The Red Sox have yet to actually be formally invited to the White House following their World Series win, and although their visit isn’t a sure thing, some in the team have enthusiastically responded that they would be more than happy to be welcomed by U.S. President Donald Trump in the wake of their victory.
According to the New York Post, reliever Heath Hembree is excited about the prospect of visiting the White House, and to discuss Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ “questionable” managing decisions. Trump himself tweeted during the game to criticize a decision that ultimately cost the Dodgers the World Series.
On Sunday night, the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 5-1 at Dodgers Stadium, clinching the World Series title for the Boston side. Just hours later, Hembree “enthusiastically confirmed he will be visiting the White House to celebrate.”
The player responded to a TMZ Sports reporter with “Hell yeah! I [expletive] with Trump!” as he left Nightingale nightclub following the win. Hembree added that he likes “everything” about Trump, and looks forward to meeting him.
Hembree contributed to the postseason through a 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, which included his one frame contribution in the Game 3 marathon against the Dodgers.
— Boston.com Red Sox News (@BDCSox) October 29, 2018
Despite Hembree’s excitement, other members of his team have been far more hesitant regarding the possible invitation.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, for instance, has been critical of Trump in the past given the president’s lackluster response to the crisis gripping the people of Puerto Rico, Cora’s native country. Just last month he spoke out after Trump claimed the death toll related to Hurricane Maria was made up by Democrats to make him look bad, with Cora calling the president disrespectful for making it a political issue rather than mourning the lives lost, as Fox News reported.
Speaking in his post-game conference after the win, Cora responded that “We’ll talk about it later on” when asked if the time would accept the invitation if it came.
Red Sox owner John Henry also left the door open for a possible visit, per Boston, saying he does believe the invitation will be extended.
“This is a special team. We’ll see what they want to do, but I think so.”
White House visits have become a controversial topic of conversation since Trump took over in the Oval Office, particularly since the backlash over former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who was the first player to take a knee during the national anthem. The Astros did accept the invitation last year after the Fall Classic.