President Donald Trump tried to take credit on Monday for a sudden turnaround in the Boston Red Sox’ season, pointing out that the reigning World Series champions have gone undefeated since their fraught visit to the White House last week.
“Has anyone noticed that all the Boston @RedSox have done is WIN since coming to the White House!” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Others also have done very well. The White House visit is becoming the opposite of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated! By the way, the Boston players were GREAT guys!”
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The Red Sox, who visited the White House last Thursday, swept all three of their home games over the weekend against the Seattle Mariners, scoring 34 runs across the three games. Boston has won eight of its last 10 games, a stretch that predates the team’s reception with the president.
Championship-winning sports team visits to the White House have become particularly politicized during the Trump administration, and the president has yanked invitations for at least two teams after prominent athletes said they would not attend the traditionally unremarkable events.
The same was true with the Red Sox team, which was represented by only a portion of last year’s team. Nearly every racial minority member of the team skipped the event, as did manager Alex Cora, a Puerto Rico native, who cited the administration’s handling of hurricane relief efforts there in declining the invitation. The team attempted to downplay the divide and last week reportedly barred a reporter from asking about the upcoming White House visit during a series in Baltimore.
But while neither Trump nor the team addressed the elephant in the room during Thursday’s celebration on the South Lawn, Trump became defensive about his record on Puerto Rico earlier in the day when asked by reporters about the Red Sox visit. The awkwardness was compounded by the White House initially posting on its website that Trump would be celebrating the Boston “Red Socks” and later blasting out his remarks to the “World Cup Series Champions” via email.
Trump was correct Monday in noting that the Red Sox have won the three games since their White House visit, though their turnaround after an extended early season skid began several weeks before their trip to Washington. After falling to 6-17 in mid-April, the team has since won 16 of its last 22 games and was on a two-game winning streak before the team visited Trump.