[Piniella at the White House today, sensing … destiny?]
Early this week, I delivered a Olbermann-intoned Special Comment on President Obama’s dimming popularity and his palling around with the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols at the 411th All Star Game. Obama, of course, did it in his ever-present 1980-era black satin Members Only Presidential White Sox jacket. The White House jumped on this political poison pill, immediately bringing Cubs manager Lou Piniella in for a five minute personal meeting today with the President (and lunch with token Cub fan advisor, David Axelrod). Naturally, Piniella was bowled over by the Obama charm offensive. Me, I’m not so forgiving of the All-Stain Game hug with Pujols. Will it save healthcare? I don’t know. It better.
That said, the Cubs ruined their former manager Jim Riggleman’s debut in a Nats uniform, beating the beltway national leaguers 6-2 behind Rich Harden. The Cubs did go out and sign yet another reliever for their bullpen over the break in the form of former Blue Jay, B. J. Ryan. Ryan will begin his Cub service in the minors at Mesa, AZ, then move up to AAA Iowa, with hopes he can help Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol out later this year. Ryan’s contract has $15 mil on it — and the Blue Jays still released this guy last July, with a 1-1 record and 6.53 ERA in 25 games. Talk about writing off a loss. The Cubs have turned other players around, most recently Jim Edmonds and “ ok, the jury’s still out — Fukudome, but at the very least his signing will enliven DC Cub fan Chris Lehmann’s repertoire of Cub tweets from “fuck you, Kevin Gregg” and “fuck you, Aaron Heilman” to something along those lines re B. J. Ryan.