Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci on Twitter, the infectious disease specialist who has helped lead the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump wasn’t focused on the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans, though. Instead, he homed in on Dr. Fauci’s ‘bad arm’ for baseball.
Trump’s tweets were referencing the ceremonial first pitch that Dr. Fauci threw in July to mark Major League Baseball’s opening day. Let’s take a look.
The pitch is bad. There’s no denying it. It’s as upsetting as the first pitch thrown by 50 Cent in 2014, which the Washington Post had previously suggested was ‘the worst ever,’ and that time Randy Johnson killed a bird with a fastball. Not good.
The Post made its determination after Wonkblog editors watched a bunch of pitches on YouTube and then plotted the attempts on a chart using the eye-test. Other notable horrendous pitches belong to Carly Rae Jepsen, John Wall and former Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory, who was playfully, but rightfully, ejected by an umpire for his attempt.
According to Wonkblog’s data, two of the best first pitches of all time were thrown by well-known weed lovers Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg.
In 2012, Snoop threw a sinker that crossed the plate in the strike zone, which moved the Post to declare it “the gold standard of celebrity first pitches.”
Right next to Snoop on the chart is a pitch from McConaughey, who threw a strike that caught the inside corner of the plate before an L.A. Dodgers game in 2009. This begs the question: Is weed the secret to a great first pitch?
It wasn’t the only ceremonial pitches that Snoop and McConaughey, who starred together in the stoner flick Beach Bum, have thrown.
Sadly, the weed-induced successful pitch theory seems to fall apart when one considers this wild pitch that Snoop let loose before a San Diego Padres game in 2016 that came closer to striking a cameraman than it did to crossing home plate.
McConaughey also followed up his stellar 2009 pitch with this high curveball that took on a life of its own as soon as it left his hand.
So is the weed-theory bunk?
Not so fast.
Arguably the best ceremonial first pitch of all time, despite being absent from the Wonkblog chart, belongs to Cirque du Soleil performer Gabryel Nogueira da Silva, who not only threw a perfect strike, but preceded his pitch with a 360-degree twisting backflip.
There’s no confirmation that that Nogueria da Silva is a fan of cannabis, but if there’s anything that goes well with weed, it’s Cirque du Soleil.
There you have it.
The science says that Dr. Fauci should consider cannabis — perhaps an edible — before his next trip to the mound.
Or maybe he should just stick to basketball.
Or, better yet, curbing the spread of COVID-19.