And now the latest in baseball/alcohol news

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I always love it when my two biggest hobbies converge:

Dateline Seattle:  ESPN’s Jim Caple reports that a brewery is using maple bats — actual maple bats owned by Seattle Mariners players — to flavor beer.  Yes, Caple makes the requisite “at least the bats are being used for something” joke.  Given the use of Mariners bats, assumptions are that the beer is weak.

Dateline Cleveland:  The Indians are basically taunting me now by holding a four-course bourbon-themed dinner in their Terrace Club.  The taunting part is by virtue of the fact that the dinner is next Tuesday, when I’ll be out of state on vacation.

Not so sure about the pairing on that dessert course, though.  I learned about Jim Beam new “Devil’s Cut” when I was down in Kentucky back in June.  I’m a little dubious.  I’d do it for a ballgame, though. But now, sadly, I cannot.

Rafael Devers won’t visit White House with Red Sox

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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.