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Yankees surprised by Trump announcing plans to throw first pitch without invite: NYT

The New York Yankees were surprised when President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE announced his plans to throw the first pitch at a game in August, The New York Times reported Monday.

That's because the team hadn't invited the president, a person with knowledge of Trump's schedule told the Times. 

Trump's announcement, which reportedly also came as a surprise to White House staff, came hours before Anthony FauciAnthony FauciKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Overnight Health Care: Biden team to begin getting COVID briefings | Fauci says he would 'absolutely' serve on Biden's COVID task force | Major glove factories close after thousands test positive for COVID-19 Fauci says he would 'absolutely' serve on a Biden coronavirus task force MORE, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals' season opener against the Yankees. 

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An official familiar with his reaction told the Times the president was annoyed about the media attention Fauci was receiving for the pitch. Trump directed staff to call Yankees officials to schedule a date for the first pitch, but a date wasn’t finalized.

White House aides reportedly tried to inform Yankees officials that Trump was booked to throw the opening pitch on Aug 15. But the president ended up canceling his first pitch on Sunday, citing that he would be busy with meetings and other work related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump reportedly was following up on a longtime standing offer from his friend Randy Levine, who is the president of the Yankees. 

“Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “And he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium.”

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Times report highlights the reported growing tensions between Trump and Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country. 

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Fauci has consistently warned about the direction the U.S. is heading during the pandemic, even as Trump and others at the White House have tried to tamp down concern. Trump earlier this month called Fauci "alarmist," and other administration officials have sought to discredit him. He has not appeared at White House coronavirus briefings that restarted last week.

Fauci’s first pitch last week ended up falling short and to the right of home plate, prompting criticism from conservatives.

Similarly, Trump had announced his speech at West Point the day before Vice President Pence was scheduled to speak at the Air Force commencement ceremony in April, also surprising West Point officials, the Times noted.