World Series Champion Red Sox will visit White House in February
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox will be honored by President Trump for winning the 2018 World Series in a visit to the White House next month.
The 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox will be honored by President Donald Trump at the White House on Feb. 15, team president Sam Kennedy told the Boston Globe.
The early visit is a change from the norm. Championship teams typically schedule their visit to align with a road trip that takes them to the Washington D.C. area. That was the case after the Red Sox won in 2013 when their visit coincided with an April series in Baltimore.
The Red Sox have made pre-season visits in the past but not quite this early. The 2004 team visited the Nation’s Capital on March 2 while the 2007 team took a trip to the White House on Feb. 27.
The timing of this year’s trip is a bit peculiar. Pitchers and catchers report for their first full spring training workout on Feb. 13, with the rest of the roster joining them on Feb 18. The White House visit falls in between, forcing pitchers and catchers to interrupt their routine to travel from Fort Myers to D.C.
Getting this visit out of the way early could be a way to avoid distractions when camp is in full swing or during the season. Trump’s controversial handling of the fallout from the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico has drawn criticism from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who plans to attend the ceremony at the White House. The President’s extreme views on immigration have also built a wall dividing the American public.
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Sports and politics don’t often mix but many athletes have spoken up since Trump took office. NFL players kneeling during the National Atheme was made into a national crisis that completely ignored the reason they were protesting. Several NBA stars, including LeBron James, have been openly critical of the President. The Golden State Warriors declined an invitation to the White House in the wake of Trump’s embarrassing Twitter rant against Stephen Curry in which he rescinded the two-time MVP’s invite because he was hesitant to commit to the event.
MLB players haven’t been quite as outspoken. Aside from Cora, we haven’t heard much from Red Sox players on how they feel about the President. That doesn’t necessarily mean that some players don’t object to Trump’s comments or actions. It will be interesting to see if any player makes a statement by skipping the event.
The Red Sox aren’t making this trip mandatory but Kennedy stated that he expects “a healthy representation of ownership, executives, coaches, and players” to attend.
Visiting the White House is a great honor that has long been extended to championship teams across the major North American sports. The Red Sox will continue that tradition in celebration of their World Series victory. Just don’t expect players to ask for a selfie with the President this time.