Yankee great Mariano Rivera plays catch with Trump on MLB’s Opening Day, throws Twitter for a loop


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In somewhat of a role reversal, New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera appeared at President Donald Trump’s coronavirus press briefing while Dr. Anthony Fauci would soon be throwing out the first pitch on Major League Baseball’s opening night.

But it was Rivera’s appearance that threw social media for a loop.

President Trump and the Yankees legend celebrated Opening Day by hosting Little Leaguers in the Rose Garden, and even played a little game of catch, while Dr. Fauci appeared at the evening’s stellar game, a contest featuring World Series champion Washington Nationals and the Yankees.

The president said the return of sports is “a tremendous thing psychologically for our country, but MLB did its best to sully that notion, turning opening night into an ode to Black Lives Matter.

He also shared a video on Twitter of his time with Rivera and the children.


Rivera would earlier make a surprise appearance at the press briefing, looking on as the president announced that he was canceling the Florida portion of the Republican National Convention next month due to the coronavirus surge.

Trump, who had previously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rivera, praised the player for his work with children and his accomplishments as a player.

“I have a very special person who loves children, who’s I think one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lot of people say the greatest pitcher of all time. A lot of people say the greatest pitcher of all time,” Trump said.

Fauci, who heads up the White House coronavirus task force, was not at the briefing, but threw out the opening pitch of the Nationals game and turned out to be no more accurate here than he has been with some of his projections.

Still, the optics of it all proved to be a little too “weird” for MLB Network host Robert Flores.

Interestingly, Trump said during the briefing that he plans to throw out the first pitch himself at Yankee Stadium next month.

“I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium,” he said. “And I say, ‘How’s the crowd going to be?’ And, you know, it’s like you don’t have a crowd.”

MLB has opened the shortened season by playing in empty ballparks.

As for social media, the nation saw the reaction to Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue saying “we are all truly blessed” to have a leader like Donald Trump, so you can just imagine the response to Rivera.

Here’s a quick sampling from Twitter: (** Language warning)

Not that is was all negative:


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