Joe Maddon jokes about ceremonial first pitch struggles at LLWS
It took Joe Maddon multiple attempts to ultimately deliver a decent ceremonial first pitch at the Little League World Series over the weekend, but at least the manager had a good sense of humor about his struggles.
Ahead of a showdown between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in Williamsport, Pa., on Sunday night, Maddon was tasked with first-pitch duties before a match-up between Hawaii and New Jersey at the LLWS.
Maddon needed not one, not two but three tries to finally keep the baseball from diving into the dirt on his pitches.
Joe said he thought of me before he threw these. (That was his first mistake). Perhaps because I was standing behind home plate filming. pic.twitter.com/10PKZC4ASs— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 18, 2019
Maddon weighed in on his ceremonial first pitch woes afterward, and the skipper managed to sneak in some self-deprecating humor in his comments.
Maddon blamed his bad first pitch before a LLWS game today on 'inappropriate warm-up':— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 18, 2019
"I was trying not to suck but I did."
Maddon interestingly relied upon one of his quirky Cubs’ managerial mantras from a few seasons ago when discussing his efforts with the “trying not to suck” reference.
All that said, Maddon obviously is not the first person to have issues when performing ceremonial first pitch duties — a group infamously led by 50 Cent, not to mention a poor White Sox staffer earlier this season — though it merits noting not every first pitch of this sort goes awry.
Still, Maddon was finally able to deliver a decent pitch. Granted, he was given three tries, an opportunity not everyone in his position has been afforded over the years.