Dr. Anthony Fauci was selected to throw out the first pitch ahead of Thursday's MLB Opening Day matchup between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals.
The nation's leading expert and consultant on COVID-19 is hardly a savant on the diamond, apparently.
Fauci threw out a first pitch rapper 50 Cent would be proud of, spiking one in the dirt and firing wide of Nats reliever Sean Doolittle behind the dish.
Just a bit outside Dr. Fauci 🤣 #OpeningDay https://t.co/FGATQKT6PY
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 23, 2020
The good doctor gave it his best effort. But as Bob Uecker might say, the offering was “Juuuust a bit outside.”
There were early fireworks to start the MLB season almost immediately after Fauci's delivery.
Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton clubbed a mammoth, two-run homer off Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first inning before Nats outfielder Adam Eaton answered with a solo homer off Gerrit Cole in the bottom half.
Both clubs are expected to be competitive in this 60-game MLB season.
The Nationals are coming off their first World Series in franchise history last year, and re-signed Stephen Strasburg in the offseason to keep the team's dominant rotation intact.
New York made a pitching play of its own, signing Cole to a record-breaking contract in free agency.
There are still questions about how COVID-19 will impact the start of play. Early testing numbers have been mostly positive, though star Nats outfielder Juan Soto was scratched from the opener after testing positive on Thursday morning.
In any case, baseball is back, with Dr. Fauci kicking off the festivities in Washington. Perhaps next time he will come slightly more prepared.