Alex Cora among Red Sox skipping Trump visit
BALTIMORE Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he is determined not to let a visit to see the White House and President Trump on Thursday divide his team in the clubhouse or on the field.
Cora said it is not a problem that some players will attend while others won’t.
“Not at all,” he said, sitting in the Red Sox dugout before Monday’s game against the Orioles.
Cora re-iterated Monday he will not attend the ceremony Thursday. A major reason, he said, was what he feels was a poor response by the White House to Hurricane Maria that tore through his native Puerto Rico in 2017.
Cora was born in Puerto Rico in 1975 and still has many family members there.
“It is a decision I made with a lot of conviction. I think the message was clear, simple,” Cora said Monday. “I am comfortable with the decision.”
One day earlier he informed Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia’ of his decision to boycott the White House visit.
The Red Sox won the World Series last fall and have been invited to the White House. The Red Sox end a three-game series in Baltimore on Wednesday and don’t play Thursday.
Red Sox pitcher Heath Hembree told The Washington Times he will attend the White House event. “I am looking forward to it. It is an honor just to go to the White House and check it out and see all of the history that is there,” he said.
The pitcher said the trip won’t divide the club. “As far as in the clubhouse and playing baseball, we are as united as we can be,” he said. Tweets from Red Sox pitcher David Price suggest he will not attend.
The Red Sox entered Monday 17-18 overall and five games back of first-place Tampa Bay in the American League East.
Several college and professional title teams have declined a White House invitation with President Trump in office.
The Golden State Warriors, who were not invited, have not been to the White House after winning the NBA title in 2017 and 2018. The White House canceled a possible visit by the Philadelphia Eagles after they won the Super Bowl.
Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett recently said his team would not be able to go to the White House, citing the fact several players are leaving early for a possible pro career. The Cavaliers won the NCAA title in April.
The Baylor women’s basketball team visited the White House last month after winning the NCAA crown in early April.