First-Pitchgate!

Biz of Baseball's Maury Brown called it "the biggest gaff[e] of the night." The Detroit Free Press listed it first on its tally of All-Star broadcast "lowlights." The Albany Times-Union's Pete Dougherty used the headline "Fox blows coverage of Obama's first pitch." Jim Buzinski of OutSports.com accurately described the collective WTF that millions of us felt last night while watching a pointless baseball exhibition:

Leave it to Fox Sports to screw up what should be the easiest shot in baseball: The ceremonial first pitch. But that's just what the bozos did at tonight's All-Star Game in St. Louis, when we saw President Obama, clad in a Chicago White Sox jacket, throw the first pitch.

Except, we never saw the whole pitch, just Obama's windup and delivery. We never saw who caught it (Albert Pujols was IDed about two minutes later) and we never saw it actually go over the plate. A graduate student director could have gotten that shot (hint: use the camera behind home plate, or a camera behind Obama). And there was no replay as they went into commercial. So we have no idea whether Obama did a good job or would make the blooper reel.

I had the obvious immediate reaction–CONSPIRACY–and though that was a joke, one that only conservative media obsessive Tim Graham seemed to flirt with ("Murdoch Goes Gentle on Obama's First Pitch"), watching the wide-screen video replay this morning is making me stroke my chin and wonder about birth certificates.

Why? Because even though we already knew that they used just one camera in a location where they had dozens of the things (including the traditional centerfield view, which you can see in this famous President Bush strike at Yankee Stadium just after 9/11), and even though we already knew that that the lone gunman hand-held camera missed the money shot of whether the pitch crossed the plate, what I didn't fully grok until watching the footage below was that the cameraman jerked his lens away from home plate just as the ball was approaching, then jerked it back after the deal was done.

See for yourself; it's at the 0:44 mark. Note that the full width of the shot–showing catcher Albert Pujols–was only available to viewers on HD; the rest of us never did see the ball's destination.

So until I hear an explanation from the execrable Fox Sports, and/or until some intrepid citizen video reporter dares to ask the hard questions and upload the results on YouTube, I am going to assume, even more so than usual, that Donald Sutherland was right all along.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds is going there: "My guess is that the White House media shop negotiated that camera angle."

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  • Kyle Jordan||

    Ha! This is great! Didn't watch the game so I had no idea about this but it makes me happy.

    Fuck Obama. He deserves every slight/disrespect he gets for being such a fucking idiot.

  • waffles||

    I'm from the future, the slights/disrespects keep coming. But it gets worse.

  • ||

    until some intrepid citizen video reporter dares to ask the hard questions and upload the results on YouTube

    Bwahaahaa!!!

  • Russ 2000||

    I think they decided not to show much of it because The President Of The United States throws like a girl. He's a wuss!

  • Peter||

    Which conspiracy is worse, this, or LeBron having Nike confiscate the tapes of him being dunked on by a college kid?

  • ||

    If you saw the guy bowling you'd easily understand the White House PR folks' trepidation.

    Obama's athletic skills make me look like Jim Thorpe.

  • Jim Treacher||

    If you don't think Sarah Palin is a talented politician, just imagine the skill and craftiness it took to convince Obama to wear her jeans.

  • creech||

    Yeah, it almost hit the ground. But I bet Ryan Howard would have swung at it if he already had two strikes on him!

    Distinct sounds of booing along with cheers when Obamessiah walked from the dugout. But tv guys ignored it and today's newspaper claims he was "cheered."

  • ||

    Last night reminded me about the boredom I now feel with the game of baseball, along with the existential crisis that lurks underneath for betraying my childhood love.

    It pains me to say it, but I just can't watch it anymore. Too slooooooooow. Now I must go sit in a corner and ruminate.

  • ||

    He's a southpaw!

    Reuters video shows the pitch barely made the plate. Maybe the Fox cameraman was trying to save him some embarrassment?

  • Warty||

    Some of His supporters were all atwitter a while ago because, right before he went onstage at a debate that was being held at some college gym, he did THREE WHOLE FUCKING PULLUPS. Goddamn, three. That's like, impossible and stuff.

  • Mike M.||

    Distinct sounds of booing along with cheers when Obamessiah walked from the dugout. But tv guys ignored it and today's newspaper claims he was "cheered."

    It sounded to me like the cheering and booing was divided pretty close to 50-50, which can't be a good sign for him just six months in.

    I didn't mind the traditional throwing out of the first pitch, but practically the whole damn game was all Obama, all the time.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Some of His supporters were all atwitter a while ago because, right before he went onstage at a debate that was being held at some college gym, he did THREE WHOLE FUCKING PULLUPS. Goddamn, three. That's like, impossible and stuff."

    Are you fucking serious!? Ok, I changed my mind. The Robot zombies can't come quick enough.

  • Jay||

    What? No link to Amazon in Glenn Reynold's post?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I have to be honest, if I were reporting it, I would have said he was "cheered" as well - listening to the audio, it definitely did not sounds like "50-50" to me.

  • ||

    If you don't think Sarah Palin is a talented politician, just imagine the skill and craftiness it took to convince Obama to wear her jeans.

    I can't.

    I can't do it.

    I would never make one of those sleazy "in her pants" -type jokes. That would be wrong.

    Was there a baseball game last night?

  • Warty||

    Reuters video shows the pitch barely made the plate.

    Ha! What a pussy.

  • ||

    "It sounded to me like the cheering and booing was divided pretty close to 50-50, which can't be a good sign for him just six months in."

    In Missouri? The land of John Ashcroft?

    50-50 is about the best he could expect.

  • ||

    Fox missed the second pitch, too. Too busy loading the screen with Ichiro Suziki stats.

  • ||

    I told Obama to read my Libertarian President Top 100, but he wouldn't listen (I think the liberty thing was too scary for him), because I clearly addressed this specific issue (well, almost specific):

    37. Throw a freakin' strike when I make the first pitch to open baseball season.

  • Lowdog||

    In light of some of the comments about butt-wiping in a thread from yesterday, we have even further proof that Obama is a sinister, evil man, up to no good.

    Did you notice from the Rueters video that Pujols was pretty much on top of the plate, and Obama still almost bounced it up there?

  • ||

    Barry slid the long zipper of Sarah's jeans down, tooth by delicious tooth. Each of the teeth clicking apart sent a shiver of pleasure down the length of her gunt. "Oh, yeah! You bethca!" she exclaimed as he reached through the open zipper and tried to push aside her enormous Wal*Mart panties.

    As he leaned in close, the tip of the cigarette hanging from his mouth was inches from her own mouth. Sarah breathed in the acrid menthol smoke. "Cool," he said, the cigarette bobbed as he spoke and ash fell into her cleavage. Barry stubbed out the cigarette on the side of a salmon Sarah had caught for him and let the gentle rocking of the boat guide his fingers against her swollen clitoris.

    Sarah's fingernails scrabbled for purchase against Barry's own jeans. "Button-fly, baby," he drawled, "Hold on." Sarah began to softly whine has he pulled his hand out of her crotch to undress. He wiped his hand on her face and gave her a salty finger to nurse. Sarah stumbled backwards and landed on a pile of fishing nets.

    Barry dropped his jeans to his ankles. His POTUS underwear could barely constrain his turgidity. "Hey, girl. Where's the shitter in this place?"

    "It's a boat, Barry."

    "Yeah. Yeah it is."

  • ||

    SugarFree has a dark, evil gift.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Barry smokes reds, you racist. I wonder how many hours he practiced that pitch. And obviously he never perfected it, thus the camara angle deal.

  • Russ 2000||

    He was wearing a Chicago White Sox jacket. Of COURSE he was ignored.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    The woman in your story seems familiar to me somehow.

  • ||

    "It's not his fault that he can't pitch, 'cuz his daddy didn't love him."

    Baseball's more the speed of a slow person like George W. Bush.

  • Jim Treacher||

    I would never make one of those sleazy "in her pants" -type jokes. That would be wrong.



    It could be funny, though. Hypothetically.

  • Jim Treacher||

    SugarFree | July 15, 2009, 12:19pm | #



    Also, fish.

  • ||

    37. Throw a freakin' strike when I make the first pitch to open baseball season.

    Sissy. A beanball would show you mean business.

  • ||

    P Brooks,

    Only if I called it first. Can't have a wild pitcher in the White House, after all. Though that would be better than tossing the ball into the dirt. Pathetic.

  • ||

    sent a shiver of pleasure down the length of her gunt.

    "Gunt"?

    I'm apparently not as knowledgeable about the female anatomy as I'd like to think; maybe I really *should* read Feministing more often.

  • ||

    Bean who, P Brooks? The catcher?

  • ||

    What you really need to do, Pro L, is make sure the Speaker of the House is in attendance when you send the high hard one caroming off the batter's head into the upper deck.

    Then you can turn and smile at him/her.

  • ||

    Duh, Nick's right. Bean who? I suppose the control problem is exactly why a batter doesn't stand out there for a ceremonial pitch.

  • ||

    A gunt is the female taint.

  • ||

    I know even less about the traditions of baseball than I do about women.

    How can you call it a "pitch" if there's nobody there to swing at it?

  • ||

    May I take this opportunity to thank H & R for not moderating comments at all?

  • ||

    Seconded, RC.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    It looks clear to me he got the ball to the catcher. I don't see the controversy.

    But man, that JFK clip is phenomenally bad. Eight minutes of spoken exposition backed up by History Channel-level inserts in black and white. (To be fair, maybe the History Channel picked up that technique from Oliver Stone rather than the other way around. Either way, it sucks.) This is filmmaking?

    I can't wait for Oliver Stone's Napoleon:

    Captain: Emperor, Wellington has defeated your army!

    Napoleon: Merde! 'ow did zees 'appen?

    Captain: Wellington and Blucher's forces were arranged in two groups, with a gap between their lines. You were faced with the choice of attacking either the British or the Prussians first, or trying to drive a wedge between the two. After long consultations with Marshall Ney (cue bw footage of Ney and Napoleon poring over a map), you decided on the latter strategy. Although initially your strategy seemed to be succeeding....

  • Matt Welch||

    It looks clear to me he got the ball to the catcher. I don't see the controversy.

    CAN YOU EVEN READ???? Point is, they didn't show the results in the live shot, at all. I have never seen that before.

  • ||

    Now that I have you both here, can you make sure there's a posting on the zombie robot story? I mean, that just screams Hit & Run.

  • ||

    A gunt is the female taint.

    Sorry, but no. Gunt is a portmanteau of gut and cunt and describes when the lower portion of a woman's belly fat and the accumulation of fat in the pudenda merge into a single flabby protrusion.

    SFW Visual

    As for girl taint... why are the vagina and the anus so close together? So when girls are drunk, you can carry them like a six-pack.

  • JB||

    Obama didn't make it to the plate. He needed some help just like he needed some help from Affirmative Action when he went to college.

    Where are those test scores, Mr. Transparency?

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    By now, you should realize that I don't use dictionaries or the Internet--I just make words up.

  • Ska||

    Wow SF, never knew there was a real word for that (also, the link doesn't show anything, but that might be a problem on my end).

    I've always referred to it as a FUPR (pronounced "fooper") - Fat Upper Pussy Region.

  • Seward||

    Tim Cavanaugh,

    Funniest thing I've heard so far this week!

    How about a biopic of Gen. Mark Clark in Italy? ;)

  • ||

    Ska,

    The link works, you may just have photobucket blocked on your end. It's a pretty standard thing for blocking software to blacklist.

  • moman||

    JB
    You make the case that affirmative action works. It's not like he got a pass and went on to become a janitor.

    Not that there's anything wrong with being a janitor.

  • ||

    Fox may not have shown it, but I watched from MLB.tv and saw every second of it.

    I saw Obama walk out in the mom jeans. I saw him stand on the mound, and saw him throw a lofty sinker to about three feet in front of Pujols. Luckily, Pujols caught it.

    It was just in front of the plate.

    There, silliness put to an end.

    Now you guys can go back to watching UFC and TED speeches.

  • Rhywun||

    He should have just said "Pass." Or does that make him a sissy boy too? Another reason we need a chick president--to dispense with stupid he-man rituals like this.

    May I take this opportunity to thank H & R for not moderating comments at all?



    I can't believe that innocent blogs get caught by my company's naughtiness filter, but this page sails right on through.

  • ||

    If I was prez I wouldn't even go to a baseball game. What a waste of time. I would offer to randori with Vladimir Putin in the name of diplomacy. He's mop the floor with me, most likely, but he'd respect the office of the POTUS a little more.

  • JB||

    You make the case that affirmative action works.

    Not at all. It works for some people, but it creates more problems than it solves at this point. The backlash it creates is large.

    You have new generations of whites and asians who have very little connection to past racial attitudes, but they are given reason to wonder if a person got their job on the merits. That is not helping this country move forward.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    you guys are fucking hyperdisgusting. And that's not meant as a compliment, either. Christ.

  • ||

    Somebody PLEASE put the guy on ice skates. That would be HILARIOUS.

  • jollylama||

    That was the prez throwing?.. geez, by the looks of the throw i thought it was the first lady

  • Dee||

    Uh...usually I enjoy reading the comments, but...WOW! Being a woman in IT, I am used to trading immature sexual comments with male co-workers, but some of this is a little over the top.

    There are certain things I thinks, fewer things I will say, and even fewer things I will write.

  • Dee||

    Ah jeez...excuse my Popeye impression: "There are certain things I thinks..."

  • Jim Treacher||

    There once was a pitcher named Barry
    Who was worshipped much like Virgin Mary
    When he stood on the mound
    There were laughs all around
    'Cause we all saw him throw like... um... Aunt Sherri?

  • ||

    This only proves he African and not American. Show me one American born black male child that can't throw a baseball, and I'll show you a girly man.

  • nobamablog||

    Like everyone else in the media, the camera just couldn't take its eyes off The Anointed One long enough to follow the pitch.

    That's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it.

  • ||

    I think the camera person was juked by Barry's hellacious Eephus pitch. Didn't know what to do.

  • ||

    nice post..
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