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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

nbcwashington: Nats Get No Respect—Not Even From Obama

President Barack Obama dissed the Nats in more ways than one way Tuesday night at the All-Star Game in St. Louis.

First of all, him just showing up to throw out the first pitch at the game was a slap in the face, since he has yet to do that at Nationals Park (But don’t worry, Nats, you’re not alone in this one. The Caps are still waiting for Obama to drop a puck at the Verizon Center, too.)

But for Obama to walk out onto the field in a White Sox jacket ... well, that almost made the Lerner family stop swimming in their big swimming pools full of money just long enough to cry. Almost.

After throwing out the first pitch, Obama then made his way up to the broadcast booth to talk some baseball with Joe Buck and that McGruber guy. The boys start discussing parity in the league, and Obama drops a bombshell:

“There’s a lot of parity, which I think is terrific, because it means everybody around the country has a little bit of hope for their team,” Obama said.

Wait for it… Wait for it…

“Maybe with the exception of the Nationals.”

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:34 PM | 112 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:25 PM (#3254797)
Well, he said he'd never lie to the American people :)
   2. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3254804)
Obama is funny because he still talks smack about sports like he's not the president. Hilary must be baffled by it.
   3. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3254806)
It's mind boggling how bad the Nats are.

Mind boggling, the depths of their suckitude... but also mind-boggling because on paper, I just can't see how they are this bad.

I'm not claiming they've got championship quality talent, but Lannan and Zimmerman are legit mid-rotation starters, and they've got at least 3 or 4 bats that could start for most teams. I know the bullpen's been putrid and the rotation's 'depth' alternates between really awful and not ready, but how is this team in a position to challenge 120 losses, especially in the NL?
   4. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3254807)
But for Obama to walk out onto the field in a White Sox jacket ... well, that almost made the Lerner family stop swimming in their big swimming pools full of money just long enough to cry.

I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. He's from Chicago. If, God forbid, the country lost their collective mind and elected me president in three years, I'd trot out to the mound in an Indians jacket. I'm fairly certain the first President Bush is an Astros fan and the second is (obviously) a Rangers fan.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:33 PM (#3254810)
I'd trot out to the mound in an Indians jacket.


Hell, I'd sign an executive order requiring the Nats to trade Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn to the Royals for Yuniesky Betancourt.
   6. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3254813)
The Nats are a 90-loss team that could finish .500 if things broke the right way. Instead everything seems to have broken the wrong way at every opportunity.
   7. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:35 PM (#3254816)
Even here in Chicago, the 'faux pas' of wearing a Sox jacket was discussed on the radio during my drive into the office.

I'll say this - Cubs fans, Sox fans, Obama lovers, Obama haters - universally chided the new WGN morning guy for being such an idiot about it.
   8. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3254817)
I'm fairly certain the first President Bush is an Astros fan

I know that he and Barbara attended both World Series games held in Houston in 2005, and both seemed to be into the games. IIRC, they even kept score.
   9. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3254818)
I know the bullpen's been putrid and the rotation's 'depth' alternates between really awful and not ready, but how is this team in a position to challenge 120 losses, especially in the NL?

Fangraphs has them as hte unluckiest team--by far--in the majors. I think they'll improve in the second half just from regression, which is bad news for Acta's future unfortunately. Really, they aren't as putrid as their record and there's more reason for hope for the Nats than is commonly thought. I can see them having a quick Seattle-like rennaisance next season with a couple of savvy moves.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:38 PM (#3254820)
I'm not claiming they've got championship quality talent, but Lannan and Zimmerman are legit mid-rotation starters, and they've got at least 3 or 4 bats that could start for most teams. I know the bullpen's been putrid and the rotation's 'depth' alternates between really awful and not ready, but how is this team in a position to challenge 120 losses, especially in the NL?


Bad defense, terrible bullpen, worse luck (bad hitting with runners on base, by pythag, they're 34-53, as opposed to 26-61).
   11. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3254824)
Bad defense, terrible bullpen, worse luck (bad hitting with runners on base, by pythag, they're 34-53, as opposed to 26-61).

Yep, but I think what we've learned the last 6 or 7 years is that the quickest aspects of a team to fix are the defense and the bullpen.
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:42 PM (#3254825)
People are comparing Obama wearing his Sox jacket to Bush going all hometown when he showed up for the Nats.

Very different situation.

Bush was throwing out the first pitch at a Nats game.

Obama was throwing out the first pitch at the All Star Game, which represents all teams.
   13. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:44 PM (#3254827)
Bush was throwing out the first pitch at a Nats game.

Obama was throwing out the first pitch at the All Star Game, which represents all teams.


Yep. There was nothing wrong with what either did. I can't believe anyone is even worrying about it.
   14. . . . . . . Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:47 PM (#3254832)
I know that he and Barbara attended both World Series games held in Houston in 2005, and both seemed to be into the games. IIRC, they even kept score.

Bush I, of course, played college ball at Yale. About 10-15 years ago when I spent a lot of time in Maine, he'd show up to a Seadogs game now and again. To be sure, he's a baseball fan.
   15. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:47 PM (#3254834)
Yep. There was nothing wrong with what either did. I can't believe anyone is even worrying about it.

Right. If Obama ever threw out the first pitch at a Nats game, it would probably be inappropriate for him to wear a Sox jacket.

I don't get why he would wear a Nats jacket to the All-Star game. Because he lives in D.C., he must form an allegiance to the local team?
   16. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3254839)
Yep. There was nothing wrong with what either did. I can't believe anyone is even worrying about it.


Because there are some people who will worry about anything. After all, there was a mini-kerfuffle about which mustard the president preferred.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:52 PM (#3254841)
Also, to be fair to Obama, even the Nats players are pretty embarassed right now to be seen in Nats gear.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:53 PM (#3254844)
I don't get why he would wear a Nats jacket to the All-Star game. Because he lives in D.C., he must form an allegiance to the local team?
No! That would be betraying his previously loyalty, which is just as bad! He should have come out wearing an American flag.
   19. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:54 PM (#3254846)
Because there are some people who will worry about anything. After all, there was a mini-kerfuffle about which mustard the president preferred.

The irony is that those who complain about the cult of personality about Obama are the ones who fixate the most on this petty BS. Actually, I shouldn't say it's ironic. More like predictable.
   20. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3254850)
Or one of those obnoxious jackets that has every team logo on it.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:59 PM (#3254854)
Bush I, of course, played college ball at Yale. About 10-15 years ago when I spent a lot of time in Maine, he'd show up to a Seadogs game now and again. To be sure, he's a baseball fan.

I think if I were to rank Presidents by baseball fandom, it would probably go:

1. Bush I
2. W.
3. Nixon
4. Obama
5. Reagan

I haven't heard much about any other presidents being huge baseball fans. Ford seemed to be a sports fan in general, but more into football. Ike and Kennedy seemed like jocks, but I haven't heard much about them being baseball fans.
   22. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:00 PM (#3254856)
Or one of those obnoxious jackets that has every team logo on it.

Man, those are ugly. Especially when they're worn with the matching leather hat.
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:00 PM (#3254857)
I agree - the Nationals are a bad team, but they have very young starting pitching (exactly 8 of their games this year have been started by a pitcher older than 25), of which a two or three of those starters have a chance at being pretty good next year (Zimmerman, Stannen, Lannan), and a couple of very good hitters to put in the middle of their lineup (Zimmerman and Dunn). But they have a very old, ineffective bullpen, poor defense, and offensive black holes at 2B, CF, and RF.

It seems to me that the Nats could be much better in 2010 ifthey focus on:
1) bullpen depth (Burnett seems a move in that direction)
2) one or two league-average veteran starting pitchers (that is, pitchers who will give them 30 starts of 6 innings at 4 to 4.5 ERA)
3) another OF bat with a high OBP and a little power
4) defense in CF (Morgan?)
5) a 2B with defense and a league-average bat.

I know that's a lot, but only #3 is likely to cost meaningful dollars and years.

If I'm the Nats, the next two weeks is an opportunity to get a head start on finding these pieces: Nick Johnson, Ron Villone, Mike MacDougal, Joe Beimel...these are veteran guys having decent years that don't bring big return, but may be of interest to contenders for short help - and might help provide bullpen depth for 2010 and beyond.

FWIW, the more I think about the Milledge trade, the more I like it from the Nats' perspective. They took a resource of limited value (Milledge) and turned it into two pieces of a well-constructed roster (a 28-year-old OF who can hit a little and play very good defense, and a 26-year-old lefty who has the ability to be a useful member of an effective bullpen).
   24. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:03 PM (#3254861)
Yes sir, Steve Balboni. I can see the Nats as respectable as soon as next year. It'll be fun to see what Rizzo does before the deadline.
   25. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:03 PM (#3254862)
I know that's a lot, but only #3 is likely to cost meaningful dollars and years.


So is #2. League average starting pitching on the free agent market seems to got for around $10M a season, with a preferred commitment of at least 3 years.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:08 PM (#3254870)
I haven't heard much about any other presidents being huge baseball fans. Ford seemed to be a sports fan in general, but more into football. Ike and Kennedy seemed like jocks, but I haven't heard much about them being baseball fans.

Actually, when Warren Harding was a Senator from Ohio, just prior to being President, he used to pass many an afternoon sitting with the bookies at Griffith Stadium, puffing on cheap cigars and making bets on every pitch. And he wasn't alone among his Senate colleagues in this pre-internet pastime.
   27. Honkie Kong Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:10 PM (#3254874)
Can start by trading some hitting to the Giants / Mariners. Moving Guzman to 2B and getting a real SS.
Move Johnson to the Mets and make Dunn work at his 1B skills.


profit! wait, they already do that!
   28. base ball chick Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3254879)
Prostetnic Vogon Steve Jeltz (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 09:31 AM (#3254807)

I'm fairly certain the first President Bush is an Astros fan


- correctamundo.

they have season tix in the expensivo section. and they go whether or not the team is good or bad. which i like

and barbara always keeps score in her SCOREBOOK!!!! which is why i like her
   29. aleskel Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:17 PM (#3254885)
I haven't heard much about any other presidents being huge baseball fans.

hey, Clinton was a huge baseball fan! Bigger baseball fan than Bush 41, Buch 43 and Obama combined! Just ask him!
   30. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:18 PM (#3254886)
Taft was a fan, until he was eaten by wolves. I'm not going to say he was a big baseball fan, because I make too many William Howard Taft jokes as it is.

I also remember one of the 19th century presidents described as a baseball fan on the History Channels "The Presidents" series. I think it was Garfield, but I'm not sure.
   31. TerpNats Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3254888)
Nationals fans don't mind Obama dissing the team -- we do so regularly, and are learning to make an art form of it -- but it sure would be nice to actually see him attend a game at Nats Park. Heck, George W. went to a few Nats games -- including at least two where he didn't throw out the first ball or anything like that, just sat in the VIP box at RFK.

Oh, and Mr. Obama -- Ben's Chili Bowl has a stand at Nats Park. Get yourself a half-smoke and bring the U Street experience to South Capitol Street.

hey, Clinton was a huge baseball fan!
Never once during his eight years in office did I hear him publicly lobby for the return of baseball to Washington. I bet when he was a student at Georgetown in the mid-sixties, he never went to a Senators game.
   32. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3254889)
What is Guzman's contract status?

As for Dunn, if I was going to move him to 1B in 2010 (as long as he stays in the NL, he will eventually have to learn to play 1B), I'd try to extend him an extra couple of years, and make the move a real commitment.

Johnson is their best trade piece this July. Rumors earlier this year had the Red Sox and Nats talking about Delcarmen for Johnson, but the Red Sox refusing. Is this realistic? Does Delcarmen represent the ceiling for what they can get for two months of Nick Johnson? Or is the ceiling (as the Red Sox clearly thought) even lower than Delcarmen?
   33. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3254894)
Taft was a fan, until he was eaten by wolves.


Ford would have escaped had he not fallen down those steps.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:26 PM (#3254898)
I bet when he was a student at Georgetown in the mid-sixties, he never went to a Senators game.

He did, but he never inhaled.

What about Presidential candidates? Kerry professed to be a baseball fan, but it seemed rather disingenuous. McCain seems to be a decent Diamondbacks fan.

Veeps? Was Spiro Agnew a big Orioles fan? Hubert Humphrey a Twins fan? Garrett Hobart a Newark Peppers fan?
   35. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:34 PM (#3254907)
Bill Richardson is a big baseball fan, but made the mistake of claiming, at different times, to like both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Of course, that is the only reason he was not the nominee...
   36. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:35 PM (#3254910)
Castro is a bigger baseball fan than any of our presidents. Also a more glorious leader.
   37. SOLockwood Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:41 PM (#3254917)
DMiaBFI:

Regarding Obama's rank at #4, where's the evidence that he's an actual baseball fan, as opposed to a Southside Chicago pol voting for the Sox in the city's baseball primary?
   38. aleskel Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:42 PM (#3254918)
Was Spiro Agnew a big Orioles fan?

no, but man, you should see some of the dirt he dug up on Boog Powell
   39. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:43 PM (#3254920)
Richard Russell, if we can extend this to prominent Senators, was an extremely devoted fan ... of the Senators. He was a bachelor and his main recreation was to go out to the ballpark, where he knew all the batting averages. If he'd lived long enough he'd certainly be a Primate and would be posting here as Unfrozen Prosthetic Cavalier Segregationist (RBRJr). Russell's baseball fandom is covered in Robert Caro's books on Lyndon Johnson. LBJ, who didn't know second base from a cowflop, would go out to the park and fawn over Russell's baseball knowledge.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:51 PM (#3254930)
Bill Richardson is a big baseball fan, but made the mistake of claiming, at different times, to like both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Of course, that is the only reason he was not the nominee...

And that he was drafted by the A's, despite the fact there was no draft back then.
   41. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3254931)
I'm shocked *shocked!* that BHO is a fan of parity.
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3254933)
Never once during his eight years in office did I hear him publicly lobby for the return of baseball to Washington.

Maybe he thought it was a bad idea.
   43. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3254934)
McCain seems to be a decent Diamondbacks fan.
I've seen him interviewed on ESPN in one of their shows on the 2001 World Series, he seemed knowledgable enough.

I seem to remember Romney and Rudy bantering about the Red Sox and Yankees during the debates last year.
   44. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3254936)
Wasn't Lincoln supposedly into baseball--not as a fan, but as an amateur player? Here's guessing he didn't throw like a girl.
   45. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:55 PM (#3254938)
Regarding Obama's rank at #4, where's the evidence that he's an actual baseball fan, as opposed to a Southside Chicago pol voting for the Sox in the city's baseball primary?
He's from Illinois, and chooses to wear ChiSox gear instead of Cub gear. Anyone can claim the Cubs — just ask Hillary) You've gotta really love some baseball to wear ChiSox gear.

(Yes, I hate the White Sox. Why do you ask?)
   46. BDC Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3254946)
I don't know if Lincoln actually played or cared about baseball, but there's a .jpg"]cartoon depicting Lincoln as a ballplayer. Note that instead of a bat, he's holding one of those rails he loved to split.
   47. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3254951)
Many presidents are a fan of this. (Probably not safe for work.)
   48. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3254954)
Many presidents are a fan of this. (Probably not safe for work.)
So you mean, they all like to run the bases?
   49. jcnyc Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3254956)
You often see Carter at a Braves game, wearing a cap and paying close attention. It's pretty clear he is a fan.
   50. Hack Wilson Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3254957)
Well Lincoln was good friends with Abner Doubleday, the inventor of baseball. Abner even accompanied Lincoln on the train to Gettysburg and probably wrote Lincoln's speech while envisioning the first suicide squeeze.
   51. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3254958)
I don't believe I recall WJC talking about baseball very much. He seemed more of a hoops/football guy. I would most definitely not want to attend a game with him, yapping non-stop, trying to convince me how much he likes baseball. Jimmy/H.W./W./ or BO would be much better to sit with at a ball game.
   52. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:17 PM (#3254961)
I think BHO should have gotten his hands on a "Natinals" jacket.
   53. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3254967)
I would most definitely not want to attend a game with him, yapping non-stop, trying to convince me how much he likes baseball.


...all while filling out the Friday NYT crossword puzzle with a Sharpie.
   54. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3254973)
McCain seems to be a decent Diamondbacks fan.
He definitely is. I know some of his staffers (both former and current) and they say that he talks about it quite a bit, whilst seeming pretty indifferent to Cardinals football. (Of course, given the state of the Cards until last year, that's excusable.) Just recently he made the rounds on local news and MLB.com pushing for Mark Reynolds to make the final spot on the NL All-Star roster ("Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Vegetarians all ought to be able to agree on Mark Reynolds!")

Hilarious tidbit, from a staffer buddy: apparently McCain thought that the Eric Byrnes contract was a disaster too. And said so to anyone who would listen. No joke!
   55. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3254974)
Anyone can claim the Cubs — just ask Hillary) You've gotta really love some baseball to wear ChiSox gear.

I think he's genuinely a White Sox fan, to the extent that he's a baseball fan. IIRC, he got his start in Chicago working as a community advocate on the South Side. I'm sure most of his clients were Sox fans, and he picked it up from them.

Just a gut feeling, but he seems like a real sports fan, but sort of a casual fan when it comes to baseball. He obviously likes hoops, and he has an opinion on the BCS.
   56. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3254978)
Jimmy/H.W./W./ or BO would be much better to sit with at a ball game.
I remember when W. made his appearance in the booth at the ASG (can't remember which year it was). He was actually really, really good -- bad President, but a potentially great color guy. My favorite moment was when he basically shut up Joe Buck because something important was happening on the field and he thought it deserved more attention than stupid Presidential small-talk.
   57. Perry Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3254980)
I've always loved this Obama quote, which I think establishes his bona fides (of course, as a Cardinal fan I'm biased):

"Obama had the Cubs and their fans seething last year before the election when he was asked if he would be rooting for the White Sox or Cubs if he took office.

'Oh, that's easy,' Obama said. 'White Sox. I'm not one of these fair-weather fans.

'You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer; beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side.'"

Taken from this article:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2009-04-05-obama-white-sox_N.htm
   58. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3254982)
Also, when it comes to baseball fans on the Supreme Court, nobody comes close to Samuel Alito. Not only is he a big Phillies fan, he's got the best first-pitch form of any political figure out there (even better than W.). Check this heater out.
   59. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3254996)
If he's a Phillie fan, how did it come to pass that he was wearing a Rays uni?
   60. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3254997)
This article goes into some detail on the DC-types/baseball connection, including a great quote:

Why are so many Washington figures, including a long list of Supreme Court justices, so devoted to the game? Easy, said Carter G. Phillips, a Washington lawyer and an old softball teammate of Judge Alito: "Baseball's the perfect sport for nerds."
   61. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3255004)
When I first saw that Alito photo I thought it was manipulated, but sure ####, Alito would probably dominate in the Judiciary Baseball League if there was such a thing.

btw: Costas had a good interview with BO on MLB Network regading mostly baseball. You can tell, he likes baseball, but it isn't a passion of his. Seemed like he was a front runner as a kid, pulling for the A's and then the Reds in the 70s.
   62. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 15, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3255012)
Just a gut feeling, but he seems like a real sports fan, but sort of a casual fan when it comes to baseball.


Obama seemed pretty knowledgeable when he was in the booth last night. He follows the game closely enough to know that Buehrle got lit up in his last start.

It was also funny to see him in the clubhouse before the game, congratulating Prince Fielder on winning the home run derby and giving Pujols the business for letting that happen in his home park.
   63. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3255020)
Taft was a fan, until he was eaten by wolves.

His family owned the Cubs for a few years, so it's probably safe to assume he had more than a passing interest in baseball.

Calvin Coolidge may or may not have been a baseball fan. We never found out because he never actually had a conversation with anyone.
   64. Obama Bomaye Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3255023)
Bill Richardson is a big baseball fan, but made the mistake of claiming, at different times, to like both the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Actually, I thought his explanation of that made some sense, and I write this as a Yankee fan/Red Sox hater. When he was growing up in Mexico, he became a Yankee fan because all they would ever hear about down there was the Yankees and Mickey Mantle. He probably wasn't immersed in the day-to-day of the major leagues like someone in the U.S. Then he went to high school and college near Boston, and became a Red Sox fan. This was in the '60s when the Sox stank and the Sox/Yankees rivalry was not what it is today (so I've heard). So while his claim sounded stupid on its face, he may actually feel like a fan of both.
   65. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3255029)
If he's a Phillie fan, how did it come to pass that he was wearing a Rays uni?
Because they let him throw the first pitch for one of their games. He's done it for the Phils as well. I'm pretty sure he'd leap at the opportunity to throw out the first pitch for any team that would let him and wouldn't conflict with his schedule.
   66. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:07 PM (#3255034)
Seemed like he was a front runner as a kid, pulling for the A's and then the Reds in the 70s.

Don't most kids from areas without MLB cheer for good teams?

Obama seemed pretty knowledgeable when he was in the booth last night. He follows the game closely enough to know that Buehrle got lit up in his last start.

He supposedly watches Sports Center every night. I'd agree he's a good sports fan who is probably just a casual baseball fan.

Also, when it comes to baseball fans on the Supreme Court, nobody comes close to Samuel Alito.

The only Cubs game at Wrigley I ever attended, was also attended by Justice John Paul Stevens, who was wearing a custom made Cubs jersey.
   67. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3255046)
Obama seemed pretty knowledgeable when he was in the booth last night. He follows the game closely enough to know that Buehrle got lit up in his last start.


Odds are he just brushed up on how the Sox and Buehrle have been doing recently since he knew they were going to ask him about it. It's not a knock on him, but I have the same feeling as Dewey that Obama really doesn't follow baseball that closely.
   68. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:17 PM (#3255053)
Don't most kids from areas without MLB cheer for good teams?


kids like that are everywhere, I remember a junior in high school wearing a Buffalo Bills hat, and then two days after the Redskins hammered them in the S.B. he had a Redskins hat on.

Frontrunning and Bandwagoners hit its peak in high school. My fellow college football friends and I used to corner unsuspecting kids that wore Notre Dame shirts, or Michigan sweatshirts at our school and demand that they name the coach and several players.
   69. OsunaSakata Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3255054)
I don't get why he would wear a Nats jacket to the All-Star game. Because he lives in D.C., he must form an allegiance to the local team?

No! That would be betraying his previously loyalty, which is just as bad! He should have come out wearing an American flag.


But that would be betraying his Kenyan loyalty.;)
   70. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3255064)
Odds are he just brushed up on how the Sox and Buehrle have been doing recently since he knew they were going to ask him about it.


They didn't ask him about it. Obama brought it up.
   71. Mr Dashwood Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3255078)
Fangraphs has them as hte unluckiest team--by far--in the majors. I think they'll improve in the second half just from regression, which is bad news for Acta's future unfortunately. Really, they aren't as putrid as their record

I'm not so sure, I'm beginning to believe they are as putrid as their record.

They have three big problems, in approximate order of significance:

1) The bullpen is beyond-words bad. Beimel is one of the best relievers they've got, and he just can't hold a game close on a consistent basis. Every reliever has a stats-demonstrable drawback that detracts from their strengths. Sticking with Beimel, he's good on BB/9, LD% and HR/FB, but his K/9 is below average. Because he can't strike out enough guys, his mistakes really hurt.
2) The fielding, especially in the outfield, has held them back. The Morgan trade was a big help, although Harris was doing almost as well. Dukes and Willingham have been decent in right. Dunn is Dunn. You don't pay him for his glove. And consequently the problem is now about as fixed as it's going to get. A lot of their worse pitchers out the bullpen (Hanrahan, Colome, eg) were really hurt by that. The infield isn't quite such a disaster area. Guzmán is the main problem here, but there's no alternative to him.
3) The lineup has no leadoff man, and fades badly after the 5th spot. That's why they aren't scoring enough runs, too much of their offense is tied up in spots 2-5, so if Dunn doesn't come through there isn't enough after him to drive the runners home. Production out of the 6th spot has been especially poor relative to league average.

Every move I've seen discussed will make the situation worse. They need to keep Johnson, not trade him, because anything he'll bring in will not cover for his absence in the lineup. The only players whose trades might bring in a benefit are guys nobody wants, like Guzmán, or players they don't want to trade, like one of their young pitchers.
   72. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3255081)
They didn't ask him about it. Obama brought it up.

Did Buehrle express the proper amount of disdain for Obama to satisfy Black Jack McDowell? He at least spit on Obama, right?
   73. Kris Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3255098)
During the transition period there were a number of articles discussing Obama's use of a Blackberry and if he would be allowed to keep it after he was sworn in. One article in the NY Times discussed how he was on it constantly, and that even out in random locations on the campaign trail he would often send out a quick "Go Sox" to a group of his friends if the White Sox won that night. I know he's spoken to Kenny Williams a fair amount, Kenny Williams mentioned receiving phone calls from Obama to talk about the team when Obama was Senator. I think he's a pretty big Sox fan, probably not as passionate as some, but he cares a fair amount.
   74. Rusty Priske Posted: July 15, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3255113)
You know, as much as I love baseball... I would hope that Obama did NOT watch it regularly. Shouldn't he have mroe important things to occupy his time?
   75. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3255116)
You know, as much as I love baseball... I would hope that Obama did NOT watch it regularly. Shouldn't he have mroe important things to occupy his time?

Yeah. I bet he follows it more than he watches it.
   76. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3255118)
Regarding Alito -

My understanding is that SCOTUS has its own rotisserie league (as I recall, a while back when MLB trying to charge for stats became a court case, there was an open question about whether the entire court would need to recuse itself).

Given there are only 9 justices (unless staff plays perhaps?) -- probably a sissy universe league where the burning question is whether to start Prince Fielder or Mark Teixeira.
   77. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3255126)
Given there are only 9 justices (unless staff plays perhaps?) -- probably a sissy universe league where the burning question is whether to start Prince Fielder or Mark Teixeira.
See, FDR was trying to prevent this in the 30s and no one was having it.
   78. TerpNats Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3255134)
Calvin Coolidge may or may not have been a baseball fan. We never found out because he never actually had a conversation with anyone.
His wife was reportedly far more of a baseball fan than her husband, and frequently attended Senators games in their mid-twenties heyday. Until Barbara Bush, she may have been the most avid baseball fan among first ladies.
   79. regfairfield Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:19 PM (#3255141)
We would have World Peace today if Obama didn't spend 30 seconds checking a box score while he eats breakfast.
   80. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3255164)
Obama did call new Comiskey "Comiskey Field" in his interview with Costas. I don't think you make that mistake if you are hard core about the Sox.
   81. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3255171)
Are you talking about referring to it as "Comiskey FIELD" (as opposed to "Comiskey PARK") or rather about not calling it "Cellular Field" (Or "the Cell" or somesuch)? Because, living on the South Side, I can vouch for the fact that tons of hardcore Sox fans still call it "Comiskey." Of course, they probably wouldn't botch the "park"-vs.-"field" thing either.

Anyway, FWIW everyone around Hyde Park will tell you that Obama is really a basketball fan to the exclusion of all else. Sox baseball and Bears football are a casual following at best.
   82. Swedish Chef Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3255175)
I've never understood why having an important job should require giving up your free time. They have armies of minions they can delegate to.

If I was president I would work four hours per day max so I could make all the important decisions with a clear and untroubled mind.
   83. TerpNats Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3255177)
Obama did call new Comiskey "Comiskey Field" in his interview with Costas. I don't think you make that mistake if you are hard core about the Sox.
Well, at least he called it "Comiskey" and not "the Cell."

Which leads to the next question: Did Obama ever see a game at the beloved old Comiskey before it closed in 1990? I'm trying to imagine him quaffing an Old Style at McCuddy's...
   84. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:55 PM (#3255186)
If I was president I would work four hours per day max so I could make all the important decisions with a clear and untroubled mind.

From what I understand, this is essentially what he does. He gets up, works out, and then has his briefings with the minions until noon where decisions are required of him. After that, I'm sure there's a lot of reading, diplomatic, ceremonial, etc. stuff to take care of. I don't know if W. or Clinton worked this way, too. My guess is each president has a pattern they're most comfortable with.
   85. Benji Posted: July 15, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3255193)
Someone asked way up thread if Hubert Humphrey was a Twins fan. In the terrific book "Cool Of The Evening" about the '65 team, he shows up in the clubhouse and kids Sam Mele about how long it was taking them to clinch the pennant.
   86. Steve Treder Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:01 PM (#3255198)
From what I understand, this is essentially what he does. He gets up, works out, and then has his briefings with the minions until noon where decisions are required of him. After that, I'm sure there's a lot of reading, diplomatic, ceremonial, etc. stuff to take care of. I don't know if W. or Clinton worked this way, too.

From what I understand, W. worked in a similar manner; not exactly the same, but comparable. Clinton, as I understand it, was a fiercely disorganized workaholic. GHWB I don't know about. Reagan worked a steady 9-to-5, very rarely any overtime. Carter was incapable of delegating anything, worked his ass off 25 hours a day, and pretty much drove everyone crazy.
   87. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3255201)
How bad are these Washington Nationals? They're so bad that Obama science czar John Holdren just recommended that everyone in the entire organization be forcibly sterilized for the good of the planet.
   88. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3255204)
From what I understand, W. worked in a similar manner; not exactly the same, but comparable. Clinton, as I understand it, was a fiercely disorganized workaholic. GHWB I don't know about. Reagan worked a steady 9-to-5, very rarely any overtime. Carter was incapable of delegating anything, worked his ass off 25 hours a day, and pretty much drove everyone crazy.

Hmm. Those work habits strangely correspond to how I perceive their relative their personalities.
   89. Steve Treder Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:07 PM (#3255208)
Those work habits strangely correspond to how I perceive their relative their personalities.

Well, it would be odd if work habits bore no relationship with personalities, wouldn't it.
   90. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3255215)
Well, at least he called it "Comiskey" and not "the Cell."

Which leads to the next question: Did Obama ever see a game at the beloved old Comiskey before it closed in 1990? I'm trying to imagine him quaffing an Old Style at McCuddy's...


I am glad he said Comiskey and not the Cell, but he was most certainly referring to the ballpark, when he mistakenly said "Comiskey Field." No big deal, just tells me he isn't hard core Sox, which is no big deal either.

Costas asked him if he was at Demolition Disco Night. Obama said no, but he did talk about how he liked the old park, sitting in the nosebleeds and contrasted the 'side of town' issue from Wrigley again, but wasn't as direct as he was during the campaign.
   91. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3255216)
Reagan worked a steady 9-to-5

I've read Reagan delegated a LOT, which honestly, is how I want my President.
   92. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3255218)
Well, it would be odd if work habits bore no relationship with personalities, wouldn't it.

Yeah, but I don't actually know these guys.
   93. jayjay Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3255234)
I'm amused how some folks on here are completely certain that Obama is just a "casual baseball fan" when you really have no idea.
   94. Steve Treder Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3255248)
I've read Reagan delegated a LOT, which honestly, is how I want my President.

There's a limit, obviously, but I think that for a high-level executive in any organization, a high degree of delegation is a very good trait: it focuses the exec's time & energy on the truly top priorities, and it empowers & develops the staff.
   95. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3255249)
Here's what I saw and heard from Obama last night that indicated some knowledge of baseball:

* As I said, he knew Buehrle had been hit hard in his last start.

* When he saw Buehrle, he referred to the last time the two had seen each other.

* He recognized Prince Fielder on sight.

* He knew that the Sox had closed out the 2005 season with eight straight wins.

* He knows that the Nationals are terrible.

I didn't see the Costas interview, so I don't know what he said there, but I think this shows he's more than a casual fan. I guess it depends on your definition of "casual."
   96. Esoteric Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3255255)
I'm amused how some folks on here are completely certain that Obama is just a "casual baseball fan" when you really have no idea.
I happen to have a good deal more than "no idea," given that I'm good friends with people who were taught by him, taught WITH him as colleagues, and worked for him as RAs and spent down time talking sports. He loves basketball, and not just Bulls basketball -- he can talk a good game about the NBA and college hoops in general. But while he has a local affiliation with the Sox as a southsider, numerous sources who I trust tell me he's merely a casual fan. Which is no great crime, for crying out loud. Hell, I'm impressed that he's 'fluent' in any sport at all...it's not really something that's in the job description.
   97. villageidiom Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:38 PM (#3255265)
What about Presidential candidates? Kerry professed to be a baseball fan, but it seemed rather disingenuous. McCain seems to be a decent Diamondbacks fan.
Giuliani is a pretty big fan of whoever gives him free tickets in the front row, on camera the Yankees.
   98. RJ in TO Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3255269)
* He knows that the Nationals are terrible.


Things which live in caves at the bottom of the ocean know that the Nationals are terrible.
   99. neonwattagelimit Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3255297)
I think the thing about Obama is that he's pretty clearly a big sports fan generally. Hoops is obviously his main thing, but he strikes me as the sort of guy who just understands the sports-fan culture and enjoys participating in it (for example, if you're a Sox fan, don't go around pretending you're a fan of the team from whatever city you happen to be in at the moment). I don't know if "casual fan" is the right way to describe it - when you say "casual fan," I think a lot of people think of that time your mom cheered for your favorite team in the postseason even though she knew like two players. Obama's definitely not like that, but he's far from a baseball nut. I get the impression that he's the sort of fan who mostly just follows his team, picking up some knowledge of the rest of the league in the process. There's a lot of fans like that - might actually be more of them than hardcore or casual fans.
   100. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3255307)
I'm amused how some folks on here are completely certain that Obama is just a "casual baseball fan" when you really have no idea.

I'm amused you are completely certain we have no idea, when you really have no idea if we have no idea. For all you know, I could be Michelle Obama!
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