Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner commented on President Donald Trump’s anticipated World Series appearance, saying the president has “every right to come” to the game.
“Well, he has every right to come,” Lerner said in an interview with The Washington Post on Oct. 25. “He’s the president of the United States whether you like him or not. It’s a special event. He should be at it.”
Washington Nationals pitcher Anibal Sánchez agreed with Lerner, saying people should “respect that situation” if the president wanted to attend the game, reported the Associated Press.
“He’s the president, and if he wants to come, why not?” Sánchez said.
Trump told reporters on Oct. 24 that he is going to watch the World Series game on Sunday at Nationals Park in Washington. After losing the first two games at home, the Astros came back to win Game 3 of the World Series in Washington and delivered a 8-1 blow in Game 4, tying the series at 2-2.
When asked by reporters whether he was going to throw the first pitch, Trump joked that he would look too bulky wearing the necessary body armor.
“I don’t know,” Trump said. “They got to dress me up in a lot of heavy armor. I’ll look too heavy. I don’t like that.”
Meanwhile, Lerner told the Post that the president would not throw out the ceremonial first pitch. That honor would very likely go to acclaimed chef and humanitarian José Andrés, a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
“The first pitches are our call, and we felt there are many other candidates that should be considered before [Trump],” Lerner said. “The 2005 guys will be awesome tonight. Our scholar from the baseball academy tomorrow night. José, who I think is being considered for a Nobel Peace Prize. That’s three pretty good selections. We just wanted to have the right people. I think we got a nice mix of people.”
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league actually reached out to the White House to discuss the first pitch, and they agreed with Trump that it would be the best for him to arrive after the game started.
“We actually had a conversation with him about first pitches,” Manfred told the Post. “His view was that in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible, he would arrive at Game 5 sometime after the game began so it wouldn’t interfere with fans getting into the stadium.
“Quite frankly, we were very grateful for that. We thought it was a great decision on the president’s part.”