Protesters appeared yesterday on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind., to voice their disapproval of the president's stances on abortion rights and stem-cell research. Dozens of Catholic bishops also have publicly objected to the university's decision to invite Obama.
"If something is that important to you, you should stand up for what you believe in, but at the same time, he's the commander-in-chief of our country," Lidge said. "It is such an honor to have him, and it shouldn't be turned down."
The Phillies' closer keeps his political beliefs closely guarded, but said that healthy debate and compromise are preferable to polarizing arguments, especially about a single issue.
"He's going to speak there, and I think that's a great decision," Lidge said. "There is no reason why we can't just discuss some of these things. Obviously, people have a problem with his beliefs, and that's why you're seeing protests.
At the same time, you should be giving him the chance to speak. Are you going to say that every president who ever came through Notre Dame, you've agreed with him on every issue?"
Cairo yet to decide Infielder Miguel Cairo, designated for assignment to accommodate spot starter Andrew Carpenter , had yet to decide yesterday night whether he will accept a minor-league assignment. After the Phils swept yesterday's doubleheader, the team optioned Carpenter back to triple-A Lehigh Valley and recalled lefthanded pitcher Sergio Escalona from double-A Reading. If Cairo clears waivers and chooses to report to triple-A Lehigh Valley, he is required by Baseball rules to remain there for a minimum of 10 days. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said that if Cairo remained with the organization and performed well, he could be recalled. But team is still looking for a bench upgrade.
"We'll still be looking for an upgrade with the righthanded bat off the bench," Proefrock said.
Jackie Robinson redux A day after President Obama noted the decline of African Americans in major-league Baseball while hosting the Phillies at the White House, all players wore the number 42 in yesterday's nightcap to commemorate Jackie Robinson . Major league Baseball celebrates Robinson every April 15, the day the Phils-Nationals game was rained out; the teams saved the jerseys to wear in the makeup game.
Special giveaway in Allentown The triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are offering a useful promotion tomorrow night for Baseball fans who are near Allentown and looking to unclog one or more toilets. The first 2,000 people age 18 and over to arrive at Coca-Cola Park will receive plungers (which are apparently unsuitable for children).
Contact staff writer Andy Martino
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