BOSTON (CBS) — When the Red Sox visit the White House in May, the defending World Series champs will do so without their best player. Mookie Betts said late Saturday night that he will be skipping the team’s trip to the nation’s capital on May 9.
“I won’t be going there,” Betts told the Boston Globe on Saturday night, shortly after collecting his AL MVP trophy. “I decided not to.”
Betts didn’t give a reason for not wanting to make the trip. He joins Boston third baseman Rafael Devers as the only players who have said they’d skip the team’s White House visit, but more could join that list in the coming months. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and infielder Eduardo Nunez remain undecided, and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has said he likely won’t be going.
Boston manager Alex Cora had been open to visiting the White House, but has yet to announce his intentions. Cora has had issues with President Donald Trump and his administration over their handling of the situation in his native Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
According to the Globe, the following Red Sox players have said they would attend the White House visit: Starting pitchers Chris Sale and Rich Porcello, relievers Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and Brian Johnson, and position players Brock Holt, Mitch Moreland, Steve Pearce and Blake Swihart.
The Red Sox brass have said that their White House visit is not mandatory. Boston was originally scheduled to visit President Trump on Feb. 15, but the trip was postponed until May due to the government shutdown.