Following last night’s customary preshow—would it have been nice for MLB to at pretend for at least the first night of the season that it’s not just banking on epic national-TV-friendly Sox-Yankees games for its national profile? Probably!—today, my fellow Americans, is my favorite national holiday, Opening Day, or, as I like to call it, the reason I’m the only person in the office today.
Your day of day games kicks off at 1pm in Washington, D.C., home of the terrible, terrible Washington Natinals [sic], where President Obama will throw out the first pitch—while wearing dad jeans and keeping his elbow too close to his body, if his performance at last summer’s All-Star Game is any indication.
Obama has aggressively courted Real America and its men by playing up his sports fandom—doing a Super Bowl Q&A, filling out his NCAA brackets, etc.—but the presidential first pitch is a tradition dating back to 1910, when William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch at the Washington Senators’s home opener, and has continued, for the most part annually, since. The relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., though tragic, did provided an opportunity for continuity with this in many ways shockingly archaic American tradition; it also allowed us to experience this, probably the saddest thing (of many) to happen at a Natinals [sic] game in the team’s brief, benighted history.