President Bush learned a lesson Monday night. At 66, his curveball is gone.

Bush tried to show off his arm when he took the mound in Arlington Stadium to throw out the ceremonial first ball at the Texas Rangers' opener. His son George W. co-owns the team.As a sellout crowd cheered, Bush turned his hand over to signify to Rangers catcher Geno Petralli that a breaking ball was coming.

Then the southpaw president wound up and bounced the ball in the dirt at the catcher's feet. He threw his hands down in disgust and tore off the field after a hasty apology to his battery mate.

Aboard Air Force One en route back to Washington, Bush sped back to the media's rear cabin to offer excuses for his sorry performance. "I never should have gone with the curveball. It broke too soon," he said.

Bush got a scolding from two granddaughters for the post-curveball conniption.

He said they asked, "Why did you get so mad, Gampy?"

"What do you mean?" demanded Bush. "I was not."

The girls - 9-year-old twins Jenna and Barbara - repeated his gesture of throwing both hands down and chorused, "You're a bad sport, you're a bad sport."