The Washington Nationals visited the White House today, as President Trump honored the team for winning the World Series. Not all of the Nats participated. As I noted here, Sean Doolittle announced early on that he would not attend. Anthony Rendon, Victor Robles, Michael A. Taylor, Joe Ross, Javy Guerra, and Wander Suero all were absent, as well.
Guerra said he couldn’t come because he and his fiancee are preparing for their wedding in Mexico this weekend. A person close to Robles said that when the invitation came, the rookie outfielder already had booked a return trip to his native Dominican Republic for Sunday (yesterday).
With the exception of Doolittle, all of those who missed the White House event are minority group members in one respect or another. However, I’m happy to report that Juan Soto of the Dominican Republic, one of my favorite Nats, was present.
So were two Venezuelan players, Gerardo Parra and Anibal Sanchez. Parra is the guy who made “Baby Shark” an anthem of sorts for the Nats. The military band played the song at today’s ceremony. Trump called it a “very powerful little tune.”
Manager Dave Martinez, whose parents were from Puerto Rico, also attended. Last year, Alex Cora, manager of the champion Boston Red Sox and a native of Puerto Rico, did not come to the White House. He cited frustration over the administration’s response in the aftermath of a major hurricane that hit the island.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki donned a MAGA hat as he stepped to the microphone to say a few words. Suzuki is one of my favorite Nats dating back to his first stint with the team in 2012, before he became a good hitter. He’s very popular with the fan base.
Will his popularity diminish after today’s outing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Maybe. One melodramatic activist called Suzuki’s gesture “heartbreaking.”
Ryan Zimmerman, long my favorite Nat and the face of the franchise, echoed Suzuki’s sentiment. He thanked the president for “keeping everyone here safe in our country and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in in the world.” Then, he presented Trump a number 45 Nationals jersey.
I’ve noticed that D.C. liberals tend to assume that all good people can’t stand Trump. The baseball fans among them also assume that Suzuki and Zim are good people.
One of these assumptions is in jeopardy. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.