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For Fauci, First Pitch Didn't Add Up

Home plate looked 200 feet away, former shortstop says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 7:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – Dr. Anthony Fauci apparently miscalculated. After not throwing a baseball for decades, he practiced for two days for the first pitch at the Washington Nationals game last week, Yahoo Sports reports. Fauci thought he'd marked the throw off at 60 feet, he told the ESPN Daily podcast, but realizes now he was warming up at more like 45 feet. After all the practice, his pitching arm "was killing me," he said, though he thought he had one pitch in him. The result was an opening day toss that was way, way wide. Even in his youth, Fauci, now 79, wasn't used to being on the mound; he was a shortstop. When he took his position at Nationals Park, he said, his reaction was, "Oh my God." The plate looked 200 feet away, Fauci said. So he changed his motion—always dangerous for a pitcher—and let loose. "It was my bad all the way," he said.

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Closer to his expertise, Fauci said the scenarios he discusssed with Major League Baseball before its season started included one playing out now in Miami, per USA Today. The Marlins season has been suspended after a coronavirus outbreak on the team. "One of the things that came up as a big concern is, 'What happens if a cluster of players get infected, and how are you going to handle that?'" he said. "Are you going to wind up shutting down the team, would it then impact on other teams that would be playing?" MLB has handled the outbreak well, Fauci said, while acknowledging that a similar outbreak on another team could bring the season to a halt. "I have enough faith in the good judgment of the people who are making that decision that it seems likely that they will at least consider that as a possibility if you have multiple outbreaks," he said. (On the other hand, Fauci's baseball card is a hit.)

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