Texas Rangers fans hoping Dirk Nowitzki could bring some of his championship magic to the Rangers in the form of a ceremonial first pitch look like they're out of luck.
The Dallas Mavericks forward was on a list of proposed pitch-throwers the Rangers sent to Major League Baseball, but the Nowitzki bid was rejected by MLB, according to ESPN.com
The Rangers acknowledged that Nowitzki was on their list and he was denied, but the AL champs did not give a reason why. ESPN.com cites sources that indicate much of the reasoning stems from a show of solidarity from baseball for the NBA in the midst of the league's ongoing lockout.
Unsurprisingly, MLB denies that notion.
"MLB absolutely denies that any part in selecting the first ball pitcher had anything to do with the current labor situation in the NBA," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. "You want the club's input in what makes sense for them and then we talk about what makes sense for the team and a good broad-base national appeal.
"It's a nice problem to have that you get a list of 10 or 15 names and you work your way through them. We know Nowitzki's been at the games, and that's wonderful. We're glad he's there."
Nowitzki didn't officially respond initially, but he did tweet about the ordeal on Wednesday afternoon.
"Thanks every1 on the support regarding first pitch. Its ok.Mlb is too old school. I will still be there to support our boys. Let's get game1"
Nowitzki threw out the first pitch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 25 shortly after the Mavs beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA title. This is what the Rangers and their fans are missing out on for the World Series.