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Change of plans: Dirk Nowitzki to throw out Game 3 first pitch

Oct 20, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

dirk nowitzki rangers

Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas reported yesterday that MLB rejected the Rangers’ request to have Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki throw out the ceremonial first pitch once the World Series moves to Texas.

That led to a lot of angry fans, particularly since MLB’s attempted explanation didn’t really make much sense, and now they’ve changed their mind. Stein reports that MLB has invited Nowitzki to throw out the first pitch before Game 3 on Saturday.

MLB spokesperson Pat Courtney told Stein that commissioner Bud Selig was not involved in the original denial of the Rangers’ request and “ordered the reversal” once he found out. Nowitzki had already taken to Twitter to comment on the rejection, writing that “MLB is too old school” and “I will still be there to support our boys.”

All of which makes MLB’s original decision and initial attempts to explain the rejection all the more confusing, but better late than never I suppose. Sources told Stein that MLB was hesitant to let an NBA player throw out the first pitch because they’re supporting the NBA in the ongoing lockout, but Courtney denied that. Of course, he also said that Nowitzki lacked the “good broad-base national appeal” to be a first-pitch candidate, so who knows.

  1. nagrommit - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Glad to see MLB’s decision to let an unemployed German immigrant throw out the first pitch of game 3 of the World Series.

    • The Common Man - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      Sure, Texas doesn’t care about unemployed white immigrants.

  2. The Common Man - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    “Of course, he also said that Nowitzki lacked the “good broad-base national appeal” to be a first-pitch candidate, so who knows.”

    Well, he’s no random Pepsi contest winner, that’s for sure. Whoever that person is beloved by millions.

    • cur68 - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      I will not sit here and let the good name of Tim Wisecup be besmirched…ok I’ve reverted to lying down on a couch in my office. You can talk smack about him now.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Translation: Dirk doesn’t play in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Or for the Miami Heat.

  3. bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Good for Dirk.

    Meanwhile Breaking News out of Chicago and Boston: Press Conference believed to be scheduled for Friday . . .

  4. largebill - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Kind of doubted there was any connection to supporting the NBA in their labor situation. When have management in one area supported management of an organization which is somewhat in competition with them? More likely it is an issue of “Who is that?” on MLB’s part. Sure, Dallas won an NBA championship, but if I walked up to 100 baseball fans around the country I’m certain far less than half would know who Nowitski is. NBA has a following, but it is a fairly narrow fan base.

  5. mkd - Oct 20, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I think this went something like this:
    1. Rangers want Dirk to throw out first pitch because he’s hugely popular, just brought Dallas its first NBA Championship and is by all accounts a massive Ranger fan.
    2. Some senior staffer at MLB HQ rejects the request out of solidarity with the NBA. They don’t want to do anything that casts players in a positive light.
    3. Word leaks of the decision. No logical rationale is offered in defense of the decision except that “solidarity” has nothing to do with it. Because solidarity has everything to do with it.
    4. Bud finds out the decision and realizes there is no logical rationale to be offered beyond the solidarity thing. Caves. Offers trite BS about Lacking a Broad National Appeal to save face.
    Alternate 4. Bud finds out that HIS order to reject Dirk is getting push-back and that he is staring at a massive PR shitstorm that would blow the issue up way beyond just letting some NBA player do something that I’m pretty sure isn’t even televised live.

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