The Los Angeles Dodgers have the league’s best record heading into the All-Star break, putting them en route to another World Series appearance that they hope goes differently than last October.
And if it does, manager Dave Roberts knows how he’ll answer the one question that looms over every championship team in this age.
“Will you go to the White House?
Roberts ready to turn down President Trump
In a profile by Andy McCullough for the Los Angeles Times, Roberts “indicated it was unlikely” he would go to the White House celebration with President Donald Trump if the Dodgers were to win the World Series, which they intend to do.
Roberts said the Dodgers are “not going to stop until we hoist that trophy up. That’s apparent” but would rather skip one celebration afterward.
“We have to win it first. But one trip to D.C., playing the Nationals, is plenty for me.”
Visiting the White House used to be simple and apolitical. Teams that won titles would get to tour the place, have their photo taken with the president of the United States and offer the man a jersey to add to his collection.
It was a celebration of the team and achievement. It’s now a complicated moment in which anything could happen and visitors are concerned with giving legitimacy to the office and what it stands for, as USWNT superstar Megan Rapinoe has said.
Roberts and Trump have a backstory, which has also become common in this age.
Roberts poised after Trump’s tweets
Roberts’ decision to replace starter Rich Hill in Game 4 of the 2018 World Series effectively handed over the title to the Boston Red Sox when the relievers gave up a four-run lead.
“I’m happy he was tuning in, and watching the game. I don’t know how many Dodgers’ games he’s watched. I don’t think he was privy to the conversation. That’s one man’s opinion.”
Roberts, the National League manager for the All-Star Game, further explained to McCullough this week why he didn’t press the issue or say anything nasty in response.
“There’s no benefit to responding to an irresponsible tweet irresponsibly, or ignorantly. So, I guess it’s one of those ‘consider the source’-type things. Which is sad, because that’s the leader of our country. That I have to say, ‘Consider the source.’ It’s sad.”
While it may not be a “clapback,” it certainly echoed the tone many have hit. It’s also no guarantee if the team were to win, it would be invited — especially given Roberts’ “indication” he wouldn’t go.
Trump removed an invite to the Golden State Warriors in 2017 that was never offered when Stephen Curry said he wouldn’t go. The following year Trump announced before the NBA finals the winning team would not get invited.
He did the same to the Philadelphia Eagles after their Super Bowl victory, pulling their invite. While he was quick to invite the Baylor women’s basketball team this year, his record inviting women’s teams of any sort has been poor. The Minnesota Lynx were never invited and decided to do community service in D.C. during the time the team would have visited the White House.
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