White Sox activate Paul Konerko from the disabled list

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Paul Konerko is off the disabled list after missing essentially the past month with a lower back strain. Konerko was actually activated from the DL on July 2, but aggravated the back injury in his first game and went right back on the shelf.

This time around manager Robin Ventura plans to use Konerko regularly at designated hitter in an effort to keep him healthy, so he may end up splitting first base duties with Adam Dunn. He went 4-for-10 during a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A.

Before the DL stint(s) Konerko was having the worst season of his career at age 37, hitting just .249 with seven homers and a .682 OPS in 67 games, which represents a 175-point drop in OPS compared to last season.

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.