November 02, 2010
After winning the World Series on Monday night, the San Francisco Giants expected to have heard from the White House by now.
A matter of, you know, a little phone call from the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama?
From NBC Bay Area:
After the champagne and beer celebration inside the Giants clubhouse late Monday night, there was one thing missing: the traditional congratulatory phone call from the President of the United States.
"We gave [Obama's] people the private line into Bruce Bochy's office and other numbers to contact us," said Giants spokesperson Staci Slaughter. "But we have yet to hear from him. Maybe on Tuesday?"
UPDATE: He called (more Wednesday).
Well, gee, maybe the Leader of the Free World finds himself a little too engaged with the midterm elections, or the recent spate of letter bombs, or the myriad other presidential distractions, to call the manager of the Giants right now.
It's not a snub. It's not a diss. And he still might call, who knows?
As for it being a "traditional congratulatory phone call," there's some truth there. But let's not attach a constitutional requirement to it. Nor should this phone call be imagined as the whole team sitting in the clubhouse and around a speakerphone as the president dials in. That's not how it usually works.
A day after the Philadelphia Phillies won in 2008, George W. Bush called team president David Montgomery to congratulate him. Phillies fans, was that your favorite memory from '08, or was it Carlos Ruiz(notes) and Brad Lidge(notes) embracing after the final out of the Series?
I couldn't find a record of George Bush calling the St. Louis Cardinals in '06, but he did call Jerry Reinsdorf the morning after the White Sox won in '05. OK, so George Bush was better at phoning the World Series winner than, so far, Barack Obama.
But the important tradition — as everyone probably knows — is the White House visit.
For whatever reason, President Obama didn't call the Yankees after they won the World Series in 2009. But they went to the White House anyway. They probably wouldn't trade the trip for a phone call, either.
President Obama is on record as having made baseball-related phone calls. For example, he called Mark Buehrle(notes) after he threw a perfect game in 2009. Maybe Mr. Obama called because Buehrle pitches for the Chicago White Sox, the Commander-in-Chief's favorite team.
The Giants will get their day with the president. Just because he doesn't call, it doesn't mean he doesn't care.