30 thoughts on “Ethics Rule: If You Can’t Do Something Better Than This, Don’t Volunteer to Do It

  1. A couple things:

    1) If you’re going to agree to throw out the first pitch, make sure it’s not the first pitch you’ve ever thrown. At some point before game time, just go ahead and pick up a baseball, get the feel for its weight and size. Maybe toss a couple, just to see how the arm motion is supposed to go. Heck, you might even throw one or two practice pitches for the full distance. Somewhere in that stadium they probably have an extra baseball you can practice with.

    Alternatively, you can choose to go out there and dribble the ball about halfway to home plate and make a total ass of yourself in front of a huge audience. Most celebrity “first pitchers” seem to take the second route.

    2) With no stadium crowd, this is a tradition that feels very pointless. It’s just a guy walking in near-silence to the mound to toss a ball with the accuracy and strength of a toddler. He didn’t even get booed for his pathetic pitch, which is what is supposed to happen when you whiff that badly. The first pitch and numerous other pre-game traditions are primarily for the in-person fans, not the TV audience. Why are we doing this at all?

    3) I’m a fan of Japanese sumo, and they’ve restarted their schedule this week, with coronavirus modifications, after cancelling the previous tournament. They’re only allowing (I think) 2,000 spectators into the stadium (masked, of course), which allows for pretty significant spacing between people. If they can do that in an *indoor* arena, why can’t baseball figure out how to fit a few thousand fans into an outdoor stadium that holds 40,000 people, instead of those ridiculous cardboard cutouts and piped-in siimulated crowd noise?

    • Independent baseball teams are allowing fans, following local restrictions. The New Britain Bees (formerly Atlantic League, now summer-college) allow 1500 fans in a 6000 person stadium. The minor league soccer team in Hartford is operating under similar guidelines.

      A sell out would actually be a larger crowd than usual….

  2. In all fairness, the man is almost 80 years old. In high school he captained the basketball team despite being only 5’7″. That said, he should have taken a practice throw or two, and turned down the honor if it looked like he was going to embarrass himself.

    • Without knowing the size of his team mates I don’t know if as captain he towered over them or was dwarfed by them. Size is relative.

    • Does he have frozen shoulder or something?

      Even a former basketball player ought to have some memory of a proper throwing motion. If his infirmities are that severe, he should’ve just thrown it underhand or rolled it to the catcher. I can at least respect that.

  3. 1) Something fundamentally went wrong here. Even people who don’t know how to pitch don’t pitch *that badly*. Bad luck combined with incompetence here to really prove a point.

    2) It’s also disrespectful to the institution of baseball to take part in this tradition when knowingly this incompetent…as it is disrespectful to any institution to engage in it’s activities symbolically if your engagement makes a mockery of the institution.

    3) Then again, from a story-telling angle, Fauci’s complete botchery of the pitch mirrors institutional baseball’s botchery of the embrace of BLM.

  4. And another comment a friend passed on to me:

    “Of course Fauci threw the ball like this, it’s his job to make sure no one catches anything.”

  5. From the WSJ (be thankful that you were spared the entire article):
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/dr-anthony-fauci-explains-why-his-first-pitch-was-just-a-bit-outside-11595620680

    *Dr. Anthony Fauci Explains Why His First Pitch Was Just a Bit Outside*
    He threw a baseball for the first time in decades. He woke up with a sore arm. ‘And you saw what happened,’ he says.
    Anthony Fauci doesn’t want to make excuses. But he can explain.
    “I completely destroyed my arm!” he said.
    Two nights before Fauci was scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the Major League Baseball season, the world’s most recognizable 79-year-old immunologist went to a Washington, D.C. elementary school to play catch with a local high-schooler. It was the first time he had thrown in decades. He felt good. He felt ready.
    Then he woke up the next morning.
    “My arm was hanging down around my shoes,” he said.
    He was still in pain when he walked to the mound on a muggy Thursday night in a Washington Nationals jersey and face mask. “I’ll just throw it, feel the pain for a little bit and it’ll be over,” he said. Then he looked at his catcher behind home plate. “He looked like he was a mile away,” Fauci said.
    He was unnerved enough in that moment to rethink his strategy. Fauci decided to unleash a fastball.
    “Instead of doing my normal motion of just lobbing the ball, which would’ve been the best thing to do, I thought: Oh, baby, I better put a lot of different oomph into it,” Fauci said. “And I did. And you saw what happened.”
    What happened was Fauci went into his windup and…bounced a wild pitch to the backstop.
    “It went as a line drive toward first base,” Fauci said…
    …His arm was sore on Wednesday, even after he iced, and it was still hurting inside the eerily quiet stadium on Thursday. He couldn’t help but feel intimidated as the Nationals and Yankees watched him walk onto the field. He thought he’d practiced from 60 feet and 6 inches—until he got to the mound and realized he must have miscalculated.
    Fauci threw from about 50 feet. The ball made it 40 feet.
    “When I saw he was so far away, I said I better try to throw a bullet,” Fauci said. “And that was a mistake.”
    But the doctor known for his blunt honesty laughed at himself on Friday as he made one more thing clear: He was feeling better than his arm.
    “Oh, it hurts like crazy,” he said.

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