Barack Obama, Brian Wilson

Long-haired freaky people allowed into White House

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As is custom, President Obama welcomed the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants to the White House yesterday.  Usually those meet-and-greets are really brief and cursory, but given all of the debt crisis ugliness, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Obama hung out with the Giants for a couple hours yesterday, trying to get his mind off things. I probably would.

Most notable during the visit: Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum — who are unique enough as it is — looking like a pair of terrorist/assassins once they were given suits and ties and placed in an official setting. Seriously, look at that pic and tell me that Wilson isn’t imagining eating Obama’s liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Or at least trying to make us all think that’s what he’s thinking because he has a reputation for edginess to uphold. Frankly I’ve lost track of whether we’re supposed to be shocked by Wilson, tired of his calculated weirdness or if we’re back to simply enjoying it.  These trend cycles can be difficult to navigate.

Also notable: the Giants presented the president with a number 44 jersey. My first thought when I saw that was that it wasn’t too respectful of Willie McCovey who had the thing retired in his honor, but then I read that he gave it the OK.  Which, given that McCovey is supposed to be a pretty awesome guy isn’t too surprising. If 44 had been Will Clark’s or something, though, there could have been trouble.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.