(though the gentleman on the right most certainly doesn’t work for the CIA, the possibility remains that he might be Tim McCarver’s unidentified “friend”)

David Wright is cut all kinds of slack around these parts — whether he’s stumping for a crap chomping faith healer or dressing like a clown in GQ, the Mets’ young 3B is usually granted a get-out-jail card because of his exploits between the lines. That said, my patience is wearing thin, and perhaps the time has long since passed in which Carlos Delgado needs to pound some politicial consciousness into him.

From the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan.

David Wright knows he is living the dream, but nothing off the field can compare with this past Monday night when Wright was quietly invited to the White House to have dinner with President Bush.
“You talk about all the off-the-field perks I’ve had,” Wright said yesterday from the Mets spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, “this one tops them all. I had goose bumps all night.”

The Mets All-Star third baseman was invited to a “baseball dinner” along with San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman, Toronto’s Vernon Wells, Cubs manager Lou Piniella, broadcaster Tim McCarver and journalist George Will.

Will, a baseball zealot, has helped the president organize such dinners in the past and reached out to Omar Minaya, who worked for the Rangers when Bush was the managing general partner of the club. Minaya suggested Wright be invited, along with Julio Franco, who could not attend because of a family illness. About a month ago, Wright was quietly given a verbal invite.

Each person was allowed to bring one guest. McCarver was there with a friend. The others took their wives. Since Wright is not married, he brought along his father Rhon, a history buff.

“My father has met some famous people, but I’ve never seen him in awe like this,” Wright said. “His jaw dropped when he met the president.”

“To have dinner in the White House, with the First Lady to my right and sitting across from the president, the leader of the free world, it was a once in a lifetime experience,” David said with pride. “I’m just so happy I was able to bring my father.”

“The president was so approachable and knew everything that’s going on with the Mets,” David said. “The man definitely knows his baseball.”

I don’t doubt that for a minute. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Jay Horowitz already turned down a chance to succeed Ari Fleischer.