With pitchers and catchers report to spring training earlier this week, today was reporting day for America’s celebrities across Florida and Arizona to practice their ceremonial first pitches. The new initiative was introduced this year by commissioner Rob Manfred as a way to help singers, actors and the like embarrass themselves less on the mound.
“We have seen fewer celebrities want to throw out ceremonial first pitches because every wild pitch and limp-armed throw instantly goes viral now due to social media,” said the commissioner. “So we felt compelled to invite them to spring training to teach them how to pitch before they take the mound in front of 30,000 people.”
More than 200 celebrities showed up today, with more expected to arrive in the coming days.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” said rapper 50 Cent, who infamously flung a first pitch about 20-feet wide of the catcher in 2014. “I’m hoping they can work on my throwing motion. I’d love to get another shot to throw out the first pitch at a major league game. I’ve only been getting requests from Single-A teams since the incident a few years ago.”
Other teams see the first pitch training about more than ensuring a pregame ceremony goes smoothly.
“I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far today,” said Twins general manager Thad Levine. “We had Lance Bass of N*SYNC fame in here today and he hit 54 on the gun. Not only should his first pitch look great, he could be a real option for us in the rotation this year.”