nats face mask during the coronavirus shutdown and is a noted Nats fan..."

Dr. Fauci to throw 1st pitch at Nats' opener - (MLB.com)
"Following Fauci’s ceremonial appearance, Max Scherzer will take the mound against Gerrit Cole. First pitch between the Nationals and Yankees is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET."

Other Non-Fauci News:

Davey Martinez compares Victor Robles’ energy, humor to Major League’s Pedro Cerrano - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Center fielder Victor Robles joined the team last week after spending the first two weeks of Summer Camp quarantining as a result of being exposed to someone with the coronavirus."

Strasburg, Martinez detail how different road trip is during pandemic - (MASN)
"The Nationals chartered five buses that left Nationals Park starting at 1 p.m. for the scheduled 6:05 p.m. first pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards."

Stephen Strasburg never moved on from Washington. He moved in. - (WaPost)
“For years, as he silently entered the home clubhouse at Nationals Park, Stephen Strasburg seemed so, so Cali.”

Max Scherzer vs. Gerrit Cole: Everything you need to know about Opening Night matchup - (NBC Sports Washington)
"According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cole and Scherzer would be the first pair of starters with past 300-strikeout seasons to face each other on Opening Day."

Nationals step toward another first: going on the road - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Travel protocols are down in Section 7 of the sprawling Major League Baseball operations manual. And, team travel on the road is outlined under 7.1.3."

Martinez still likes Castro as Nationals' new No. 3 hitter - (MASN)
"So the Nats manager started using a newcomer in the No. 3 position during spring training: Starlin Castro."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nationals invite Anthony Fauci to throw out first pitch - (Big League Stew)
"Fauci has delivered multiple warnings about hastily restarting sports as the COVID-19 pandemic still ravages the United States."

Facing a Season of Uncertainty, Max Scherzer Is Still Tinkering - (The New York Times)
"Scherzer is not sure if he will keep batting practice as part of his routine; he may substitute medicine ball tosses as a way to stay warm before taking the mound."

2020 MLB season expert predictions - Division picks, playoff field, World Series winner - (ESPN)
"FanGraphs has the Nats' odds with the Braves to win the division as a coinflip, and that's about where I landed as well. I'm leaning towards the rotational power the Nats have..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Aaron Nola to start Phillies' season opener - (MLB.com)
"For the third consecutive season, the Phillies will put Aaron Nola on the mound for Opening Day, with the right-hander set to take the ball on Friday at Citizens Bank Park against the Marlins."

Should Robinson Cano even be in the Mets lineup - (NY Post)
"What if we are asking the wrong question with Robinson Cano? Not where he should bat in the Mets lineup? But if he should bat in the Mets lineup?"

Starting 5 all lined up for Marlins - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins’ rotation is falling into line, but manager Don Mattingly still isn’t ready to announce the order after Sandy Alcantara takes the mound on Opening Day on Friday at the Phillies."