Donald Trump's announcement that he would no longer be throwing out the first pitch before the August 15 New York Yankees' game reportedly took the team by surprise, but not quite as much as his previous announcement. Katie Rogers and Noah Weiland of The New York Times reported on Monday that Trump's announcement he was throwing out the first pitch was also a bit of a shocker for members of the front office.
The reporters added that when he said he was going to take part in the pre-game festivities, it was because he was jealous of Dr. Anthony Fauci doing the same thing for the Washington Nationals. Rogers and Weiland reported the problems started about an hour before Fauci took the mound for the Nationals' pregame. Trump stood at the lectern in front of the media and said he'd been invited to do the same with the Yankees.
"[Team president] Randy Levine is a great friend of mine," Trump said. "He asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I'm doing that on August 15"
The problem, the New York Times reporters said, is that Trump hadn't actually been invited to appear at that game. One person who was familiar with the president's schedule said he surprised both officials from the baseball club and his own administration.
Another source reportedly told them that Trump was so annoyed by the doctor's time "in the limelight" that he instructed aides to call the baseball team and take up the "longstanding invitation" to make an appearance. That source also claimed a date was never finalized, meaning August 15 was something the president apparently came up with at the spur of the moment.
After Trump announced the date, his aides reportedly scrambled to let the Yankees know he was coming. They then had to double back and tell them he was already booked and wouldn't be able to make it.
As The Inquisitr reported previously, Trump posted on Twitter that his schedule would no longer allow him to appear. His tweet claimed he had to focus on the coronavirus, which he referred to as the "China Virus." He added he had meetings scheduled about potential vaccines and other events that he couldn't get out of in order to partake in the pregame ritual. He did say he would do it later in the season.
Rogers and Weiland pointed out the incident continued what appears to be a growing rivalry between Trump and Fauci. One, they wrote, is a powerful man who hates sharing the spotlight. The other is an expert in infectious diseases who seems to be enjoying getting some attention.