The president of the United States throwing out the first pitch of the Major League Baseball season truly is a rite of spring. President Barack Obama was the hurler-in-chief before Monday’s Washington Nationals-Philadelphia Phillies game, continuing a tradition apparently begun by President William H. Taft in 1910. Obama reportedly spent some time practicing his pitch. (No one wants to get on a mound in front of 40,000 people and dribble one into the catcher.) The president strode to the Nationals Park mound in a red Nationals jacket, to cheers and some boos. Toeing the pitching rubber, Obama pulled out a Chicago White Sox cap and put it on his head, to more boos. All in good fun. As for his toss, Obama’s left-handed offering sailed high and wide to the left, but Nats infielder Ryan Zimmerman still was able to flag it down. Mission accomplished!