Obama Won't Throw Out 1st Pitch at Nats Park

Would Nationals fans cheer or boo President Barack Obama if he strutted out to the mound to throw out the first pitch of the new season?

We'll never know.

That's because the president -- and White Sox fan -- isn't scheduled to deliver the ceremonial first pitch Thursday at Nats Park, according to the team.

Instead, the Nats are giving the honor to flag officers representing each branch of the military.  The lineup is:

  • Vice Admiral Michael Vitale of the U.S. Navy
  • Major General Karl Horst of the U.S. Army
  • Lieutenant General Richard Y. Newton III of the U.S. Air Force
  • Lieutenant General Terry G. Robling of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft of the U.S. Coast Guard

They will be throwing to Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond, providing the third-year shortstop his first chance to make an error in 2011.  Aww, we kid because we care, Ian.  And we care deeply since you're the starting shortstop on our fantasy roster.  Do us proud!

In any case, the first 20,000 fans to enter Nats Park on Thursday will receive an Opening Day cap.  If you don't have tickets, you will still have a chance on the day of the game.  The Nats will offer up 400 $5 seats at the Main Box Office beginning at 10:35 a.m.  That's a pretty good deal if you can get it.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m. and the pregame ceremonies will start at noon.  That will include a moment of silence for Japan, a flyover by the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force Base and the first "Play Ball!" of the season, provided by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

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