In a fortuitous bit of timing, Barack Obama arrived in Florida the day after the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox for the American League pennant.

In a rally at George Steinbrenner Field, Obama was introduced by the savior of Game 7, rookie pitching phenom David Price.

Among the half-dozen players joining Obama were at least two other members of the 2008 Durham Bulls: the Howard Zinn-reading lightning bolt Fernando Perez and the fence-busting slugger Jonny Gomes.

The Boston Globe has the reporta rueful one, given the fate of their Sox. (That’s Perez on the left in the photo, and the player shaking Obama’s hand bears a strong resemblance to Gomes.) Reporter Scott Helman notes that the ever-cautious Obama took care not to endorse the Rays in their looming World Series confrontation with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He was careful, though, not to necessarily endorse the Rays in their World Series match-up against the Phillies. It’s easy to understand why: The Phillies, too, hail from an important swing state up north, a little battleground called Pennsylvania.