Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that the White House has invited the Houston Astros to visit president Trump later this year and that the Astros will make the trip. It may be as early as spring training, actually, as the Astros do not visit Baltimore until the last series of the season and do not play the Nationals in interleague play this year.
This would not have been a story at all in years past, but since Donald Trump took office a number of athletes, such as the Yankees’ CC Sabathia, and one professional championship team — The Golden State Warriors — have either declined Trump’s invitation (Trump said they were “disinvited,” but did so after they said they would not come) or said they would not go if the occasion presented itself.
Earlier in the offseason the Astros as a team said they were undecided, but several individual players said they would go if asked. That group included World Series MVP George Springer and ace Dallas Keuchel. Third baseman Alex Bregman, who has been sharply critical of Trump, said that he’d follow whatever two of his teammates decide, saying “I’m going to do whatever Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa do.” Beltran is retired now. Both he and Correa have been critical of the Trump Administration’s response to the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. There are always some no-shows for presidential visits. It would not be shocking if Bregman, Correa and Beltran, who would likely be invited along given that he was a leader on the World Series-winning team, are among the no-shows.
The rest of the Astros, however — at least most of them — will be here.