The Boston Red Sox, until about two weeks ago, looked like a mess. The reigning World Series champs were 11-17 in the first month of the season, hardly looking like a team that was the wire-to-wire best team in baseball just a year ago.
Mookie Betts slumped early. Chris Sale looked like something was seriously wrong. For a while there, they were in fourth place in the AL East. Barely better than the Baltimore Orioles.
Today, the Red Sox are 22-19. They’re three games out of first place. They’ve won five in a row and eight of their last nine. What caused this turnaround? Well, it could be a number of things. Sale has pitched better lately. They’re playing some so-so teams. Or, in a more general sense, early-season funks happen and good teams shake them off.
But there could be something else afoot here. Our president, Donald Trump, and his White House could actually be what turned the Red Sox around. Early Monday morning, Trump hit send on the following tweet:
Has anyone noticed that all the Boston @RedSox have done is WIN since coming to the White House! Others also have done very well. The White House visit is becoming the opposite of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated! By the way, the Boston players were GREAT guys!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
This shouldn’t be too surprising. Trump, even before he was president, has been a glory hound. Becoming president hasn’t slowed down his desire to take credit for things to which he’s only tangentially attached — and it takes a special kind of person to operate like that.
This isn’t about politics so much as shameless self promotion, which let’s be real, you don’t get to be a combo WWE character/reality TV star/president without a healthy understanding of self promotion.
For fun, though, let’s break this down a bit:
• It’s true that the Red Sox haven’t lost since visiting Trump’s White House last Thursday. But they’ve only played three games since then. And in the bigger picture, we’re talking about a team that’s 11-2 since April 29.
• Of recent, the Red Sox have beaten the Mariners and Orioles, two teams that aren’t very good. The Orioles have been bad for a couple years now. The Mariners are in free-fall mode after a hot start.
• A good number of Red Sox players didn’t attend the White House event, including some of Boston’s best players — such as MVP Mookie Betts, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and pitcher David Price. So that one is a shrug emoji.
• To Trump’s credit, maybe he’s right about the White House becoming the opposite of the SI cover jinx. The Clemson football team hasn’t lost a game since it visited the White House and ate all that fast food. Neither has the Baylor women’s basketball team or North Dakota State’s football team since they visited a few weeks ago. None of those teams have played a game either, but let’s not worry about that part.
This, after all, is a White House that gave us the now-famous sound bite, “Truth isn’t truth.”
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