You gotta hand it to the story-creating instincts of a New York media member: The Yankees visit President Obama at the White House on Monday, a relatively stiff and boring ceremony honoring the reigning World Series champs is held and everyone moves on without a Dallas Braden-type incident.
Well, that seems an awful like a calculated slight if you ask Bob Klapisch, who's one of the most tenured baseball scribes in New York.
Fire up the controversy machine!
"Hard to believe Prez Obama's snub of A-Rod was anything but intentional."
It seems that Klapisch's belief stems from the fact that Obama mentioned Mariano Rivera(notes), Jorge Posada(notes), Derek Jeter(notes) and Mark Teixeira(notes) by name during a short speech in which he seemed more concerned with reminding everyone that he's a huge White Sox fan.
If you read the transcript of Obama's short remarks, you can see that he indeed mentioned those four players and for different reasons. He praised Rivera for his cutter, Teixeira and Posada for their charity work, and Jeter for the intangibles that seemingly everyone in this country — including the commander-in-chief — has been trained to rattle off.
But Obama also didn't mention players like CC Sabathia(notes), Andy Pettitte(notes), A.J. Burnett(notes) or the not-in-attendance Hideki Matsui(notes) and Johnny Damon(notes), and they all played instrumental roles in the Yankees' 27th World Series title, too. Heck, he didn't even mention George Steinbrenner by name or say anything about Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio. If you listen to the speech, it's obvious that the president was running off a tightly-written script and not running down a checklist of great names from the Bronx.
For the reasons above, I think it's silly to suggest there is. Obama also later made sure to shake the hand of every Yankee that was standing on the risers behind him and both he and A-Rod were grinning when they greeted each other.
Then again, I looked back at the transcripts from when the Lakers and Phillies visited Obama in Washington and there weren't any glaring oversights of those team's biggest players in his words. Maybe the president's speechwriters were going to include A-Rod, then kept him out after considering his past involvement with performance-enhancing drugs?
That seems like a pretty large leap to make, though not for the sensation-sniffing Big Apple media. Now that the door is open, we'll see if anyone else follows Klap's lead.
What do you think?