CINCINNATI, OCT. 16 -- President Bush will not be on hand to throw out the first pitch at Wednesday night's Game 2, Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said today.

But the White House said tonight that Barbara Bush would substitute for the President.

Bush had indicated on Sunday that he'd attend the game, but the president told Vincent this afternoon that he must remain in Washington instead for the budget vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Mrs. Bush was here today, meeting with local youth groups in anticipation of meeting her husband Wednesday.

George Bush was to have been the 13th president to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game while in office.Schott for Schott

The leading pre-World Series attention getter has been Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. What better reason could there be to make certain the games get underway?

Schott was at her best today at a downtown rally here that drew 5,000 people to Fountain Square this afternoon. Schott and her St. Bernard, Schottzie, were dressed all in blinding red, and Schott mustered perhaps baseball's most irritating singing effort since Roseanne Barr by leading the crowd in a chorus of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."

"I just want to have one of those big, old rings on my fingers like the boys wear," Schott said before tonight's Game 1 against the Oakland Athletics in Riverfront Stadium. Some of her players, meanwhile, say privately that they can't wait for the season to end so that they can be away from Schott.

"She drives us crazy," reliever and frequent organization basher Rob Dibble said during the National League Championship Series, that before taking a vow of public silence for the World Series.

Schott's antics in her five years as the team's president and chief executive officer include having Schottzie pictured in the club's media guide alongside the Reds' vice presidents, firing an elevator attendant for taking too long to pick her up and refusing to give away day-old doughnuts to team employees.

During the NLCS, Schott rushed down from the Reds offices to halt workers who were constructing the commissioner's box in front of her seat. She wanted to have the Reds wear Schottzie hats with floppy dog ears for tonight's game, a proposal quickly shot down.

Yet she seems to be mostly tolerated by Reds fans, and she basks in the attention. "I'm just glad my team has brought this town together the way it has," said Schott.More Clemens Comment

A's Game 2 starter Bob Welch refused today to respond to reports that Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens's dugout taunts of Welch during the second game of the ALCS included allusions to Welch's former alcohol problems.

Clemens reportedly yelled at Welch: "Have a beer. Be a man, stop drinking milk!" Welch said he had not heard those remarks. . . .

Cincinnati's first-year general manager, Bob Quinn, offered a curious explanation for the Reds' 1990 success: They were afraid to lose.

Quinn recounts a tale from spring training, when he stood before a team that had suffered through last season's trials of a fifth-place finish and the Pete Rose gambling accusations that never ceased tormenting them.

Quinn's Plant City, Fla., address would be the last time he'd speak to the players as a whole all season. He proceeded to introduce Reds Manager Lou Piniella and give the club some words of warning.

"I said, 'Let me pass along this observation: This man hates to lose, and I hope you never have to experience Lou Piniella after a losing effort,' " said Quinn, who was the New York Yankees' GM when Piniella managed there. "He's not a happy camper. I think they picked up on that. Now they don't like to lose." . . .

The Reds' shutout tonight was the 16th in World Series opening games. Four of the past five teams to be blanked in Game 1 have rebounded to win the series; the exception was last year's San Francisco Giants. Game 1 winners have gone on to capture 50 of the previous 86 series. . . .

The Reds have won six straight World Series games, dating from Game 7 of their 1975 encounter with Boston. . . . A's outfielder Rickey Henderson extended his postseason hitting streak to 13 games. . . .

The Reds and A's are wearing U.S. flags on their uniform shirts during the World Series as a show of support for U.S. armed forces in the Persian Gulf.