We were hit with news on Wednesday morning that MLB would not allow Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki to throw out the first pitch at a Rangers home game during the World Series. The allegation was the league didn't want to seem they were siding with the players during the ongoing and heated discussions being had around the NBA lockout.
By the afternoon, ESPN released a report that recanted that earlier stance. The report states Nowitzki is indeed being welcomed into the MLB fold.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said commissioner Bud Selig didn't know Nowitzki wasn't involved and thought he should be. So the league is inviting him to throw out the first pitch at one of the games in Arlington.
And he very well should be involved. This is not about picking sides during a labor negotiations. The assertion that a simple first pitch would have ramifications outside that game is ridiculous.
Nowitzki's presence is simply a gift to Rangers fans that would like to welcome a hometown sports star. There was hardly a bigger story than Nowitzki last season. He left the NBA world stunned as he continued to produce brilliantly in the postseason, knocking out the Miami Heat for a Mavericks title.
The lockout and continual negotiations are the headache of David Stern and the owners. MLB doesn't have to worry about meddling in their business. We are talking about billionaires here.
They are big boys that won't feel threatened by Nowitzki throwing out the first pitch. The real crime would be if MLB had disallowed Nowitzki from being involved. That would in fact be a choosing of sides.
Selig did the right thing here by simply giving the fans what they wanted. So much heartache could be avoided if commissioners would do that more often.