The Boston Red Sox will be the next world champions to visit the White House, and there's no telling if the federal government shutdown will still be in effect when they arrive on Feb. 15. But clam chowder, Boston baked beans and lobster rolls better be on President Donald Trump's menu instead of fast food.
Team president Sam Kennedy told The Boston Globe on Tuesday, "We thought an earlier visit rather than waiting until later in the year made the most sense."
The Red Sox are scheduled to travel from their spring training camp in Fort Myers, Fla., in a quick, one-day turnaround. They also likely will visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
White the trip is not mandatory, Kennedy expects "a healthy representation of ownership, executives, coaches and players" to attend, even though Red Sox pitchers and catchers are set to report on Feb. 12, followed five days later by position players.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora plans to attend, through he has been critical of Trump's comments on Twitter that disputed the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Cora's native Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Cora's family was on the island when the hurricane hit.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths," Trump tweeted in September. "As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000."
Cora led a Red Sox delegation that included Kennedy and players Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Christian Vazquez to Puerto Rico in January 2018 to aid the victims, and he called Trump's comments "disrespectful."
Clemson's national championship football team visited Trump at the White House on Monday, and the President said he ordered around 1,000 hamburgers in all from McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King. The menu also included fries and pizza.
"So I had a choice," Trump told the players. "Do we have no food for you, because we have a shutdown, or do we give you some little quick salads that the first lady will make, along with the second lady, they'll make some salads.
"And I said, you guys aren't into salads. Or do I go out ... and send out for about 1,000 hamburgers. Big Macs. So we actually did that."