Yesterday, we heard something that made no sense to us: the Texas Rangers were interested in having Dirk Nowitzki throw out the first pitch before a World Series game in Arlington, but Major League Baseball put the kibosh on the idea. What we especially didn’t like: ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the ongoing NBA lockout adversely affected Nowitzki’s first pitch chances, in part because, in Stein’s words, “MLB executives want to stand behind their basketball counterparts” (Major League Baseball, for the record, denied this).
Today, though, came much better news: MLB reversed its initial thinking, and so prior to Game 3, Nowitzki will get first pitch honors after all. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told ESPN that MLB commissioner Bud Selig wasn’t a part of the initial decision, and no doubt not liking the backlash that followed that decision, Selig ordered it reversed.
To which we say: good on ya, Bud. There was never a truly good reason not to invite Nowitzki: he’s got star power, he’s a local icon, and he’s eager (he was quick to say yes when he finally got the invite). He’s even enough of a Rangers fan that he would have gone to the game regardless of whether or not he threw out the first pitch.
Give Selig some credit for recognizing all this – plus that some weird show of rich-person solidarity between MLB and NBA higher-ups wouldn’t have done too well in the court of public opinion, and deservedly so. The first pitch itself really isn’t a big deal – we’re sort of amazed that a first pitch controversy even exists (and that we paid as much attention to it as we did). This was really about the principle, though, and in the end, we’re just glad to see common sense win the day.
Getty photo, via