November 08, 2011
Well, look who took a moment from his busy schedule leading the free world to congratulate the former manager of the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the World Series.
President Barack Obama called Tony La Russa on Monday, telling him that the epic Game 6, won by St. Louis in 11 innings thanks to David Freese's(notes) heroics, kept him up late and was one of the better sporting events he had seen in a long time. The president also promised a face-to-face meeting with all of the Cardinals at the White House, as is the custom, at some point. And he lauded La Russa for ending his great career in such appropriate fashion. All of the niceties you'd expect. No word on whether he asked La Russa's opinion on where free agency might take Albert Pujols(notes), though.
Like the San Francisco Giants in 2010, the Cardinals reportedly were beginning to worry that Obama had forgotten them, or somehow was snubbing their championship. Fox News (which is different than Fox Sports) pointed it out, of course. You had to wonder if it was thinking it was because La Russa and Pujols attended conservative pundit's Glenn Beck's rally in Washington, D.C., back in 2010. But that rally wasn't supposed to be political. And Obama, playing politics with a sports team? Unlikely.
"As we were getting into the World Series we had a call from the White House to make sure they had the correct number for my office."
But as the wild, champagne-drenched celebration of the team's 11th World Series title was going on in the locker room, that phone never rang.
"We never did get a call," La Russa said.
And all this despite the fact that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, was in town for Game 1 of the World Series.
"Very impressive, too." La Russa recalled of his meeting with the First Lady.
The president usually gets around to calling the World Series winner, even if it's not right after the last out. The Giants got a call from the White House a couple of days after winning the Series a year ago. The Cardinals had to wait a little longer. Stupid global economic meltdown or something. (Obama never did get around to calling the New York Yankees in '09, though. Was it something about them being from the American League but not being his beloved Chicago White Sox? Or maybe it was just the previous economic meltdown distracting him. Anyway, he met them at the White House eventually.)
So, for all you big leaguers out there. Just have patience. If you win the World Series, the White House will call your manager when it gets a chance. Probably.