By David Walsh:
Bush skips baseball’s opening day
3 April 2007
If George W. Bush’s unpopularity and isolation needed to be underscored, his decision not to throw out the ceremonial opening day ball of the major league baseball season served the purpose.
Bush spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore told the Washington Post that the president had been invited by the Washington Nationals baseball team to throw out the first ball at the afternoon game between the Nationals and the Florida Marlins at RFK Stadium, but “it’s not possible with his schedule.”
She elaborated, “He’s got various meetings during the day, a meeting earlier in the morning . . . It just wasn’t going to work out.”
With the president’s ratings languishing, the Post asked Lawrimore whether Bush “feared he’d get booed.”
“No,” she replied. “Certainly not.”
Most people over the age of 10 would be skeptical.
According to the White House, the president’s schedule included an 11 a.m. meeting on health savings accounts in the Roosevelt Room and at 2:35 p.m. the presentation of “the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the United States Naval Academy Football Team in the Rose Garden,” awarded to each season’s winner of the college football series among the various service academies.
Of all the recent US presidents, Bush is most closely identified with baseball, having served (profitably) as a part-owner of the Texas Rangers’ franchise from 1989 to 1994.
In remarks before a group of baseball Hall of Famers at the White House in 2004, Bush declared, “You know, I love the game of baseball. I grew up loving baseball.”
He also noted that “One of the traditions, of course, is for the president to throw out the opening pitch for baseball.”
The official White House web site has special pages devoted to baseball.
US daily The Daily Worker and integration of baseball: here.