MLB reprimanded the Pittsburgh Pirates after a rapper who threw out a first pitch at their game Wednesday endorsed marijuana.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa was invited to throw out the first pitch before the Pirates’ game against the Baltimore Orioles. He did so happily and was in a gregarious mood before tossing out the pitch. The problem is he used the spot to make a subtle political statement. Khalifa was wearing a shirt that said “legalize it” and also made a smoking gesture before delivering his pitch.
Pittsburgh's Wiz Khalifa prepares to throw out the first pitch before tonight's Pirates game against the Orioles at PNC Park. #412 #420 pic.twitter.com/EcMA6Lwi5B
Wiz Khalifa is a big Pittsburgh guy and one of his famous songs is “Black and Yellow” about the city’s sports teams. He also has an album titled “Rolling Papers,” so you should probably be prepared for this sort of thing when you have him throw out a first pitch. It’s like asking Snoop Dogg to throw out the first pitch and getting upset if he does something similar. It comes with a territory; you may end up ticking off some parents while trying to appeal to their kids.
Boston Red Sox fan Jordan Leandre sent some really funny tweets after his botched ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s Red Sox-Cardinals game went viral.
Leandre, a Ewing’s sarcoma survivor who sang the national anthem and ran the bases around Fenway Park as a kid, threw out the first pitch while surrounded by the 1967 Red Sox. He sailed his pitch over his catcher, and it hit a photographer in the nuggets.
The heat and accuracy on the pitch from Winston should not come as a surprise. The Buccaneers quarterback was a two-sport athlete at Florida State. He was particularly effective as a reliever in 2014, racking up seven saves while posting a 1.08 ERA. He probably could hold his own in the Rays’ minor league system if he wanted to give baseball a shot.
Many draft pundits believed the Phoenix Suns were lucky to have Kansas swingman Josh Jackson fall to them at No. 4. Some NBA experts, including ESPN’s Jalen Rose, had said Jackson was the best player in the whole draft.
Jackson is a dunk machine, an athletic freak who can fly above the rim and play lockdown perimeter defense with the best of them. If you’ve watched him play basketball, you probably assume his insane athletic ability translates to other sports.
Maybe that’s true, but we now know Jackson should stay far away from a baseball diamond. He and Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Haason Reddick, a linebacker from Temple, threw out the ceremonial first pitches at the Arizona Diamondbacks game Friday night.
Reddick’s pitch was perfectly normal. Jackson’s was…well, he probably wants to forget about it. It was reminiscent of 50 Cent’s legendary first pitch at a Mets game in 2014.
Move over, 50 Cent, there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to the worst ceremonial first pitch in baseball history.
Former Florida State outside linebacker DeMarcus Walker threw out the first pitch at a Seminoles baseball game this week, and let’s just say he didn’t appear to be warmed up properly. Be warned that the following may be considered NSFW:
Miss Texas USA 2016 unfortunately will go down on the long list of honorary guests who have botched their ceremonial first pitch.
Daniella Rodriguez, Miss Texas USA, attempted to throw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s Astros game, and it did not go well. Rodriguez, wearing about five-inch platforms, spiked her pitch into the ground:
To be fair, it would be a challenge for Greg Maddux to throw a strike in shoes like that. And at least her toss was better than this one from 50 Cent.
Olympic hero Katie Ledecky was in her hometown of Washington D.C. on Wednesday to throw out the first pitch prior to a Beltway Series game, and she humorously turned MVP Bryce Harper into her personal concierge.
Ledecky won four gold medals and a silver at the Rio Olympics and brought them all with her to Nationals Park. But she wasn’t about to make her first pitch with them all around her neck, so she had the reigning NL MVP hold them for her, which made for a great photo:
Charles Barkley was one heck of a basketball player, but his talents on the court certainly did not transfer to the diamond.
Sir Charles threw out the first pitch before Tuesday’s Cubs-Reds game at Wrigley Field and his pitch was not one of the best we’ve seen. If a batter were in the box, the pitch probably would have hit him in the leg, not that it would have hurt at Chuck’s velocity.
Barkley later did an interview with FOX Sports and talked about the first pitch. He said he didn’t really play baseball growing up and said this was his first time throwing out a first pitch.
At least Chuck didn’t look completely “ridiculus” on his toss.
Is it just me, or has this been one of the worst years for ceremonial first pitches that Major League Baseball has ever seen? A Houston Astros fan may have topped them all on Tuesday night.
As you can see, the young lady spiked the ball directly into the ground. She obviously just couldn’t get her fingers to let go of their grasp on the ball, and the end result was a pitch that was almost as bad as the underhand toss we saw from Miss Texas earlier this month.
Unlike Bob Costas, the Astros fan didn’t ask for a second chance. She took her lumps and went to retrieve her souvenir before accepting a much-needed hug from Astros mascot Orbit. At least she went down gracefully.