There weren’t any bad experiences during my trip to spring training, but being honest — and trying to be as fair as possible — I’ll have to say that the Mets’ facilities in Port St. Lucie were my least favorite. I’m not saying there was anything particularly wrong the place, just that the whole setup — the ballpark, the press stuff, the people, the town, the overall scene — fell short of the more or less exceptional experiences I had elsewhere.
One thing that did stand out, though, was the name of the Mets’ spring training park: Tradition Field. I have no idea if that is a covert corporate name like “Great American Park” or something, but it just sounds cool. Feels like baseball! Or, should I say, felt like baseball. Here’s Tyler Kepner of the NYT a few minutes ago:
Here’s a new one: in the middle of a game, the
Mets announce they’ve renamed their spring training stadium. It’s now
Digital Domain Park.
Ah, the Mets. Impeccable timing! Impeccable taste!
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.