Boston Red Sox Manager and Some Players May Skip Their White House Visit
'We'll see what happens — there's a lot of stuff going on right now as far as the government and the shutdown'
Not every member of the 2018 Boston Red Sox World Series championship team will make the team trip to the White House to visit President Donald Trump on February 15 — and manager Alex Cora is no guarantee, either.
Several unnamed players will not make the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, according to multiple reports — and Cora told reporters Thursday night that he might not attend as well.
“We’ll see what happens,” Cora said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on right now as far as the government and the shutdown and all that. If I go, I’ll represent Puerto Rico the right way.”
“I don’t know what kind of platform I’m going to have if I go,” he added. “Sometimes, if you walk the other way and you get your back to whatever is going on, is it positive? I don’t know. Sometimes you’ve got to show your face.”
A Puerto Rico native himself, Cora was unhappy with reports that President Trump considered using Puerto Rico and California disaster funds to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. However, no such plan has been executed.
As of Friday, no Red Sox players had outright said they were not attending or spoke out against the president. However, a handful of them made it clear they were, in fact, looking forward to the visit.
Catcher Blake Swihart, infielder Brock Holt and relief pitcher Ryan Brasier all told reporters that they were on board with the trip.
“That’s normally what championship teams do, is visit the White House,” Holt said. “I’m excited to go, just to see the White House … A lot of history inside the building, and to have the access that we’re going to have is going to be pretty cool to experience that.”
“It’s not every day you can just walk into the White House,” Swihart added. “So it’s going to be a cool experience.”
The players also thought it was cool that the president paid out of pocket to serve the Clemson Tigers football team a feast of fast food. Holt said he wants the president to get Chick-Fil-A as well and Brasier said, “that’s all my favorite foods.”
The three are not the only Red Sox players committed to visiting the White House, either. When asked about it immediately following the team’s World Series win, Heath Hembree said bluntly, “Hell, yeah! I f*** with Trump!”
When asked what he liked about Trump, Hembree said, “Everything!”
The Red Sox will be the third straight MLB team to visit the Trump White House. The Chicago Cubs (2016 champs) and Houston Astros (2017 champs) also visited following their respective World Series wins.
In other sports, however, the visit has been no guarantee.
The Philadelphia Eagles refused the invite following the Super Bowl win in 2018 and the president rescinded the Golden State Warriors invite following their NBA title in 2017 when many of their top players did not want to attend.
The Red Sox will be the third straight MLB team to visit the Trump White House.
When the Warriors won it again in 2018, they did not receive an invite.
Plus, the Washington Capitals, who won the NHL’s Stanley Cup last season, initially accepted a White House invite — but no date has been set yet despite their playing about a mile away from the White House.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.