Obama and the All-Stars

The President is a White Sox fan to which I say, “wrong color sox, Mr. President.”  But leaving partisanship aside, it appears that he was the first President to be at an All-Star game since 1978 – when I think the President was Jimmy Carter.

Obama Throws First Pitch

We already knew that basketball and not baseball was Obama’s game so we shouldn’t be surprised when

Obama, who warmed up with Pujols in the batting cage, threw a pitch that was a lot slower than one of Tim Wakefield’s knuckleballs.

Jack Curry  goes on in the New York Times Bats blog

Before Obama tossed the first pitch, he stopped to shake hands with Stan Musial, a Hall of Famer for the Cardinals, who was sitting in a red golf cart. After Obama’s pitch, he shook hands with Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Red Schoendienst and Lou Brock, the other living Cardinals who are in the Hall. Brock saluted Obama, who saluted back.

When Obama visited the National League clubhouse before the game, Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies, a fellow Hawaiian, gave the president some macadamia nuts. The players had been advised not to give Obama anything, but Victorino did anyway, and his teammates howled.

Witnesses said Obama glided from player to player before the game, shaking hands and exchanging small talk. Obama spent the most time with Pujols. He also teased Pujols, who plays here, and Ryan Howard, who is from here, about losing the Home Run Derby to Prince Fielder on their home turf.

The last time Obama threw out the first pitch was before Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series, so he was pitching on 1,371 days’ rest. Those White Sox won eight consecutive postseason games and a World Series title. After Obama noted how he brought his favorite team some luck, he added, “Any of these teams need a lefty

Interestingly, Obama also visited the umpires before the game and signed things for them and for a charity auction. Alan Schwartz  wrote in Bats

So 40 players and staff on each All-Star team got 15-minute clubhouse drop-ins from the president? Big deal. The six umpires got 10 minutes all to themselves.

“For the leader of the free world to take the time to talk to us lowly umpires was just incredible,” the left-field ump Tim Timmons said. “I barely remember it, I was just in awe.”

Don’t think that has happened before.

And finally there is this.  Alan Schwartz asked some players –  no Red or White Sox – what they would ask the President.

— Miguel Tejada, Astros: “How does it feel to have all that power?
— Prince Fielder, Brewers: “When do you get to just watch TV? When can you just sit and not talk to nobody?”
— Trevor Hoffman, Brewers: “Did you think that things would slow down once you got into the White House?”
— Zach Duke, Pirates: “What’s the highest bowling score you’ve gotten down there?”
— David Wright, Mets: “Something about A.C.C. basketball. I know he hooped it up with the Tar Heels.”
— Adrian Gonzalez, Padres: “Can you get us a college football playoff?
— Brian McCann, Braves: “When’s the economy going to turn around?”
— Carlos Pena, Rays: “Are you a see-it-to-believe-it person or a believe-it-to-see-it person?”
— Mark Teixeira, Yankees: “Who was your favorite athlete growing up, when you were just a kid enjoying sports?”
— Curtis Granderson, Tigers: “Are you tired? Do you get stressed?”
— Michael Young: “How can I help?”

And about the game:  The American League won.  Beckett and Wakefield did not pitch.  Youk and Bay each had a hit and Pap had a one-two-three inning but one of his high wire performances.