Red Sox manager Alex Cora leaning toward visiting the White House after all

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that he is leaning towards visiting the White House as of now, but that could change. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that he is leaning towards visiting the White House as of now, but that could change. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The 2018 World Champion Boston Red Sox are planning to visit the White House on February 15, and less than a month out, manager Alex Cora will likely join the rest of the team. However, that decision is still very much up in the air.

Cora, Major League Baseball’s first Puerto Rican manager to win a World Series, has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump since his administration’s handling of Hurricane Maria. The government has been slow to give aid to the island after the hurricane, which has left nearly 3,000 people dead and much of the population without power.

The second-year manager spoke with the Boston media on Thursday, including the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, and said that “right now I can say ‘yes,'” but left the door open to not making the trip because of recent events.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now as far as the government and the shutdown and all that, so we’ll see,” Cora said. “There are a few things that have come up over the last 10 days in Puerto Rico too. It’s a topic that back home is huge. If I go, I’ll represent Puerto Rico the right way. I don’t know what kind of platform I’ll have if I go, but we’ll see what happens.”

While the US government’s shutdown extended to a record 27th day on Thursday, reports came out last week that the Trump administration was considering taking away disaster-relief funds that could help Puerto Rico to fund a wall on the nation’s southern border.

Mixed attendance among recent champions

If Cora does not make the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, he won’t be the first to skip the trip, nor the first to skip the trip because of government’s handling of Hurricane Maria. When the World Champion Astros visited in 2017, Puerto Rican natives Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa eschewed the visit.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors, who are led by a fellow outspoken Trump critic in head coach Steve Kerr, turned down a visit to the White House after their 2017 title and were not interested in visiting again in 2018. The Philadelphia Eagles had their invitation rescinded early last year after several players signaled their lack of interest.

While several other teams either declined to visit or were not given an invite — including the 2017 North Carolina men’s basketball team, 2017 South Carolina women’s basketball team and 2017 Minnesota Lynx — several others have chosen to visit. The aforementioned Astros, 2017 New England Patriots, 2018 Alabama football team and 2017 and 2019 Clemson football team made the trip.

What might the White House serve for dinner?

Clemson’s latest National Championship-winning team visited the White House on Monday, and that trip got into the news not for what issues were raised, but rather for what food was served. Since the government is shut down, Trump decided to serve fast food, which was ridiculed by the internet.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence may not have said that the McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King “hamberders” were the “best meal we ever had,” but it was certainly a sight to behold, down to the dipping sauces in silver gravy boats.

It’s possible that the government shutdown could reach 62 days by the time the Red Sox make their visit, although maybe the White House could spring for Legal Seafood instead Filet-O-Fish.

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