WASHINGTON (AP) -The White House said Friday it had no input on the decision to have Nationals manager Manny Acta catch the ceremonial first pitch from President Bush on Sunday night. Acta was picked instead of starting catcher Paul Lo Duca, whose name appeared prominently in the Mitchell Report on drug use in baseball.
``It was a decision that was made by the Nationals,'' White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
Asked if the president would have any objection to throwing to Lo Duca, Stanzel said: ``The president was happy to throw out the first pitch to whoever the Nationals selected.''
Nationals president Stan Kasten said Lo Duca was never considered to catch the pitch. He said the team owners chose between Acta and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, both of whom will accompany the president to the mound.
``Myself and the Lerner family thought it would be appropriate to represent our team and the youth of our team,'' Kasten said. ``Ryan Zimmerman would be a good person to accompany the president, and our leader, our manager, Manny Acta. Those choices seemed obvious to us. Those have always been our choices. Anyone else who had different thoughts was just misinformed.''
Lo Duca, publicly at least, took the news in stride.
``That's OK,'' the catcher said. ``Hopefully, I'll still meet the president.''
Notes: Acta will announce his opening day lineup before Saturday's exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles. ... OF Elijah Dukes rejoined the team after missing Thursday's exhibition game to deal with non-baseball matters.

Top MLB Public Bets


MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Chicago aims to bounce back vs. Cleveland After hammering the Cubs in last night’s World Series opener, the Indians can’t wait to get back to the field for Game 2. Thankfully for the hosts, their...
Thumbnail World Series opener pits Lester vs. Kluber Two title-starved organizations are ready to kick off one of the most intriguing World Series matchups we’ve seen in some time.
Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages