New York Yankees officials and White House staff were stumped when President Donald Trump announced — then canceled — a date to throw out the first pitch at a Yankee Stadium game next month — because he hadn’t been invited, The New York Times reported Monday.
Trump had announced Thursday that he was invited to throw out the ceremonial pitch by his “great friend” Yankee President Randy Levine. “I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium,” he added.
Nope, a source told the Times. Trump had reportedly directed aides to call the Yankees and make good on a standing offer from Levine to throw out an opening pitch. But no date was finalized, according to the newspaper.
Trump claimed to reporters that he had asked Levine: “How’s the crowd gonna be?” and added: “You know, you don’t have a crowd” because of COVID-19.
Trump jumped the gun on the date because he was annoyed that infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was about to grab the spotlight, an official familiar with Trump’s reaction told the Times. Later that day, Fauci threw out the first pitch at the season opener between the Yankees and the Washington Nationals, and the press loved it — even though Fauci’s throw was so off base that observers joked he was trying to “flatten the curve.”
After Trump simply picked his own date and announced it, his staff told the Yankees he was booked elsewhere that day.
Trump’s cancellation also happened to come a day after Yankees players Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks took a knee during the national anthem before a game at Washington’s Nationals Park in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement — something the president has attacked. They plan to keep it up for the rest of the season.