President Trump welcomed the World Series champion Boston Red Sox to the White House on Thursday — even though some players and team manager Alex Cora balked at making the visit.
“Each Red Sox player is a shining example of excellence living out an American sporting tradition that goes back many generations, from the open fields of our rich farmlands to the vacant lots of our cities,” Trump told the gathering as a light rain fell. “Baseball is truly America’s pastime.”
The president also noted that the Red Sox defeated his hometown Yankees to advance to the World Series.
“In the playoffs you bested your arch rival, the Yankees,” he said to applause from the audience. “I think I’ll be a neutral in this one.”
The Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win the World Series, the team’s fourth championship this century.
Besides Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, some players — including American League MVP Mookie Betts, David Price and Xander Bogaerts — boycotted the visit because of Trump’s handling of Hurricane Maria aid and his comments about Mexico.
Asked earlier about some of the Sox not attending, Trump claimed that Puerto Rico has received adequate storm recovery funding, while citing an inaccurate $91 billion figure.
“So I think the people of Puerto Rico should really like President Trump,” he said.