Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw ceremonial first pitch to begin pandemic delayed MLB season

MLB+starts+their+pandemic-shortened+season+today+with+no+fans.++Dr.+Anthony+Fauci+will+throw+out+the+ceremonial+first+pitch+of+the+season.

Geoff Livingston (Flickr)

MLB starts their pandemic-shortened season today with no fans. Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the season.

Ole Olafson , Reporter

Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch of the pandemic-shortened baseball season this afternoon.

The season, which was supposed to begin back on March 26, was put on hold until today by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

USA Today reported that Fauci will get things started for the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch to begin the 60-game MLB regular season.

On Monday, the Nationals issued a statement announcing that Fauci, who they referred to as a “Nats super-fan” had accepted their invitation to throw out the first pitch.

“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title,” the statement said.

Fauci reportedly grew up a Yankees fan, the team the Nationals will play tonight, but says he supports both teams now.  Fauci’s support for his now home team was on display when he wore a Nationals themed facemask during a recent press conference.

Fauci has been criticized by a few vocal football fans for voicing what some would call unfavorable opinions about NFL football’s decision to not use the “bubble” strategy, where athletes who test negative for coronavirus are kept away from the community while participating in their season.

By throwing out the first pitch for MLB, Fauci seems to be supporting their league after eluding to the fact that the NFL season could fail because of their decision to not isolate players.

The NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer are all utilizing a bubble scenario to finish their seasons and playoffs.  The MLB is not.

No fans will be allowed at any of the games.

Even though the President is usually asked to throw out the first pitch of the season, President Trump has not thrown any ceremonial first pitches during his presidency.

Thursday’s opening-day schedule only features two games.  The Yankees and Nationals will play at 4:08 p.m. MT and the L.A. Dodgers and San Francisco Giants start their seasons at 7:08 p.m. MT.

Most teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks will begin their seasons on Friday, which features a full slate of games.