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July 14, 2009

Barack Obama


Q. Such a nice rest for you just to enjoy a game.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: First of all, it's as close to home as I've been in a while, and this is the national pastime. To go down there and meet Stan Musial and Bob Gibson and those guys, it's such a reminder about what's great in this country. You can't beat that and it's a real treat.

Q. You have reached the highest office in the land. Your heart must have been pounding underneath that Sox jacket to throw out the ceremonial first pitch?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: This is the second time. I threw it out during the American League Championship Series. The Sox ended up winning the World Series. And when you're a senator, they show you no respect, so they just hand you the ball. You don't get a chance to warm up. Now here, I was with Albert Pujols in the batting cage practicing before.

Q. Did you forget the baseline moves? Did you put the basketball down?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We did all the practicing in the rose garden. But what is true, I'm a great baseball fan. I did not play organized baseball when I was a kid, so I think some of these natural moves are not so natural to me.

Q. The White Sox winning the World Series back in 2005, being a fan for so long, that had to be a thrill for you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It was just wonderful. I was just talking to Jerry Reinsdorf, the Red Sox owner, about this, after I threw out my pitch, they won eight straight after losing the first game. Any of these teams need a lefty?

Q. You are two for your last two. And the next question is: Here we are, 2009, who takes it all?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It's a little early for that.
You know, I tend to try to get a little more information. I tell you what, though, what's been interesting about baseball this year, other than the Dodgers, who have been great baseball, 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 the team, and I may be the exception, The Nationals, who are still young and have a new ballpark.

Q. And manager. Outside of that --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I notice Tim just grinding his lip over there.

Q. He's trying to be politically correct.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm trying to be encouraging to the country and to baseball fans everywhere.

Q. I was actually thinking of when you honored the Phillies as the World Champions at the White House.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Wonderful people, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, the whole crew there were just a class act and I like the way they play. They are a scrappy team, and real team bond, so very impressive. My campaign manager, he was from Delaware, so he was a crazy Phillies fan, and them winning kept him in a good mood.

Q. Right, on cue as Victorino gets a base hit to right, two on, two out to the right and we are down two to nothing.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: By the way, since I grew up in Hawaii, this kid while we were down in the clubhouse, he actually gave me some macadamia nuts from back home.

Q. He is the first position player to come out of Hawaii. There have been three pitchers, but he's the first position player. The National League has Molina at the plate; as you know, has not won the All-Star Game since 1996.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: This is a problem.

Q. You were starting your political career. That's how long it's been.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: What's your best theory on that, why that is? Three, four years, you can say it's just happenstance, but starts to get to be a trend when you're starting to go on 12 years. What's going on?

Q. I think the National League is starting to catch up to the American League because of the designated hitter. When you get in an All-Star Game, even though you may have the pitcher hitting, you alter the lineup, and to be quite honest, the American League has just been a better league, dominating league play over the last several years and the National League is catching up.

Q. (National League scores two runs). When you get the President of the United States macadamia nuts, good things happen.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it's about time.

Q. Mr. President, my partner asked Joe Maddon not to put Mark Buehrle in the game while you're here because he works too quickly and we wanted more time with you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, he's had a good season. He got roughed up a little bit himself in his last game. Thank you so much.

End of FastScripts

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